Some of the world’s best songs are songs from a place of pain, a place of loss, bereavement. Like when Luther Vandross did “Dance With My Father”. A song so heartrending it still draws tears today.

This was how I met the music of this young lady on Soundcloud. Her name is Shanpepe. She did a song titled “Joey’s Song” for her friend who passed on two years ago. Joey’s Song is a solemn song with lyrics accepting loss with equanimity, with the faith that God knows best.

I had the chance to have a brief “sit down” with Shanpepe as she prepared for the release of her latest song “This Red Light”. I asked her questions about her music, influences, growing up and lots more.

See excerpts below.

Q. Where were you born?

I was born and bread in the city of Jos, Plateau State – the city of creatives! I also went to school in Plateau State too.

Q.  How would you describe your genre of music?

My genre of music is pretty unique. I pick bit and pieces from other genres I enjoy and just kinda combine them to create my own sound. I like to experiment and explore with my sound, so that works for me.

Q. When did you begin to sing?

I started singing since I was three, and remember writing songs in primary school. I actually still remember some of them. Singing has been a passion/hobby for as long as I can remember. I remember in secondary school, we had a group called “The Prodigies”. We were twelve in the group, six girls and six boys. MTV’s Samantha Walsh was one of us. We recorded a gospel album titled “Hands up”. We did two versions of the album – the original and the reloaded. The reloaded version was recorded in MI’s studio in Jos at the time.

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Q. What and who are your musical influences?

My emotions. My best songs were born out of the emotions I feel deeply the most – pain, love, and faith. So most of my songs are life experiences. As for people who have influenced me musically I can cite Emeli Sande, Liane La Havas, Brandy, Angel Taylor, Brian McKnight and Ron Pope. These are artists that have really molded my style of music and vocal exploration.

Q. Which artists, local or international, do you look forward to working with?

For local artists – Innocent Idibia, Asa, Jeremiah Gyang, MI, Bez, Simi. International – Emeli Sande, Alicia Keys, Labyrinth, Mali Music.

Q. You did a deeply emotional song titled “Joey’s Song”. What influenced that?

Joey’s Song was written on the 25th of May 2015, two days after I lost someone I really and truly loved – his name was Joey. That was really the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. Ever. And the way I could express that pain was with music. So I wrote Joey’s Song. The words of that song are very raw emotions.

Listen to Joey’s Song