Shazelle's Stunning new direction
  Chris Selochan
November 2014

She’s young, beautiful and exceptionally talented. Her resumé includes singles with international dance hall sensation Beenie Man and local soca superstar Shurwayne Winchester. She has performed before thousands in the United States, Bahrain, Egypt, Australia and Lebanon.

Shazelle Gobin (yes, Shazelle is her real first name) has already accomplished more than many aspiring artistes can ever hope to achieve. Yet the Chaguanas, Trinidad born lass believes that the best is yet to come and reveals the shocking new direction that her music will be taking in this exclusive interview with Paradise Pulse. (See above for video).

 But first, a little bit more about  the refreshingly down to earth singer/songwriter that is Shazelle.

Born Shazelle Sara Gobin, Shazelle is the first of two children to her parents. She is close to her little brother, Christopher, who is one and a half years her junior.

Her primary education was at Montrose Vedic School in Chaguanas. But here comes the first surprise: Shazelle’s secondary school was Holy Faith Convent in Couva! Yes, believe it or not, this young singer who sends guys’ pulses racing in her videos is a former Convent girl! Shazelle then successfully pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing Management externally from the Anglia Polytechnic University while attending classes at a local private tertiary institution.

She is close to her family but like most, they have their differences. She argues with her brother from time to time, her mother and her are polar opposites in personalities and her father makes her laugh as regularly as he gets her upset. However, according to Shazelle, at the end of the day, they all love one another and have one another’s backs.

For as long as she can remember, Shazelle has been singing. She sung in the primary school choir, the church choir, in bands, at functions held by relatives and friends and, of course, in the shower. Singing seems to run in the family. Her father, his sister and her cousins all love music and enjoy singing. She fondly remembers when she was growing up meeting with her cousins at an aunt’s house every Saturday and having a mini concert. One of her cousins had a microphone which they would plug into a radio. They were so excited to hear their voices come through the radio that the cousins would then routinely argue among themselves to determine who would sing first.  

Shazelle's passion for the arts also extends to dancing and she even recently started ballet lessons. She's also very much into her fitness although her regular travels have made it a bit challenging to maintain her strict exercise regiment.

Shazelle on a bridge above the Nile in Egypt

Shazelle was brought up in a strong Catholic environment but she has been exposed to different beliefs. She attended a Hindu primary school, her small group of close friends come from varied faiths and her mother comes from a Muslim background.

Her first concert performance before a live crowd was in Lebanon in 2009.  She admits to being extremely nervous prior to her performance but once she got on stage the crowd's energy and response fuelled her and she performed confidently. Since then, any nervousness she might have prior to a live concert has been quickly extinguished by the adrenaline that kicks in during the performance, a feeling that she describes as 'like a high'.

Shazelle on stage in Bahrain

But despite enjoying a level of success as a songwriter and recording artiste that many young entertainers would be envious of, there was something missing. As she travelled more widely, she began observing what she described as a level of shallowness, pettiness and deceit in the music industry. Shazelle also found herself having a difficulty with the direction in which her music was heading. She felt that she was becoming like so many other artistes who use their sexuality to promote their music. She was concerned about the message that her music was sending, particularly to young girls. In short, Shazelle was not happy.

She embarked upon a spiritual journey which culminated with her being baptised at the Faith Christian Fellowship Church in Penal, Trinidad on Saturday 17th May 2014. It was an amazing transformation for an artiste who was more widely known for her suggestive dance routines in videos that emphasised her sexuality.

Shazelle hosting a fundraiser for the S.I.M.P.L.E. Foundation

So what does this mean for Shazelle? Is she now a gospel artiste?

“I am not a gospel artiste. I am still a pop crossover singer.”


What then is the difference?

“What you will begin to see is my spirituality reflected a bit more in my music. It will not be overt in that the music will not be Gospel music but if you listen closely you will detect the influence of my belief. My lyrics will also be deeper and will stem from my faith. I want my new image to represent strength and beauty without vulgarity or aggressiveness in behaviour, attitude and attire."   


Does she expect a backlash from her fans?

"I really can't be sure how my fans will react but I'm ready for whatever happens. I'm confident though that they will remain fans and that I will get many more new ones due to the quality of music that I will be releasing."


Her first step in her new direction is well underway. She is hard at work on new material which represent her new image and direction for a new album which will be released firstly in Japan and then the Caribbean. Releases in North America and Europe will then follow.

So, having regard to her new direction, who would she most like to perform with? American reggae rapper and alternative rock musician Matisyahu is at the top of her list although she isn't limiting herself.

Shazelle's first official announcement of her new direction came during an exclusive interview with Paradise Pulse at the Passage to Asia Restaurant in Chaguanas, Trinidad a few weeks ago. When Shazelle decided to use this interview to tell the world about her new direction, we decided to conduct the interview differently. Rather than a sit down, face to face interview, we arranged with Shazelle to have her interviewed by some of her fans and her closest friends. Questions ranged from whether she was single (and you'll have to look at the video to get the answer to that one) to who her musical idols were.

The highlight of the interview was of course the announcement of her new direction and, unsurprisingly, the reaction from those present was one of shock and some apprehension since many had grown to love and become accustomed to her style of music. Even her friends were somewhat taken aback.

Shazelle then gave her fans and friends an exclusive impromptu performance of part of one of her first sin

gles from her upcoming, yet to be titled album. What sort of reaction did this generate among her those gathered? Well, again, you'll have to look at the video to get the answer! You might be surprised.   

Whatever the reaction to her new direction, one thing seems certain: we can expect to hear a lot more from Shazelle.

To view Shazelle's exclusive video interview with her fans and friends, go to the video at the top of the page.

Homepage and main story photos by Marc Seyon

© ​Paradise Pulse - Online Magazine Trinidad and Tobago

By: Chris Selochan | FEATURES | November 2014