A tribute to the music of Motown will commence in Detroit during halftime of the Thanksgiving Day NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. Some of today’s newest artists on the Universal Motown label including CYInterview.com friend Shontelle Layne will perform the tribute. Over the summer she was the opening act for Beyonce’s tour in the UK and Ireland. Sports halftime shows are legendary and can introduce a performer to millions of new people who’ve never heard or seen their music. Plain and simple, this Barbados artist is going to give it her all.
Listen to the Shontelle interview:
Chris Yandek: Thanksgiving is a big day for America. Football, turkey all those other wonderful things, and of course there is halftime shows. So here you are, you’re going to be performing with your label mates in Detroit. This is a big stage for you and even a well-known artist. We can look at Sheryl Crow who performed at the halftime show in Dallas a few years ago for example. This is a really big stage. You only get a few chances to really show the world who you are. So has it all set in yet?
Shontelle Layne: “No. It really hasn’t set in because as you mentioned it’s a huge deal. It really is gonna be. I’ve had the chance to perform – many huge stages in front of large audiences around the world, but this is certainly going to be the largest live audience I’ve ever performed in front of, but also the largest TV audience I’ve performed in front of. So it is a pretty big deal and like you said, halftime shows at big sports events it’s really something that pretty much every performer look forward to. They’re usually remembered for a long time and it’s your chance to really prove if you got it or not. This is definitely a big deal.”
CY: It can make or break a career.
SL: “(Laughs) Yeah.”
CY: As you’ll be sharing the stage with your label mates, have you thought about what you’re going to do to make this halftime show special for you when you get your chance to perform in your moment?
SL: “Well, you know, really and truly it’s going to be a performance that as you mentioned I’m going to be sharing the stage with a number of my label mates and it’s really a tribute to Motown and actually we are Universal Motown Records artists. We were actually selected by Sylvia Rhone to represent our label and the history of our label during this performance. Really and truly the staging and everything is going to be handled by whoever is running the show. All I can do for myself is really give it all I have and be the best performer and the best artist that I can be on that day and hope to make an impact and leave my mark after I walk off that stage.”
CY: How much do you know about the NFL? Being from Barbados, I know they have soccer. I know they have a bunch of other sports. They don’t have padded tackle football, but how much do you know specifically about the NFL?
SL: “I don’t know as much about the game as probably I should considering I was living in New York for four years, but I do know the fact that I have so many relatives who are American. I understand like you said. We are a big sports country ourselves in Barbados and I understand the excitement, the loyalty, the drive and the emotion that the fans feel when it comes to their football and certainly football is a huge, huge sport in America. The fans go crazy. I’ve been there with my family and friends watching games and even for me it gets so exciting even though I don’t understand the rules and I don’t really always understand what’s going on. The excitement is immense.”