California based former professional ballerina Shannon Rugani, musically known as EMPRESS ®, reaches inward to find true happiness in her winter single.
The first single from her upcoming debut EP We Own This Crown, and produced by two time Grammy-nominated Bart Schoudel (Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez) and mastered by Chris Athens (Drake, Coldplay, Erykah Badu, Ben Folds), SnowGlobe” is an upbeat single reminding us all to take back ownership of our own lives.
We had the opportunity to chat with EMPRESS about inspiration behind the track, her creative process and what’s next.
Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your latest single “SnowGlobe”?
EMPRESS: I wrote SnowGlobe with my songwriting partner, Alexandra Forbes, in NYC a few years ago about my transition from my ballet/acting career to becoming a full time singer/songwriter.
When I was seven years old, I dreamed of becoming a ballerina, an actress and a singer. Somehow I have made all of those dreams a reality, but, they weren’t exactly as glamorous or fulfilling as I had imagined they would be when I was a kid. I finally realized that happiness had to come from within – not from what I did for a living. Throughout my careers I was always seeking the greener grass on the “other side”.
I remember it was snowing really hard outside during our songwriting session and Alexandra and I were trying to find a metaphor to capture my life story for this song. I got distracted by the blizzard outside and said, “look at how pretty it is out there. It kinda looks like a snow globe.”
Alex looked at me and was like, “that’s title of our song… SnowGlobe!” That’s how we came up with the title and the song and it just flowed out of us from there.
Kat: What do you hope fans take from the track?
EMPRESS: I want them to realize that each one of us has to power within ourselves to create our own version of happiness.
Kat: What do you find is the most challenging part of your creative process?
EMPRESS: For the first time in my career, people aren’t telling me what to do – which is awesome, but it also means that I am responsible for EVERYTHING. This process has really made me learn to point my finger inwardly and take ownership over my life – which is very empowering.
When I started out in the industry, I had no idea how long the process would be just to release an EP. I have probably written over one hundred songs, recorded at least 30 of them (which is a lot more time in the studio than I imagined). It is all worth it, I’m just surprised at how long everything takes from the beginning of writing the song to the final edit.
Also, with a stage name like EMPRESS, nothing is cheap. (Even though I am very resourceful.) So I’ve had to fundraise to make all of my creative projects happen. As an independent artist, I am grateful to have a lot of incredible supporters who have invested in me and believe in me. I literally couldn’t do it without them.
Kat: What has been a career highlight for you so far? What have you learned along the way?
EMPRESS: The fact that I somehow became a professional ballerina at 16 years old from a small mountain town with no formal training was one of my biggest achievements. It helped me realize that dreams really can come true when you’re willing to put the time, energy and focus into making them a reality. Another highlight for me was performing the lead role in An American In Paris on Broadway.
I am now the EMPRESS over my own life and have a platform to encourage, inspire and empower others to become the ruler of their own life which is so satisfying both as an artist and a woman.
My ultimate goal is to be able to create freely without limitations and have all the resources to bring all of my creative visions to life.
Kat: What’s next?
EMPRESS: I am collaborating with some well known DJ’s and producers on remixes that will be released throughout 2021. I have a series of music videos that I’m working on that I am really excited about.
I’ll be releasing my debut EP, We Own This Crown this spring and will be releasing my debut album sometime later this year. I am so excited to share my music with my fans!
For more on EMPRESS visit: https://empress-music.com