13 year-old Actor/Singer Shaheen is onto something special. Since stunning the world virally with his jaw-dropping audition on Britain's Got Talent before a skeptical and then impressed Simon Cowell, the spotlight has been on the brilliant boy from Wales. Appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Oprah Winfrey and even a spot on the late Michael Jackson's ill-fated This Is It Tour have solidified the fact that the world is ready to embrace its next big international teen sensation.
Now ready to unleash his eagerly-awaited debut album When I Come of Age from Island Records/Universal Music on November 22, 2010, the adorable Shaheen took a few moments out of his busy schedule to chat with Mr. Will-W.:Pop Maven readers.
Mr. Will-W.: Hi Shaheen, thanks for dropping by to chat with us as we're honoured to be one of the first outlets in Canada (and first Canadian Blog) to feature you! Now we're all excited to hear what's on When I Come of Age. What can you tell us about this first album and why have you decided to release two singles at the same time?
Shaheen: My album is important to me; it’s not like all the other albums that are coming out, its not very poppy and sounding the same as a lot of other tracks out there. It’s got kind of a Motown/contemporary feel to it. We decided to release Last Train Home/Hip Teens as a Double A-side because they show how versatile I can be. Last Train Home is a great ballad and Hip Teens is faster and a lot of fun. I hope everyone will get involved in my new competition to star in my video for Hip Teens. It’s for anyone who loves to dance. Check out my website for more details.
Mr. Will-W.: Many people don’t know that in addition to being a very talented singer, you also act. Both are very different. Describe how they are different for you. Do you prefer one over the other?
Shaheen: I prefer singing more but acting is something I’ve done and I wouldn’t mind doing again but right now I’ll concentrate on the album and what’s happening now and then possibly one day go into acting or something. I’d like to be in movies maybe. My favourite actors are Eddie Murphy and Jim Carrey.
Mr. Will-W.: Tell us about growing up in Wales. What is the music scene like there and what are your earliest memories of music and performing?
Shaheen: My earliest memories probably have to be when I was in stage school and every Christmas we’d be asked to get like a group of us together and go and sing in the local garden centre and I remember one year I got picked to do a solo and that was my earliest memory, growing up in Wales is just the same as growing up anywhere else, I’ve just always grown up with music because that’s just what I’ve always loved. My favourite Welsh singers are Tom Jones obviously, Katherine Jenkins and The Stereophonics.
Mr. Will-W.: I almost forgot that Tom Jones is Welsh also! My Mom loves him. What is your voice maintenance regime like? Are there any tricks you do to keep your voice in amazing shape?
Shaheen: I drink Manuka honey in hot water and extreme conditions I gargle salt water but don’t try it because it’s disgusting!
Mr. Will-W.: What was it like performing in front of a really brutal and honest panel of judges, including Simon Cowell, on Britain's Got Talent?
Shaheen: It was scary especially when you’ve gone from just not really performing in front of a lot of people to massive stage with the three biggest judges ever in front of you, it was scary but it was worth it obviously and I wouldn’t change anything that happened that day.
Mr. Will-W.: Pop Music has a few fresh faces right now like Justin Bieber and Grayson Chance. Although you are all unique, where do you see yourself in the big picture and do you feel your music targets a different audience than these idols?
In addition to some exciting Shaheen Giveaways to come on Mr. Will-W.:Pop Maven soon, he would like to give you all a chance to star in his first Music Video for Hip Teens. To learn more details, visit here. Check back for more details on Giveaways from Shaheen!