Shanara The MouthPeace
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Shanara The MouthPeace

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Spoken Word Singer/Songwriter




"ARTIST TO WATCH: Discipline & Diligence"

Our Artist to Watch is a vocalist and poet in Chicago. A difficult life journey did not stop her from a relentless pursuit to become a singer/ songwriter. She is a testament that the daggers life throws us provide insight, knowledge, and renewal in parts of our life where needed. She was able to achieve success in the midst of challenging life circumstances, but nonetheless proves, possible.
ThoughtNotebook hopes her story will inspire anyone who goes through destruction of their forests, and realize that the
phoenix will rise from the ashes.

Shanara is the oldest of three children, born to a fifteen year old
single mother, raised on the Westside of Chicago. With diligence and discipline, she managed to graduate from DePaul University with a degree in finance. She began working in the corporate world with a career as a bank manager and accountant, and even spent some time internationally.
After catching the acting bug, Shanara’s continued tenacity allowed
her to win the Chicago Community Artists Assistance Program Grant three different years (2006, 2007, 2012). The grant money paid for her classes at The Green Room, Act One, Sherwood Conservatory of Music and funded her debut album. She found the energy even after long days at work, to take the classes and build an acting resume.
Despite deep family issues confronting her during this time, Shanara skillfully used these challenges to create compelling art. Now as owner of MouthPeace Entertainment, she is using her poetic
lyricism as a Writer, Actress, and Vocalist for creative music
Thought Notebook had the incredible opportunity to interview Shanara and learn about her story of strength and resourcefulness as she explains the inspiration behind her edgy and visionary art projects.
When did it become apparent that it was time to work on your creative passion, the light that fires within, instead of the corporate world? What bug was it that you caught?
I had an epiphany my junior year in undergrad. I was the Vice President of the National Association of Black Accountants, DePaul Chapter. We were at a leadership retreat at the McDonald’s
Corporation in Oakbrook, IL. It was my turn to jump off a ledge and trust my NABA chapter to catch me. I was so afraid! I thought about how scared I was to jump into this finance role, when I didn’t love it. I was even more scared to forfeit any of the multiple job offers I had to choose from upon graduation, in order to really pursue
my art. It was so real! I went ahead with that finance route but was never fully content, restless even. So, no matter where I was assigned, my art always haunted me. When I came back from my
international assignment, the fire was lit! I had taught hip hop dance while living in Ireland. When I came back to Chicago, I continued to teach dance. However, the poetry scene was so alive. I delved right in. I was immediately inspired to step my writing game up. So, I wrote and hopped on any open mic I could to hone my skills, all the while holding onto corporate jobs. Eventually, I got bit with the acting bug as well. I found that my eloquence, and ability to be transparent, translated well in theater and in voice-overs. .... - Kat Lahr/ A Time Of Renewal - Thought Notebook Journal Issue Vol2 No1


Shanara, The M-O-U-T-H-P-E-A-C-E and The Illa100 Band, with vocalist Robiar, drummer, Lyghtskin & percussionist, Mr. Jones brought down the house last night at a set called Eat. Drink. & GROOVE in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. The debut show is part of a two-night series at Jerry’s, a restaurant known for their cosmic sandwiches, amazing North American craft beers, collection of American whiskeys and live music. The décor was clean; nice and modern; think Pottery Barn meets Medieval Times. The atmosphere was relaxing; not full, but not empty. My friend and I scored a park out front and were able to spot a couple of seats near the stage upon entering the venue. Vocalist, Robiar was opening the set with a melodic freestyle of rhythmic flows warming the stage properly, followed by an original piece on top of Pharoahe Monch’s “So Good”. The atmosphere was intimate and soulful. Shanara, The M-O-U-T-H-P-E-A-C-E graced the stage with her beauty. The vegan floacist was absolutely stunning in a strapless black embroidered dress with a hi-low hem & 4 inch peep toe pumps that accentuated her curvy and fit frame; y’all know what they say.. The booty don’t lie. And Trust me.. there were NO tales being told on that stage last night.

I immediately noticed the harmony between Shanara and The Illa100 Band and as I gazed around the room, the crowd was vibing too. Shanara introduced herself properly with her famous M-O-U-T-H-P-E-A-C-E intro. She shared how the Illa100 Band was born; a combination of Chicago, IL ties & an inspiration from the late Fela Kuti, a Nigerian musician and composer. The set started with “I Want You” Medley over Erykah Badu, Floetry & Common followed by my personal favorite, an original, “Love Wrong”. Trust me when I tell you..Everything about that joint is right! When the Illa100 Band took short breaks, The legendary DJ BVax provided us with the perfect tunes to compliment the set and live painting by visual artist Adrienne Powers, completed the Eat. Drink. & GROOVE set with a positive redemption vibe and message. Shanara’s songs took us on an adventure from loving wrong, to loving yourself right, to celebrating your Blackness. When Shanara & The Illa100 band performed “I am Black!”, I could hardly contain myself. The message was powerful, the lyrics were insightful, and the culture could NOT be denied. I was fist pumping & swaying all the way. More culturally divine medleys including “Africa” by D’Angelo, “Black”, and a sing along performance to pay homage to Outkast ignited crowd participation with a 3 timing clap on “Hey Ya” followed by “Paint it Black” and Back to Black”.

The final portion of the set was when Shanara shared her admiration for educators, teachers and mentors and encouraged us all to continue to lift our young people high and pray for them. The Elevated Medley included “Keep Your Head to the Sky”, “Mind Elevation remix”, followed by an outro of “Children of the Ghetto”. What I loved most about Shanara’s performance overall was her presence, her gratitude, her connection with the audience, her chemistry with the talented Illa100 Band, and the perfect blend of humility and confidence. Shanara, The M-O-U-T-H-P-E-A-C-E & The Illa100 Band’s talent cannot be denied. This was the start of a phenomenal collaboration and I’m glad to say I was apart of it all. It was a dope performance and I was glad to be there. And You will too! Come out and support Eat. Drink. & GROOVE with Shanara, The M-O-U-T-H-P-E-A-C-E and the Illa100 Band for the 2nd show on next Thursday 1/23, @ 10 pm at Jerry’s in Wicker Park. - Inez T.S. Woody, Nezabelle

"Kindred the Family Soul and Jill Scott jam session at The Shrine Chicago"

To the delight of the audience Kindred and Jill Scott’s performance featured a lot of improvisation. It was an intimate opportunity to watch the musical creativity flow from the entertainers. Towards the end of the session, Aja from Kindred, passed the microphone around the room looking for hidden talent. Local poet/spoken word artist, Shanara (the Mouthpeace) Sanders, seized the opportunity of a lifetime with her vocal stylings. Fatin of Kindred invited her back to the Shrine. The MouthPeace also gave a copy of her CD, The Discipline & The Diligence, to Jill Scott. - Valante Grant, The Examiner

"Now Playing JAZZ & HIM by Shanara The MouthPeace"

Shanara The MouthPeace

Why I Like It: Cooler than lake effect snow, this jazz-infused jam tells a story of infatuation and love. And I’m definitely co-signing for the lyrics. Hit “play” and see what I’m talhmabout… - Kyra Kyles, The Kyles Files


#14in14 (2014 Songwriting Demo Compilation)
The Love
Love Wrong

BLACK (2013 , Single Release)

The Discipline & The Diligence (2012 Full Album Debut)
D&D Reflection
The Discipline & The Diligence
I Flyy
Mind Elevation Interlude
Twitter Poem (Wide Open)
Jazz & Him
Reindeer Games Interlude
Reindeer Games
Mind Elevation Reprise



Chicago born and raised, Shanara The MouthPeace is a product of hip-hop's “golden era”, soul and gospel music. From her youth, she's been a lyricist and vocalist, singing from the playground to the choir in her hood, to the now over saturated spoken word scene in urban America. She's performed as a poet, actress and choreographer across America and in Ireland (where she lived for 1 year).  Sometimes compared to her artistic role model, Jill Scott, she is still set apart in her own right. She finally found her own voice and style and crowned herself The MouthPeace. (A title well earned since you can add voiceovers, actress and radio personality to her bio).

She released her debut album, “The Discipline & The Diligence” (D&D), in 2012. D&D features some of her most well known songs, “Jazz & Him” and “Reindeer Games”, which has been heralded by several critics and is in rotation on internet radio. D&D is a unique balance, showcasing her singing, pure prose and spoken word with obvious hip hop and jazz undertones. In 2014, she committed to #14in14, her songwriting demo of 14 songs produced in 2014.  She has set a solid foundation as songwriter by writing every song in this demo.  Hits like "Champion" and "The Love" is a testament that The MouthPeace has a lot to offer in music.

She is a 4 Time CAAP Chicago Grant Winner. Most recently, she won the CAAP Grant for co-creating the song and video project, #YELLOWSxS, with SharmonJarmon! These days, she is adamant about becoming fluent in French, and being known as a hit songwriter through her current music project #14in14.