Every once in a while, an exceptional and incredible talent impacts the gospel music industry and leaves an indelible impression. Psalmist Shonda L. English is one of those rapidly expanding outstanding musical virtuosos who has done just that!
She is a native of Boston, Massachusetts. Shonda began singing on the children’s choir at the tender age of three and began playing the piano by ear at the age of five. When she sings, she becomes the vehicle through which the intent of worship and praise is fully recognized. What a supersized talent the Lord has given to the gospel industry! Please hear Shonda in her finest hour on her sensational and anointed new project “Travelin'" which is scheduled for release in the Spring of 2023. This project is on Shonda’s own record label “Gospel Diva Records.” This extraordinary project features collaborations from astonishing gospel legends Lemmie Battles, Richard Gibbs, Jonathan Dubose, Bishop Neal Roberson and Dorothy Norwood.
Shonda’s new single release “Step Right In” offers a delightful hand clapping, foot stomping and rewarding listening experience. Her vocal quality is riveting and quite astounding on this single. Moreover, this sensational single is currently impacting radio!
Not only is she gifted with phenomenal vocal capabilities, Shonda is also a multi-faceted gospel recording artist, organist, percussionist, choral conductor, composer, radio personality and novelist. She also plays the congas, tambourine, xylophone and the flute. In addition, she is an extraordinary “actress” who has appeared for her 4 th time on stage and her “3 rd time in a leading role. Her extraordinary gifts and talents continue to revolutionize the gospel music industry coupled with inevitable proof of an even greater future.
Shonda’s educational background and formal training exemplifies her spirit of excellence and commitment regarding her gifting. She is a graduate of Sumter High School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina Upstate. She taught in both the private and public sectors. However, in 2013, she left the classroom to pursue her music career full-time and to pen her first novel, “Oni’s Coffee” under the pseudonym, E’ShaVonne.
Significantly, she received formal training and piano instructions from the late Albert Linton. She also received vocal instructions from Dr. Sonja Sepulveda and her mentorship from Tyrone Block, Choir Master Director, of Chicago’s Stellar Award winning choir, The Thompson Community Singers. Magnificently, all of these elements combined afforded Shonda the ability to be an astounding Music Director for Greater St. Paul Non-Denominational Church founded by her father and the Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church both located in Sumter, South Carolina. Currently, she serves as Vice President of the Southern Region of the Progressive National Baptist Convention’s Music Department. Recently, Shonda became an integral part of the Upstate Chapter of the GMWA, where she serves as guest clinician and an organist for the newly formed SC Unity Mass Choir out of Greenville, South Carolina. Shonda is the vibrant and prolific host of her highly successful weekly international radio show “The Old Landmark Gospel Hour”. The show is syndicated on “thirty-plus” radio stations, including stations in the UK and Belize.
Shonda is the youngest child of the late Bishop W. T. English. Thus, she is continuing his legacy by overseeing his music publishing company, BEEA Music. She also hosts the annual Gospel Fest, “Gospel In The Park,” at the Bishop W. T. English Memorial Park which was established in 1996.
For gospel music connoisseurs who want to savor the best of Shonda’s extraordinary vocals and music, “Travelin'" and “Step Right In” are just what you have been waiting for! Rhythmic agility and powerful anointed lyrics encourages the listener to travel on the journey with God. “Travelin'” is an authentic masterpiece offering fourteen power-packed songs which are compelling and encouraging. “Step Right In” offers pure joy and a keen listening appreciation from the first note. Both are compelling musical stories which end well, indeed! Besides, these projects immediately establishes dialogue with the melody and lyrics possessing musical styling at its best. Such profoundness affirms the wonderment of music awakening your spirit and soul! The arrangements are rich and meticulous which raises the bar of excellence. Shonda truly brings to her listening audience “ministry through song” with a personalized melodic/harmony. Her incredible vocal capability transcends and mesmerizes gospel music lovers.
A quick glance at Shonda’s repertoire is quite impressive. She released earlier CD projects entitled, “Shonda & Discoveries of SC,” “The Only Way to Fly” and “Think On These Things.”
Psalmist Shonda English cordially invites you to share her musical journey on her current Project “Travelin’” and her recently released Single “Step Right In.” You will be glad you did!
Shonda’s Motto: “If you never take a leap of faith, you’ll never know how high you can fly.”