When the music industry took a turn towards promoting artists who were from a cookie cutter mold in the mid 2000’s, there were bound to be some true musicians who would suffer as a result. Sunshine Anderson is a perfect example; a talented artist with a very powerful voice who began to not get the recognition she deserved despite making quality music. Imagine pouring your heart and soul into the music only for it to not get promoted and not reach the masses who desperately seek it. That’s become the reality for many artists, and as Sunshine will tell it, is forcing her to decide if she even wants to continue. YouKnowIGotSoul sat down with her prior to a recent performance in NYC and discussed what she’s been up to in the past few years, deciding whether or not to create new music, her recent radio show, and much more.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Your last album “The Sun Shines Again” came out in 2010. Bring us up to speed on what you’ve been up to since then.
Sunshine Anderson: I’m a mommy of a beautiful five year old little girl named Sky. I’m just trying to decide whether or not I want to get back into this industry again as cut-throat as it can be. I’m back and I’m here. I’m working on a little bit of music, we’ll see what happens.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Would you say it’s been challenging as an artist? What’s holding you back?
Sunshine Anderson: It’s definitely challenging when you’re an artist and you want to sing and there are powers that make it hard for you to do. It’s definitely a challenge when you’re limited in what you think you should be. That’s a challenge in itself and then it gets so challenging that you decide “well maybe I should do something else.” During some downtime before the third album, I went to cosmetology school in Atlanta and got my license. I multitask, I’m a jack of all trades. *Laughs*
YouKnowIGotSoul: You’ve made some great music over the years and it hasn’t got the exposure its deserved.
Sunshine Anderson: Yeah that’s a challenge. Artists are serious when they say that their songs and albums are their babies. You put your heart and soul in it. When it’s not marketed or promoted or whatever the powers may be and it doesn’t get to the people, you have a hard time with that. Sometimes I fight with continuing to chase after an industry that hasn’t been very nice to me. That’s a challenge definitely.
YouKnowIGotSoul: I know you’ve been doing this radio show right now.
Sunshine Anderson: I was a radio personality on my home station Power 98 in Charlotte, North Carolina. I did that for a year and a half. Now, I have a segment called” Sunshine’s Situations” and now I’m taking that segment to my homegirl’s show “Real Girls Rock”. You can find us online at www.realgirlsrockshow.com and make sure you check us out every Tuesday at 8 PM. Being a radio personality still connects me to the industry and I still get a chance to be me. I may not be singing, but you still get to hear my voice regardless. It’s great, I love it. Make sure you check us out!
YouKnowIGotSoul: Your first album came out in 2001. If you were to go back and do it again, would you have approached the music and the industry differently than you did?
Sunshine Anderson: I would have approached the industry totally different. When I came in, I wasn’t prepared. Nothing can prepare you for this first of all. The day it happens, it’s like “Whoa!” Nothing can prepare you for it, but I wasn’t educated. I have a book that I’m writing right now. I wasn’t educated though, I had no idea what it was. If I were to be real honest with you, when I moved to California for the first time, I thought they were giving me a trial run in the studio. When we recorded the first three songs, I didn’t really understand that those songs were going on my album. I kind of thought “I’ve never been in a professional studio before. These are just dummy songs that we’re doing.” I was really not prepared and I hadn’t thought about imaging, magazines, hair stylists, sponsors and different things. I just wanted to sing. Would I have approached it differently? Yes. I tell people all the time when they want to get into the industry, educate yourself. Doctors go to medical school, cosmetologists go to cosmetology school. Read these books and just educate yourself. You can’t call yourself an artist today if you don’t have YouTube and Twitter. People run into me all day long and ask how they can be a star and it’s like “Do you have this?” because you have to do a little bit of leg work these days. These days you have to work hard. I would have gone about it totally differently, I would have educated myself.
YouKnowIGotSoul: What motivates you to continue doing music these days?
Sunshine Anderson: Honestly what happens is that, the last two albums I said “I’m not doing it anymore.” What happens is that I go in the studio and this melody is playing. The music really speaks. The last album I wasn’t going to do and there were certain songs I wasn’t going to record, but you walk in the studio and you hear it through the big speakers and it’s really just an out of body experience. It touches my soul and heart because it is me and before I know it, I’m writing. You can’t fight it, if it’s in you and it’s your passion, I guess I’ll find a way to get around the obstacles and come back to who I am and what I love.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Anything you’d like to add?
Sunshine Anderson: Follow me on Twitter @Sunshine and Instagram @IAmSunshineAnderson.