WARWICK, R.I. – Susie Shannon is a remarkable combo of Mojo and Dojo.
Shannon, just 9, a 4th grader at Hoxie Elementary School in Warwick, will test for her brown belt in karate next month; but on Tuesday, she released her debut album of Contemporary Christian music called, “I Live For You.”
“I couldn’t do this without my parents helping me to do my best and my friends from ShoDan Karate, especially Renshi Jay, teaching me to have the confidence to go for my dreams,” said Susie.
For the past three months, Susie has been going to school five days per week, going to karate up to five days per week, putting in hours of studio time for her album and she still has found time to be a normal kid.
In fact, many of her classmates didn’t even believe her when she first told them that she had an album coming out later this month.
Susie first sang backup at age 5 on her mother’s Christmas album. Susie’s mother is the Rev. Kelly Swanson, an Evangelist with the Assemblies of God Church. Susie has grown up in the parish, and has always traveled to her mother’s concerts to watch her mother perform.
“Singers come a dime a dozen, but she had a heart to want to follow along with what Mommy was doing,” said Mommy. “Her peers, adults and others began to take notice and encourage her.”
Counting Mission Six from Disney and Justin Bieber among many influences beyond her parents, her new CD has been produced by Michael Panza at Genesis Artistry Studios. It contains five songs, selected by the young singer.
“Susie hopes to be a positive influence to her peers and the community and wanted to use a platform of influence where she can begin to speak about causes, that even at this young age, touch her heart,” said her mother. Such issues include human trafficking and autism, as she is the sister of an older brother with the affliction.
As for mixing karate with vocals, Susie’s songs come with a punch. They are upbeat, hip swinging tunes, and while Christian Contemporary, at a level current for her age group.
The theme of the album is that you can be whatever you want to be and communicates this through her relationship with Jesus Christ.
“She has a burden even at her young age to see others empowered that they can live a life that is full and that you can walk in the dreams that you have,” said her doting mother. “But she recognizes, after nine years of church, that we are all left empty in our destiny without having God in our life and that through him he empowers us to fulfill and follow our dreams.
Susie fired her own uplifting salvo for any other child with ambitions and little means.
“I would tell them you be who you were meant to be, and don’t listen to the nay voices around you. There will be many, but keep going!” said the Brown Belter.
Fore more information, go to www.kellyshannonmusic.com .