Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear, I rise.
— Maya Angelou

Shanell Alyssa is an award-winning creative visionary, musician, and candidate for a Master of Arts in Music Therapy and Mental Health Counseling who believes music is a resource that can teach us to better love ourselves and one another. She often recalls the story of her grandparents’ flight from the deep south to Massachusetts in the early 1950’s and is reminded of where she comes from. This history releases a fire within that has compelled her to seek justice in love.

Shanell’s musical beginnings are rooted in her upbringing in the Black gospel tradition. She sang from a very young age and was a member of her church’s choirs; taking piano lessons early on and later teaching herself to play the acoustic guitar,


Shanell’s creativity peaked during her college years when she began writing and arranging songs. She strives to tell stories through music and hopes to surprise listeners with unconventional musical and stylistic pairings. She weaves illustrative lyrics with r&b and soul arrangements and lays spoken word verses over folk-like acoustic guitar progressions.

Shanell takes her music beyond stages and into communities where she hosts innovative discussions of social issues and facilitates diversity and inclusion dialogue. She seeks to promote identity formation and implore communities to be cognizant of the injustices in our world, spreading this message through music in its most basic form. She makes a charge to all who listen to stand for justice in love because love and grace are stronger than anger and hate.