Interviews Ashaala Shanae

Published on April 26th, 2023 | by Crystal Willis


Celebrity Vocal Expert Ashaala Shanae Helps Creatives Monetize Their Voice and Take Power Over Mental Health

Ashaala Shanae is the Founder of Vocal Wall Street, formerly known as the Music Arts Healing Institute (MAHI). She’s also the Founder of Lovestruck Inc, a nonprofit organization that deals with mental health. Shanae is an International Author, Speaker and nationally-recognized Vocal Celebrity Vocal Coach and Vocal Health Expert. The Hype Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Ashaala and get to know more about her inspiring journey:

Tell us about some of the highlights of your career! What was one breakout moment that you felt really set things off for you?

My career has spanned 20 years, and I’m a celebrity vocal health performance pedagogy and voice monetization coach. What I do is I help high-earning and high-level speakers and singers, educators, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and even athletes learn how to take their voice, and not only maintain and manage it, but also how to monetize it as a creative entrepreneur or mentor. I’ve had so many people wanting to know about how to monetize their literal voice, as well as their figurative voice – which is their reason for being and their creativity and their purpose. One breakout moment for me was working with the late Betty Wright. She was my God Mom and I toured with her for 17 years, as well as Yolanda Adams, who’s like a mentor of mine. Another highlight was doing the Grammys Tribute for Patti LaBelle, and working with Adam Blackstone in vocally producing that.

Ashaala Shanae

Ashaala Shanae

Yeah, I love that. So you’ve worked with the best of the best and you also every day you’re mentoring, you’re working with individuals that are entrepreneurs or they are just getting started. So what are some of the common fears or limiting beliefs that you see come up often?

One of the biggest challenges I see is that a lot of people, whether they are novice or celebrities, is dealing with performance anxiety, nerves, and stage fright. We’re finding there are so many people that still don’t believe that their voice is enough. So before I can even get to the skill set, I have to go back to mindset.  First, I give them affirmations and really tell them why their voice is enough.  The reason why I start there is because this plays into how they value their voice when it’s time to do business. It really starts to affect their business, believe it or not, especially when it comes to their voice but definitely limiting beliefs. That fear and anxiety comes onto the stage, the platform, the studio, the podcast, and the microphone. It’s definitely one of the greatest, most common challenges that I’ve witnessed in vocal mentorship.

I love how you are helping people to monetize their voice and level up their mindset so that they can really step in to step onto bigger stages. What are some of the unique challenges or mistakes that you see speakers are making? 

One of the biggest challenges, especially for people in the edutainment and entertainment world, is that they’re not monetizing. They’re not creating passive income streams, and they’re not automating and systematizing after the podcast. So, we teach creating passive streams of income through digital real estate. A lot of people just do the podcast on the front end, but there’s nothing on the back end. The biggest mistake is not scaling and flowing listeners into something else that can create income.

Well, you yourself have built quite the Empire, and you recently did a TEDx talk. Tell us, how did you snag that opportunity and what did you take away from it?

My job is to literally help experts to come out of just being in the box of a title to become thought leaders in their industry. Naturally, I’ve also been positioning myself to not just be a vocal coach. I’m a businesswoman, a thought leader that happens to be a vocal coach, but I really am an Expert. So, I was approached by someone that said, have you ever done a TEDx talk? So I was asked to come on a TEDx and share a little bit more about the world voice and how that looks for real-world people, especially in entrepreneurship and advancing in their careers. I’ve done TEDx twice, and I’m getting ready to do a third one in South Africa. I’ve talked about how we’re able to use our pain to really propel us into a purpose, and how that pain and purpose is our figurative voice. I talk about how if we don’t allow the things that we’ve gone through to be used and see it as if nothing is wasted, then it muzzles our literal voice. Everyone is born with a purpose, and your voice is connected to your purpose. 

That is so inspirational. Your non-profit Lovestruck Inc. has done a lot of work to bring awareness to suicide and mental health. What inspired you to start the organization and to keep it going?

Yes, as a creative I’ve dealt with mental health challenges. I started Lovestruck, 10 years ago and I really wanted to create a safe space for creatives, because we’re melancholy by nature. We’re filled with spurts of creativity and then it’s followed by spurts of depression – perfectly hidden depression, high functioning anxiety. That’s how we create, right, we wear our emotions on our sleeve, and we put our art out there. A lot of people are overachievers or dealt with perfectionism and stuff like that, so I started this and it has literally grown to something spectacular. We’ve had over 100 volunteers that come and volunteer for Lovestruck for the nonprofit, we’ve even we do something called “A Night of Hope.” We’re bringing communities together, especially black and brown communities where a lot of people don’t have access to health insurance. There’s misguided information or this kind of a misnomer that says that black people don’t need therapy, or “we’re not crazy,” and just different types of stigmas. So, we’re breaking down those stigmas and normalizing psychotherapy as a way to heal, especially when it comes to black communities and faith-based communities. There are churches on every corner like liquor stores, and as a result of that, you have a lot of us who have been raised in homes to think that we just pray everything away. No, that doesn’t happen. Sometimes you got to sit on a couch. Sometimes you got to take some medication. Sometimes you need a support group or community. What we do with Lovestruck Inc. is we provide resources and information, and also do Safe Space events, where we bring the faith-based community as well as psychotherapists together to really talk about healing from science to spiritual enrichment. 

Incredible. During the pandemic, mental health challenges like suicide and depression were heightened for a lot of people. It was really a difficult time and a lot of folks lost loved ones. Do you envision some ways that Lovestruck will continue to grow and meet that need?

Absolutely, and it’s interesting that you say that because in 2020, I went through my own experience. The day the country shut down from the pandemic, I lost my Father to COVID, and then two months after my godmother, the late legendary Betty Wright passed away. Then, I lost two lovestruck members that were actually a big part of the movement, one from COVID, and one from a tragic accident. I lost seven friends on top of that, a long-term relationship on top of that, and my mother was diagnosed with cancer and ended up getting COVID and almost died. So in 2020, if I can tell you as a visionary of a mental health advocacy program, I went through severe mental and emotional distress to the point where I couldn’t sleep for days. I had to seek therapy myself. I had to be on medication to get some rest. I dealt with severe PTSD of loss in grief. I didn’t care how much money I was making in the bank account and believe it or not, because I dealt with passive income streams, it was probably one of my highest-grossing years. But, I didn’t care because I couldn’t see past the grief. So because of that, I believe, nothing is wasted. I believe that I as a visionary had to go through that so that I can be able to incorporate and document what we need to do moving forward to provide even greater and more impacting programs for our community in the area of mental health advocacy and awareness. In September, we plan on doing another night of hope and healing in honor of suicide awareness month. 

Wow, that’s powerful, and condolences to you on the heartbreaking loss of your loved ones. I love that and I can’t wait to see what you guys do and volunteer. May is mental health awareness month so I love that we’re talking about this subject more. Just to close out, tell everyone where to keep up with you!

Find me on all social platforms @AshaalaShanae, and check out for my courses and training. I’m super, super excited for what’s to come!


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About the Author

Crystal Willis is an Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Entertainment Publicist and CEO of The Omni Firm. She is also a Transformational Life Coach and Founder of The Crysalis. Her personal story has been seen by millions of people on media outlets like Marie Claire Magazine, PBS, Blaze TV, Daily Signal and more.

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