March 2024: Shondra Jepperson


Artist of the Month     >    2024 Artists


NAME: Shondra Jepperson
LOCATION: Sedona, Arizona
ORIGIN: Amarillo, TX & San Diego, CA
ART: Music, Theater, Production
MAIN GENRE: Singing, Songwriting, Acting, Voice-Over artist, Filmmaking
TRAINING: Juilliard School of Drama, Self-taught filmmaker, Self-taught audio/video production
ARTS AFFILIATIONS: BMI, Juilliard, The Artists Forum

BIO: Julliard Alumni Shondra Jepperson is an award winning composer, singer, actress, and master voice coach with 45 years of performance credits in the entertainment industry. Alongside her work as an actress, Shondra has starred in her own musical shows in both small and large venues in Las Vegas and Reno, as well as toured across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and on popular cruise lines. Shondra’s original work includes five self-produced musicals, two independently produced CDs, and several songs published on compilation albums.

Additionally, Shondra has received 13 songwriting awards from both national and international music and film festivals, including Best Rock/Alternative for her song Greed Incorporated in The Artists Forum Music Competition: 2021. She is a master voice and stage performance coach and recently produced her own 27 course on-line coaching program, Unlock the Singing Superstar In You. Shondra collaborates virtually with several songwriters globally, and most recently is the songwriter and co-producer of the edutainment film, WEirD Detention, scheduled for production in Summer 2024.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Shondra has performing rock concerts with her original work for 12,000+ attendees in California and Mexico. She’s performed on stage next to jazz great Tom Scott who played sax on the theme song she wrote for Cancervive’s Laugh For LifeGilda Radner Awards events in Los Angeles, CA. She has performed original shows six nights a week at the MGM Grand (now Hilton) in Reno and Las Vegas, NV.

Lastly, Shondra cites her favorite career highlight to date as being the thrill of having her first music video, Greed Incorporated placed in 13 film and music festivals, winning four awards: Best Metal Song at the 2019 American Tracks Music Award, Semi-Finalist for the Bob Fosse Award for Best Music Video at the 2019 Chicago Amarcord Arthouse Television Awards, Finalist Award at the 2020 World Music & Independent Film Festival, and Best Rock/Alternative Award at The Artists Forum Music Competition: 2021 .

LATEST WORKS: Song: Greed Incorporated (2019), Music Video: Greed Incorporated (2019), Multiple songs for the upcoming animated feature Santa’s Magnificent Four (2024), Pre-production for the film WEirD Detention (2024).

MEET THE ARTIST PROFILE: MEET Shondra Jepperson (2021)

2021 JURIED ARTS AWARDS – MUSIC WINNERS: Shondra Jepperson’s Acceptance Speech

WORK SAMPLES: Music Video: Greed Incorporated, Music audio (8 titles) via


Please describe your artistic themes
My artistic themes include: social issues, empowerment, inspirational, aspirational, rebellion, loss, and romantic themes. Additionally, I write in most genres – from rock to pop, musical theater to comedy.

Please describe your creative process
When writing a song for a project whether it’s songs for a movie or theater show, my first step is talking to scriptwriter(s) and director(s) to acquire the information and details. If the script is available this allows me even more clarity – emotional connections with characters, mood, viewpoint, where my song will be placed, so I can fully support the scene. 

I let all that info settle in. I keep my cell phone nearby cause usually melodies and lyrics come to me at night while starting to fall asleep or when I’m doing what I call mundane meditation – showering, cleaning dishes, driving, walking, etc. 

If this is a project with a quick turn-around deadline I do a brain dump (i.e.words, phrases, ideas) that spurns on more ideas both lyrically and musically. I choose to work on keyboards as well as my acoustic guitar – whichever instrument I feel is more fitting with the kind of song I’m composing. Ideas can also come from rhythms The topline (melody) usually forms at the same time I’m writing lyrics. 

If this is something I’ve recorded on my phone, let’s say the night or day before, I let it rest, (if not on deadline), and revisit 24 hours later. At that point it’s a matter of writing a chord chart for it, starting to arrange it on my DAW (digital audio workstation ie: Logic Pro X) and working on the lyrics at the same time.

As a lyric writer, I believe in the old adage of less is more and rewrites. Because I’m also a singer, I know what words, phrases are going to be more fluid or difficult for someone to sing. After I’ve got the music and lyrics close enough to what I like, I then do a scratch arrangement of the song, including laying down scratch lead vocals and harmony parts. I don’t fully produce the song right away until I’ve played the song for or sent the mp3  to whomever I’m working with. Once ok’d by them, I record and produce the song.

What are your artistic goals? What do you need to achieve them?
I aspire to find more opportunities in songwriting and song placements for both film and theater works: live-action narratives, documentaries, animated shorts and features, commercials, and theater productions. Additionally, I’d want to do more voice-over acting for shorts and full features – especially animation. I’m always seeking collaborations with filmmakers and composers who are already doing this professionally.

To achieve my goals, I’m always looking to connect with filmmakers, producers, directors, and music supervisors who are looking for original songs including TV director/producers. Additionally, as co-producer and songwriter for the film WEirD Detention, I’m actively seeking funds for the project so that my partners and I can stay on course and begin filming this summer.

What are your views on the industry?
It’s become increasingly more apparent to me that indie films as well as indie artists/songwriters are the answer to a mundane overly redundant commercial movie and music industry.  Although there are popular themes we all work with, the superhero, blow ‘em up, (for the sake of special effects), kind of movies – even remakes  -are generally made to fill studio coffers. 

I am optimistic that the Indie industry is the answer to enlightening perspectives and assisting with expanding minds by covering subjects and situations that need to be seen and heard. It’s always been this way although now, with the way our world has been tilted with vitriol, separation, violence, and malicious bullying, I feel it’s our responsibility as Indie artists to do what we can with our talent to be a positive agent for change. 

What advice would you give to emerging artists?
For songwriters, I’d suggest a book called The Artist’s Way. It will open up your creativity with exercises that will allow yourself to think differently about writing. When you write – write freely and then later become the objective editor. As the editor, be honest with yourself about rewrites. Ask yourself, does this word work? What’s best for this verse? Always stay open and not attached when a change needs to be made whether that’s lyrically or musically. 

Studying the art of song writing is a smart idea so you can get acquainted with ALL types of music. You never know when you might be asked to write a song in a certain genre. Listen to everything – even music genres you might not normally listen to. Explore where your talents as a songwriter fits best. 

Be disciplined with your work-ethic and follow through. People will remember you for that and hire you on that basis alone besides your talent. There are a lot of talented people out there and many are not dependable. So… show up as that person who is always dependable and easy to deal with.

Be bold, daring, and say something meaningful in your own way through your songwriting or filmmaking. For songwriters – not on the nose lyrics but rather clever ones that add to whatever you’re writing around or about. And, as I learned a long time ago, with you must be brave to be a songwriter especially when you write around a subject that could be controversial or maybe something personal. Songwriting like acting requires us to be private in public.

As far as filmmaking, take what’s is important to you, or what you’ve been through, and create films that create conversations. No one talks anymore, so be the one to potentially make that conversation happen by moving people to feel something, move them to laughter, tears or make them a bit uncomfortable, make them think and want to talk about it.

Keep learning! Our industry is is in the midst of major change. For instance – Instead of making A.I. as some horrific thing, learn to use it as an assistant to make your life easier. A.I. isn’t going anywhere so embrace it while keeping your creative integrity. I wouldn’t write a song or script with A.I. – I would use it like a person I’d hire to assist me with my ideas and research.

Be versatile, always ready to dive in the deep end. Stay uncomfortable by learning new skills. It’s good for your creativity, business, and will be an extra asset when a situation calls for it. Surround yourself with talented people better than you are so you’ll grow and also bring your A+ game.

Arrive prepared when you’re on set or/and record in a studio. Always go the extra mile to keep your bar of excellence high for yourself as well as all those involved and observing.  Be the example by your actions of professional discipline with your work-ethic – following through when you promise to do something, or on deadlines. Show up ready to work, leave your crapola at outside the door and show up positive and always ready to work. They say 80% of life is showing up. I’ll add how we show up is essential. Treat those around you on set and in studios as you would want to be treated. 

And lastly, develop resilience as your superpower! When you think creatively outside the box whether that’s for funding or in an emergency – your creative resilience will always find a solution. Stay the course like a race-driver, keeping your eyes one the road and off the wall. If you focus on the wall, you’ll run into it. Stay focused on your dream, be persistent, mindful, and eventually by staying the course, you will manifest it.

INSTAGRAM: @shondramusic
FACEBOOK: @shondramusic
YOUTUBE: @shondramusic
JURIED ARTS AWARDS: 2021 Music Results (clip 1 of 5)

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Vivi-anne Riordan March 13, 2024 - 8:08 pm

I am not surprised, you are so deserving. Congratulations my dear friend.❤️❤️😎


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