|Origin||Cairns, Queensland, Australia|
|Associated acts||The Last Kinection|
|Past members||Simone Stacey
Shakaya were a two-piece girl group from Australia, that consisted of Simone Stacey and Naomi Wenitong, two Cairns, North Queensland based songwriters and performers. The two met at the Atsic Music College in 1999 while studying an Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander music course and they had both been writing individually before they met each other. The girls were initially discovered in Cairns by Reno Nicastro and Michael Pearson-Adams. Nicastro produced most of the girls' songs and gave them free studio time for two years.
The band's name, 'Shakaya', was originally going to be 'Kashaya', but then their manager mixed the letters around and it became 'Shakaya'. Stacey and Wenitong did some research and found out that the word "shakaya" has a broad range of meanings in a lot of different cultures. The one that really stood out for them was the meaning "voices in the wind" (which they incorrectly credit as "Native American Indian," but is actually a Hindu female name). Shakaya established the duo as Australia's premier female urban pop act and saw them tour with Destiny's Child, Usher, Kylie Minogue and Ja Rule.
Naomi is now a member of the hip-hop group The Last Kinection. In April, 2013, Simone auditioned for Season 2 of The Voice (Australia) and after successfully having three judges turn their chairs she chose Seal as her coach. Simone was however unable to defeat Michelle Martinez in their Battle Round and was eliminated.
The girls were in Sydney, Australia in August 2001 and that morning they had a showcase lined up at Sony Music. It was a small, intimate room where they had to perform and they performed four songs. At the end of it, they walked out of the room and within five minutes Sony Music came back and told them they were signed. On 18 January 2002, the duo released their first and debut song called "Stop Calling Me". It is a song about stalking situations based on a real-life experience that they and their male and female friends have had. The song entered the charts at number forty-five on 25 February 2002. The song rose up the charts from then on and because of more airplay the song managed to peak into the top ten at number five. It became Shakaya's biggest hit of their career, being certified platinum by ARIA, becoming the forty-third highest selling single for 2002, and being nominated for the "Highest Selling Single" for the 2002 ARIA Awards. The second song released was "Sublime", released in Australia on 17 May 2002 and became the duo's second top twenty single peaking at number nineteen in June 2002. "Cinderella" was the third and last song released by the duo; it became their third top twenty single, peaking at number sixteen, and it was certified gold by ARIA. Their debut self-titled album Shakaya was finally released in Australia on 18 October 2002 and was received well, debuting in the charts at number five on 28 October 2002. The album fell to number forty-eight the next week and only spent seven weeks in the top one hundred. On 14 April 2003 the band released a cover version of the Michael Jackson hit "The Way You Make Me Feel"; the girls said it was amazing to cover of one of his songs because he is the King of Pop. The song had a minor success on the charts peaking at number twenty-one and staying in the top fifty for seven weeks.
Are You Ready: 2005-2006
Are You Ready was recorded over an eighteen month period in Cairns, Sydney, Australia and the United States with a range of producers. The first song released from the album was titled "Are You Ready?" and was released on 10 June 2005; it was written and produced by the MadNotes team (who have previously worked with Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake). The song was promoted well and peaked at number twenty-five on the singles chart. Five months later, the duo released the second and last song from the album, "We Ain't Goin' Down", on 13 November 2005, and it was their lowest charting single, peaking at number fifty. The album was finally released on 5 March 2006 with only those two singles released from it and did not chart in the albums top one hundred in Australia.
The group disbanded due to Naomi Wenitong joining the group The Last Kinection in 2006.
|Are You Ready|
|2002||"Stop Calling Me"||5||Shakaya|
|2003||"The Way You Make Me Feel"||21||Single-only|
|2005||"Are You Ready?"||25||Are You Ready|
|"We Ain't Goin' Down"||50|
Awards and recognition
|2002||ARIA Awards||Highest Selling Single ("Stop Calling Me")||Nominated|
- "Shakaya at Girl.com.au". Girl.com.au. Retrieved 3 June 2007.
- "The power of two". VIBE Australia. Retrieved 3 June 2007.
- "Meaning of Shakaya". Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- SHAKAYA - STOP CALLING ME (SINGLE) (287538). Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 3 June 2007.
- ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2002. ARIA. Retrieved 3 June 2007.
- ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2002 Singles. ARIA. Retrieved 3 June 2007.
- "Artist: Shakaya ARIA Awards information". ARIA Awards. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- "SHAKAYA - SUBLIME (SINGLE) (287539)". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 3 June 2007.
- "SHAKAYA - CINDERELLA (SINGLE) (287536)". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 3 June 2007.
- "Charts 28 October 2002". ARIA Charts. Retrieved 3 June 2007.
- "Shakaya Release New Single". Shakaya.com.au. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- "SHAKAYA - THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL (SINGLE) (287537)". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- "Are You Ready". Shakaya.com.au. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- "Are You Ready For Some Shakaya Instores, Sydney??". Shakaya.com.au. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- "SHAKAYA - ARE YOU READY (SINGLE) (287535)". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 6 June 2007.
- "SHAKAYA - WE AIN'T GOIN' DOWN (SINGLE) (261869)". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 6 June 2007.