Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Shanti Das has been a key player in the Music Industry for over twenty years.

Das is a Syracuse University alumna.

Shanti Das

(Courtesy of Ras)

Shanti received many awards and scholarships during her attendance at Syracuse.  Holding a radio position as a personality of the institution’s campus station; then graduating with her Bachelor’s of Science degree with a focus in Communications.

Shanti Das officially got her start in the Music Industry as an Intern.

In her interview with Sway (below) she suggests this as a way of getting your foot in the door with a company- interning. She also discusses more about getting her start, and a few details of one of her books, The Hip Hop Professional 2.0: A Woman’s Guide To Climbing The Ladder of Success In The Entertainment Business.

According to Press Reset Entertainment, Das’ company’s website, she was first a Promotions Assistant for Capitol Records. She then worked as a summer intern at Sony Music. Das later went on to work with Outkast, TLC, T.I., Terrence Howard, Stevie Wonder, La Face Records, The Grady Health System, Ludacris, Erykah Badu, and so many more. It is no wonder they call her a “legend”.

When Shanti Das was only seven months old though- her father committed suicide. Das’ mother chose to bury herself in motherhood and left the children to cope with what had happened on their own.

“My mom shut down, and we didn’t talk about my dad’s suicide as a family…People would ask, ‘What happened to your father?’ and I would just say, ‘Oh, he died,’ because it was too painful for me to talk about. As a result, my siblings and I had to deal with it on our own. My sister started going to counseling when she was in college. My brother,—I don’t know that he ever properly dealt with it. I dealt with it once I was in my thirties while living in New York City.”- Shanti Das via Black Enterprise

Das also opens up and tells the staff at Black Enterprise about her own struggle with depression. She even mentions that one of her best friends had also committed suicide.

“I started thinking about my dad again, and it all came to a head; I talked myself into a downward spiral…Different things in my life changed. I walked away from a lucrative career and started over. I started doing more community service while maintaining several music projects and clients. It was that experience that birthed Silence the Shame. My best friend also had committed suicide three and a half years ago. I have a family member that suffers from bipolar disorder. I felt like, for whatever reason, these situations were placed in my life; God wanted me to deal with it head-on and be a voice of light.”- Shanti Das via Black Enterprise

(Courtesy of Shanti Das via Black Enterprise)

Shanti has since started working on the #SilenceTheShame initiative, and having been diagnosed with PTSD myself back in 2015- I would say that she is definitely “a voice of light”. Also, with May being Mental Health Awareness Month, it is therefore an especially great time to educate our communities and help more people struggling with these issues.

According to Emory University, over 34,000 people commit suicide each year.

Emory also mentions that while more males die from suicide, more women attempt suicide. Additionally, it adds that Whites are about twice as likely to commit suicide than Blacks. Maybe these statistics have something to do with why it seems mental health, and suicide, have been sort of taboo topics in the Black community? However, especially looking at instances like Mari and Mercedes- neither should be.

#SilenceTheShame works to keep the conversation going. The social media initiative launched on May 5th with support from Terri J. Vaughn, Nick Cannon, Chloe and Halle, and others. On May 6th, there was a Silence The Shame Community Health Fair and Symposium. Then, on May 7th, the event concluded with sermons about mental health. The sermons took place at the historical Ebenezer Baptist Church Ministry and was the first sermon of its kind.

“I know how to keep myself centered,” she says. “There’s no shame and stigma on my end for having to take medication to help me get better. That’s no different than anybody who has diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. But, when it comes to mental health, sometimes people throw out the word ‘crazy.’ What’s ‘crazy?’ It’s a chemical imbalance. So, you get something to help balance out those chemicals. I’m trying to eradicate people from thinking that someone is ‘crazy.’”- Shanti Das via Black Enterprise

Lastly, if you, or anyone you know, needs help- there are great sites for affordable online counseling, i.e. iPrevail and BetterHelp, that even offer a bit of free counseling. You can also text 741-741 (the Crisis Text Line) for immediate assistance.

Anora Blazin