Thursday, August 18, 2022
The Makings of a Star: ‘Presenting Princess Shaw’ Inspires the Uninspired
By Shonassee Shaver, Staff Writer
Published August 24, 2017

PBS television series POV “Presenting Princess Shaw is an unlikely story about an unlikely star. (Photo Courtesy: Magnolia Pictures)

Indie artist, Princess Shaw proves that dreams really do come true in her own documentary, “Presenting Princess Shaw.”

“Samantha Montgomery is an all-American modern Cinderella,” states POV Executive Producer Justine Nagan.

Down to earth singer attests to grabbing life by the balls and going gunz blazing to acquiring one’s own fairy-tale ending.


Princess Shaw hasn’t garnered a huge fan base as of yet, but is well on her way to achieving worldwide stardom with her inspiring documentary, “Presenting Princess Shaw,” which debuted on PBS television series POV (Point of View) last month.

Originally from Chicago, Samantha Montgomery a.k.a Princess Shaw found her voice in New Orleans. The singer cares for the elderly by day and by night, she writes and performs at open mic night, auditions for “The Voice” and travels to Atlanta to further her musical aspirations, all while presenting her life and music as Princess Shaw on her confessional YouTube channel.

Directed by Filmmaker Ido Harr, the doc offers an endearing look at the power of music, both as therapy and as a force bringing together two different music artists from different worlds. Princess Shaw got her start by creating her YouTube channel, showcasing her life and music for viewers. It was then she got the attention of Israeli producer Ophir Kutiel, known as Kutiman.  The producer discovered the fiery red hair and soulful singer 7,000 miles away on an Israeli kibbutz. Inspired by the ins an ousts of her personal life that is the backdrop to her artistry, he made Shaw his muse. As their collaborations comes together, Shaw finds herself at the center of a viral video hit by Kutiman, whose video mixes of amateur YouTube performers have graced the halls of New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

The indie artist takes us on a musical journey in the heart New Orleans. (Photo Courtesy: Magnolia Pictures)

Straying from the mainstream template of music, Princess Shaw looks to travel the world and impress as well as encourage the world with her unique sound, while becoming an international star.

“Presenting Princess Shaw” follows the bubbly and soulful songstress who showcases strength and determination while pursuing her music career.

Los Angeles Sentinel (LAS): Congratulations on the success of “Presenting Princess Shaw,” how do you feel about your new documentary?

Princess Shaw (PS): It’s a blessing. I’m happy about it and stoked! Being honest, I feel like a skateboarder chick without the skateboard [laughs]. I’m humbled by the whole thing.


LAS: YouTube is a home to many discovered talents. Kuitman connected with your journey as well as your music on the video-sharing website. Did you ever think putting your music out there for viewers would get you your own documentary?

PS: Anyone who goes through a situation like this, may not see it coming off the bat. Initially, YouTube was a way for me to get someone to make music for my songs. I used my phone to release my energy and what was on my heart. I never saw this coming at all.

Samantha Montgomery, a.k.a Princess Shaw, overcomes her struggle and finds her place in the light. (Photo Courtesy: Magnolia Pictures)

LAS: You and Kuitman differ in music, however, “Presenting Princess Shaw” delves into both journeys, how you guys parallel and come together musically. No one ever knows who they’re exposing their creativity to, but you touched bases with someone across the world. How did that resonate with you and how did you feel about that narrative playing out in the documentary?

PS: I wanted everything in my life to be in the documentary. I wanted to put everything out there, I was glad to see our connect in there. No one really think someone is watching them, but when he picked me and I heard the song, I was so happy, because someone made music to my songs! This man is thousands of miles away. Finally, someone heard me and put music to my song. It’s a beautiful thing.

LAS: Your music is cathartic and off-beat. You have you own avenue that is unorthox. What is your writing process like, where does your motivation come from?

PS: Life itself. My music comes from the beautiful places as well as the sad places. I consider my music to be organic. I don’t surface sing, I deep sing. Being unique and the way you are is a beautiful thing.  I don’t want to be like a million other people. I stick my sound, the way I like to sing. I’m true to my craft.

Fairytale Princess: Montgomery is a modern day Cinderll who proves dreams can come true. (Photo Courtesy: Ido Haar/Atzmon Productions)

LAS: “Presenting Princess Shaw,” you lead two different lives. The doc follows your life as a caretaker who serenading your patients and as a singer, performing at different clubs, hyping up the crowd. You put yourself out there. How do you balance that?

PS: It wasn’t really hard. You just do what you have to do [laughs]. I deal in reality and I know that music isn’t totally paving the way for me right now. It really wasn’t hard for me, I would go to work and get off and do a show. I did what I had to do.”

LAS: “PPS” is transparent, raw, human and inspirational to viewers. We see you trying so hard. From your day job, to dealing with housing and finances, your car tires being stolen, to your estranged relationship and dealing with the journey of your music, you are struggling.  In one of your confessionals, you ask yourself, “what the heck is wrong with you Shaw?!”  You give all of you in this doc, there is no filter. Princess Shaw’s story tells other artists to never give up on their dreams, despite the odds being stacked against them. Do you agree?

PS: Well I don’t have filters[laughs] and yes, don’t give up on your dreams! Everyone goes through the stuff that I go through. I also feel like, why not? I’m not scared to put myself out there, because this is what happens, this is my reality. Why would I hide that I’m coping with stuff?

Shaw, an overcomer, went from an unknown to known music artist. (Photo Courtesy: Ido Haar/Atzmon Productions)

Shaw and Kuitman collaboration is a testament to the significance of YouTube and the power of music. (Photo Courtesy: Ido Haar/Atzmon Productions)






Categories: Entertainment | Music | TV
Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Get the Los Angeles Sentinel App!

Since 1933 The Voice of Our Community Speaking for Itself.
89 Years of LA Sentinel.
Black News.

Daily Brief

LA Sentinel
in your pocket:


LA Watts Times

© 2022 Los Angeles Sentinel All Rights Reserved • A Bakewell Media Publication

AboutArchivesContact UsCorrections & MisprintsMedia Kit

Terms of ServicePrivacy Policy

LA Watts TimesTaste of Soul

Close / I'm already on the list

Subscribe Today!

Don't be limited anymore! Subscribe Now »

** Existing subscribers, please Login / Register for Digital »

Subscribe to The Los Angeles Sentinel for only $5.99 $3.99 per month, with 1 month free!

Relax in comfort each week as you read the printed newspaper on your own time, delivered weekly to your home or office. This subscription also includes UNLIMITED DIGITAL ACCESS for all of your devices. Includes FREE shipping! One easy payment of $3.99/month gets you:

Subscribe Now »