Shania Twain’s Invaluable Career Advice Goes Beyond Music

USA Network
November 12, 2018

If you’ve ever had an issue with conforming to the mold, you might need to hear these sage words from international superstar Shania Twain. (Really, who couldn’t use a little encouragement from an international superstar now and again?) Simply put, Twain says, “Forget fitting in.” And let’s face it -- with five Grammys and more than 90 million albums sold -- she’s onto something!

“If there's anything that I can share with people in my experience and 45 years in this industry,” said Twain, who is executive producing USA’s new country music showcase Real Country, “being like anyone else is the worst thing you can do; it's to your detriment. It's not gonna help you. You might become better friends or fishing buddies with the record label guy. But I mean, sorry, the audience doesn't care who you're fishing buddies with. They just want to be entertained.”

For Real Country, Twain -- along with her fellow celebrity panelists Travis Tritt and Jake Owen -- has hand-picked seven emerging artists to perform on each episode. Unlike other music competition shows where the contestants are still figuring out their style with the help of celebrity mentors, Real Country is showcasing artists who already have a unique voice; this show is about introducing them to a larger audience. In choosing “Shania’s Picks,” Twain was on the lookout for originality above all else.

“I think there are some [aspiring musicians] who are still feeling the pressure of giving what the industry wants,” shared the country star. “When you haven't been out in the audience enough, in the masses enough, you don't know what the audience wants yet. My take is this: when I was starting out, I didn't know what the audience wanted either, but that innocence is so valuable. I wasn't writing to anyone's expectations. I was just doing what I thought was interesting.”

Shania’s Picks are a diverse group with different backgrounds in music, but what they share in common is a strong sense of who they are. Their authenticity will ring through in each performance and prove that being different isn’t only good; it’s essential.

“I'm encouraging them to just do their own thing and not try to fit in and not try to please the audience or us or the industry,” Twain explained. “Get up there and do your own thing and get lost in that as your focus. I think that's where you're going to make the best connection with the audience.”

When Real Country premieres this Tuesday, expect to see a wealth of originality from all of the performers -- not just Shania’s Picks. In total, 21 hopefuls will compete for a $10,000 prize in each episode; in the finale, a grand prize of $100,000 and a chance to perform at the Grand Ole Opry are at stake.

Make sure to tune into USA Network this Tuesday, November 13, for the season premiere! It’ll knock your boots off!