When Season of the Tiger ended, it seemed as if all was well in Tiger Land.Bruce Eugene and “Blue” Carter had won the Bayou Classic in their final year, Shonnie was on track with her music career, Eva was passing classes and Mancel appeared to be making progress on his education.
Flash forwarding to today, few of the characters are heard from. However, Shonnie, also known as LaShonda Harris to her professors, is hard at work with several projects. Harris and her Phi Mu Alpha line brother Lance Gardner are pressing forward with a music label and a modeling agency.
Harris is now the CEO of Songbird Entertainment, a record label, while Gardner is the CEO of Royalty Remembered, a modeling agency. It was almost a pure instinct for these two entities to form.
“My line brother Lance was sitting down one day and came up with the modeling agency,” Harris reminisced.
She was fresh off of filming the final episodes of Season of the Tiger and concentrating on her album when Gardner had a vision.
“We were just at the crib chilling,” Gardner explained. “We just went ahead and went forward with it. It started off with me being a personal assistant, making phone calls, then doors started opening for us.”
The doors opened, and they closed. Both faced mental, physical and financial difficulties trying to stay afloat. They almost seemed at the end of their rope, but they kept pushing.
“We just wake up with the same thing on our mind every morning,” said Harris. “I have to do something with my music.”
The passion to keep achieving worked in their favor. Suddenly, they were being booked and seeing more opportunities for exposure. Lately, the two entities have opened for Lil’ Wayne, performed at Club Purgatory, modeled for The Collegiate Shoppe in The Village, and performed at the Quad City Step Show at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.
“Doors just keep opening,” Gardner said. “It’s a payoff. If it’s not for us, we’ll find out.”
“We’re just giving it our all,” Gardner continued. “We just put it in the hands of the Lord, to be honest. It’s like a testimony. We hope the two companies build and grow. We’re also trying to make sure we rep Grambling the best way we can.”
Harris and Gardner have mentors, friends, brothers and sisters that they contribute to their success. It’s a long, winding list that includes everyone who had an impact on their lives as artists and entrepreneurs. It’s a list too long to printed here, but they wanted to make sure that their appreciation is noted.
It seems as if there is nowhere but up for these two friends and business partners.
“If we support each other, it’s no telling what we can accomplish,” Gardner said.