Princess Shaw (AKA Samantha Montgomery) is a larger than life personality. It’s only fitting that she should have a larger than life experience, and to have it documented in PRESENTING PRINCESS SHAW, a documentary about hope, determination, and talent getting the attention it’s due.
Princess was working at a nursing home to pay the bills, and writing songs that she would perform a capella on You Tube. She was, as she said in one of the song’s introductions, hoping someone would put them to music. Someone did. A world away in Israel, Kutiman was plucking instrumentals from You Tube, and using them to create a lush musical arrangement that set off Princess’ songs in ways that she could never have imagined. Or that they would go viral. Or that Ido Harr, the Israeli filmmaker following her around making a film about You Tube-ers was actually there to capture the moment when she found out that her world had changed.
When I spoke with Princess on May 5, 2016, naturally we talked about that moment, as well as how she didn’t let a troubled childhood stop her from staying true to her dream of a singing career, or the brusque treatment she received when she tries out for The Voice. We finished up by talking about her plans for mentoring others, and why she picked red hair as her signature style. Warm and ebullient, Princess was (and is) an unexpected optimist, with a spirit of compassion and the soul of a warrior.
PRESENTING PRINCESS SHAW is a documentary about dreams, drive, and the global community that the internet has created. Princess was working in a nursing home in New Orleans to pay the bills, and uploading video of herself singing her own songs to feed her soul. Little did she realize that Kutiman, an Israeli artist and a man she’d never heard of, was sampling her videos into his own music composition, “Thru You Too — GIVE IT UP”, that would eventually go viral, even as Princess is struggling to pay for tires to replace the ones stolen from her car, and to find her big break as a singer. The film was directed by Ido Haar, whose previous work includes 9 STAR HOTEL and MELTING SIBERIA.