Published on June 17th, 2019 | by Guest Editor0
Shelita: “Love is Her ‘Religion’, Humanity is Her Heart, And Music Her Obsession”
Celebrated, award winning, urban velvet, R&B/pop, singer/songwriter, Shelita is about to unveil her new self-titled album following the release of her heart-felt single, “Religion!” Her songs offer a kaleidoscope of different energies that cause the listener to reflect on the human experience. Her unique, plush, velveteen vocals conjure up Kings and Queens and opulence.
From listening to Shelita one can tell that she surrounds herself with people whose eyes light up when they see her. She possesses that certain gift that allows her the ability to gently touch humanity with her profound and compelling lyrics.
Making her first appearance on Billboard’s Next Big Sound Chart at #14 in 2017, Shelita received over 29 million streams with her last EP entitled, “Special.” With a strong technical background, Shelita has adopted innovative techniques including blockchain, presenting a new artist model that puts artists first. She proves to the world that the eye’s perception of texture is pale compared to the soul’s thirst for music.
What motivated you to become a singer/songwriter in such a tough industry?
I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I learned how to sing songs before I could read books. When I first started singing in church, I realized what an impact that music had on people’s minds and hearts. When I got the reactions that I did as a child singing in church, I realized that music is medicine for the heart. If that’s the case then I want to be a doctor for the heart and keep writing songs, keep touching hearts, and touching the world and humanity. Music was a vehicle to do that. As a young child I didn’t know at the time that music was going to take me around the world. So not only does it touch hearts but it’s a means of traveling, going from place to place, country to country. I feel like music is that universal language. I think that’s so existential for humanity. Creating music and participating in music, I think everyone should try to create music. I think everyone has the potential to create music and I just think it’s beautiful. I’m obsessed obviously. I can’t see myself doing anything else.
I sense that you feel like music is kind of a destiny for you?
I think music is filled with love and compassion, the language of emotion. It’s a therapy, and it’s an art, it’s life, it’s everything.
You were given the gift, the talent to be able to present music in such an opulent manner, so do you feel like you were chosen to do this?
I do feel like I was chosen to do this. But I also feel that it takes a lot of discipline and work and practice. Practicing and trying to increase my craft is a lifelong journey and I’ll do that until I’m 95+ years old. I think there are levels and levels and levels to get to, and I think that you could just keep going deeper, deeper and deeper into the level that you are at. I really feel that way about my personal journey.
If you could have your ultimate stage fantasy what would have to happen?
I feel like my ultimate stage fantasy happens every time I am on stage. When I’m on stage and playing music, I’m connecting to the source, this universal source of creativity and beauty and love…. when I’m connected to the source I feel like the audience is connecting to that source with me. I just feel like I’m in a state of pure love.
When you write your songs, for example, “Religion!”, what tends to inspire you?
I write everyday so everything is an inspiration for me. Even when I’m sitting down on a bus and I hear the door opening and closing or the natural sounds of nature or even the sounds of street cars and sirens going, I’m inspired. I’m inspired by every frequency that I’m focusing on. In terms of “Religion!” I fell in love. This love is so deep and profound I felt like it was a religion. I felt like love was my religion. I am always inspired by my life events in terms of my writing. It’s very interesting to know that my life events are universal in the way that when I write about my own experiences millions of other people can relate to that. They are going through similar things.
On your up-and-coming album soon to be released is there a universal message or messages embedded within the body or soul of the songs?
There are some messages. I don’t want to taint the listeners, but if I had to say a particular message, I would say every single song connects to different parts of humanity. And everyone depending where they are in this human journey will connect differently in a different way to each song because it touches different parts of the journey of humanity. For instance, some people when they hear the “Libations!” song they will connect in a way where they are celebrating friendship. Some people hear the same song and they are celebrating a loved one. It depends on the journey that they are a part of, their past, or how they are going to connect. Because it touches on different aspects of humanity in general, I think that it will hit strings or chords and that’s what I’m here to do. Touch hearts in a very authentic way.
As a child where you influenced by?
I was very inspired by new sounds and inspired by things that you wouldn’t necessarily find music in first. For instance, when I’m making tea and I hear the sound that the tea makes when it’s ready to be taken off the stove. That frequency is a note to me. When I hear the wind chimes outside when the wind is moving through the air, those are notes to me. When people are speaking in general. When I overhear a conversation. There’s a natural rhythm in the way we speak. Each of those tones and each of those syllables all have their notes. I started there in terms of my inspiration. When I go into who I studied in terms of what I call mastery of songwriting, Joni Mitchell is a really, really influential person in terms of my artistic journey. I think that she is a masterful songwriter. I also really love Janet Jackson. I think that she tells stories with her body in terms of poetry and movement. Her song writing is not just with songs, but it moves into the translation of her body in terms of dance. I think that is very poetic and beautiful. Another inspiration of mines is Miles Davis. When I heard that he basically locked himself in a room until he found his original sound that’s one of the journeys that I took my own self to try and find my own original sound. I feel that I have accomplished that. Another person that really influences me is Nina Simone. When you hear her voice it doesn’t sound like any other voice that you’ve heard and it’s a representation of what she’s going through in her journey. I just think she’s a super genius. I’m super inspired by her piano playing. I could answer this question forever, because I feel like I’m inspired by everything that comes into my world.
If you could say anything to your fans and followers what is it that you’d want to say to them?
I would say everything is alive and we just have to continue to learn how to see it and hear it and continue to be open.
You have a super strong technological background, does that influence your song writing?
I think the tech aspect is more so when you write the song. There is a formula you can use. You can go into that creative space. So for me the technological aspect in the way that I do music is when I am creating I have tools like coding tools that I’ve used for their foundations and principles for coding that help me in terms of having a skill set in terms of songwriting and putting things into segmented lists. It’s the same way I would segment a list in programming. So, there are streams of information that I’ve pulled from programming in terms of the principles of programming more so that I bring into song writing.
If you could have me ask you any question in the world what question would that be?
The question I have is what is your ultimate goal as Shelita? So my ultimate goal is to be my true self and to remind myself on a constant basis that things are created into existence when I observe them so as long as I keep observing love there is going to be more love in existence in the universe. So, if we all do this together, we will have abundant love in the world.
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Interview by Eileen Shapiro