THE REAL NEW `VOICE’ OF THE SEASON……AND BEYOND IS SHELEA
Anyone attending this year’s Kennedy Center Honors would agree that the singer SHELEA was the evening’s highlight. The audience came to a standing ovation after her mesmerizing vocals pierced the rafters in the hallowed halls of this great theater when she sang during the touching tribute to dance legend Carmen De Lavalade, as ballet icon Misty Copeland danced.
SEE THE MAGIC
If you haven’t been blessed to experience the amazing vocals of this California singer, check her out on the Kennedy Center Honors television special, airing Tuesday December 26, at 9:00pm on CBS. You can also see her on New Year’s Eve, on the PBS Special with music legend, David Foster.
Shelea’s voice is one of those rare instruments that need to be celebrated. She has that remarkable, unique timbre, that reaches peaks of perfection, laced with a honey-dipped flavor of hot buttered R&B. It’s truly a rare voice that has everything that is missing in modern day music, with big whiffs of a throwback sound, reminiscent of Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fritzgerald. It’s a fresh new sound which Shelea described as: “American songbook with Jazz undertones, spiked with R&B and Pop elements – It’s like a gumbo of flavors, it’s not really about the genre, but all about `Do you believe me?'”
AN INTERNATIONAL VOCALIST
It’s obvious, this talented singer is believed by thousands of loyal fans and followers. Shelea is clearly more popular on the International music scene than she is locally. She is a staple in Dubai, where she has a three-month residency at Quincy Jones’ `Club Q’ (she returns there this coming February). Shelea tours constantly with Jazz great Kirk Whalum who introduced her to enthusiastic audiences in South Africa, at the Capetown Jazz Festival. With a huge fan base in places like Japan, London, Brazil and Japan, Shelea will be celebrating the New Year singing in Budapest, Hungary. She appeared at the Governor’s Ball during award season in Los Angeles and performed at the White House on two occasions. On top of her busy schedule, Shelea does her own hair and make-up, as well as her own fashion styling, which also makes her a true fashion Icon (see photographs).
“I’ve done quite a bit. I try to take it day by day and stay grounded. I feel blessed to be able to exercise that God-given gift and ride the waves, taking it as it comes,” said the singer who was born in Bakersfield, California, to parents who are educators – her mother a teacher, her father a principal. They pushed education, music was not nurtured early in her life. She started singing in church and played the piano. “I didn’t see myself as being an artiste until college, where I majored in music.” Over the short span of her career, Shelea has worked with some giants in the music industry including Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, David Foster, Eric Benet’, Take 6 and Anthony Hamilton.
Shelea explained that she met Quincy Jones through music director Ricky Minor, which led to her residency at the famed `Club Q’
in Dubai. “It’s like the Vegas of the Middle East. `Club Q’ is an intimate setting that has like fifteen to twenty countries representing every night by way of the multi-cultural clientele. I do three hours of non-stop performances nightly, and, it’s always an incredible experience.”
`Pretty World,’ her upcoming new album is a tribute to legendary songwriters Alan and Marilyn Bergman, on LA-based `Breath of Life Records,’ is slated for a February 2018 release.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS WITH SHELEA
Favorite color: “Yellow.”
Favorite LA restaurant: “Bossa Nova.”
Favorite Fashion designer: “Zac Posen.”
Favorite Food: “Anything Italian.”
Can’t leave home without: “My cell phone.”
Last time I cried: “Watching something on the news.”
Binge watch: “Game of Thrones.”
Pet peeve: “Disrespectful people.”
Guilty Pleasure: “Love and Hip-Hop” (laughs)
I am a big fan of: “Stephen Tyler.”
Celebrity crush: “Laz Alonzo.”
Favorite city: “Vancouver.”
Favorite Caribbean getaway: “Tortola, British Virgin Islands.”