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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sheba is All For Valentine's Day

SHEBA wears her heart on her crown. She will tell you, "I make music because if I didn't my heart would not let me hear the end of it. I write and sing for cathartic reasons. It's how I process life. It's how I make sense of the ups and downs." 

Some musicians are born into environments where music is all around and picking up an instrument or honing an obvious talent is a given. Despite signs of musical ability at a young age, Sheba's family having fled revolution in Ethiopia to start over in America, understandably, encouraged her to take on more stable pursuits that would lead to a less precarious career.

She says, "I knew I could sing very early on, around 4, but not long after I knew I could and wanted to be someone who wrote the songs coming out of the radio. I also very vividly remember being frustrated that I couldn't spell yet." Sheba recalls racing home from school to secretly practice singing along with the Diva's: Whitney, Mariah, Aretha, Chaka. "I would record myself singing onto the same tracks as my favorite singer's and chase them, note for note. That's how I learned to sing. I would study the lyrics of my favorite songs. That's how I learned song structure, melody and began to absorb production. I listened the radio obsessively. I had my favorite albums on repeat." Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Fela, Lauryn Hill, Prince, The Police and No Doubt are those that had the most influence on her musical style.

At some point our dreams become too loud to ignore and we may choose to listen to the insistent whispers of the hearts longing for itself. After college, Sheba felt it was time to listen. She began recording her songs, learned how to produce records and with some encouragement from a youtube posted song that ended up on Sirius XM and Kiss FM in London, and a couple thousand dollars, Sheba put out a song on her own called "Love This Lifetime" which went on to chart in several territories around the world, including the UK (Music Week). Bounty Killer jumped on the remix for the song, and the song continued to travel, with the video ending up on MTV UK, VH-1 Soul and Trace TV. It was a good sign. She took it as a cue to keep making music.

Sheba has recently emerged with a new collection of recordings, called #QUEENOFHEARTS. The inspiration came from a thought she had: "broken hearts grow back stronger, to hold more love. Life is full of ups and downs, it's unpredictable and sometimes you get your heart broken. But maybe it's not the end of the world. Maybe, it's just growing back bigger and stronger so that you have a bigger capacity to love. Each and everyone of us, can be the ruler of own heart and choose how we interpret the breaks."

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