Some people sing; some people are born to sing. R&B artist Sharice Styles falls into the latter category. With music and church as the two constants in her life, Sharice was moved by the spirit of song at an early age. You can hear it now in the music that this versatile singer, songwriter and performer creates. It’s all there in her new single, “Pull The Plug,”(RedSha Entertainment) co-written with songwriter Shirazi and produced by the multi-talented 7 Aurelius.
Standing 6 feet tall, and the picture of grace, style and finesse, Sharice has the looks of a fashion model and the voice of an angel. Her music is about passion and empowerment, mixing the traditional sounds of soul with contemporary flavors. Her goal: to reach audiences, touch their hearts and make a difference in their lives — just as her talent and faith lead her to make a difference both on and off the stage.
Sharice was born and raised in Yonkers, New York. Her father, Carl Davis, was a member of the Grammy Award-winning Dixie Hummingbirds, and she clearly inherited his talent, along with a desire to perform. “When I was 18 or 19, my parents moved and I helped them clean out their house,” she recalls. “You know those handprints you make when you’re in preschool, the ones with all the glitter on them? I found mine, and I had written, ‘I am a star.’ I was 4 years old, and I meant it!”
Sharice was always attracted to what she calls “old-school music” and artists such as Billie Holiday. She vividly describes a childhood memory: watching a televised concert by Diana Ross. “I remember her walking down the stairs to the grand piano. She was just an amazing woman to me, and I said, ‘That is what I’m going to do.’”
By age 12, Sharice’s talent was so obvious that she was enrolled in a school for gifted students in fine arts. She discovered the poetry of Maya Angelou, which she read aloud on the school radio station every morning. She also began writing and reading her own poetry. Encouraged by her teacher, she explored creative writing, and soon her poems became lyrics, which in turn became songs.
With determination and drive, Sharice made connections in the music industry. She found a manager and began doing session work with Jam Master Jay and DMX, as well as having her songs recorded by major-label artists. “I learned a lot from those experiences,” she says. “I learned that just because God sends me all these songs doesn’t mean I have to sing every single one! It taught me to pick a musical lane for myself and to know what works for Sharice.”
During this time she was offered, and turned down, a recording contract. Instinct told her that she wasn’t ready and that she hadn’t yet found her niche. She moved to Virginia, where she assembled the first incarnation of her band, Sharice’s Pieces, and dedicated herself to the church, which has always been her cornerstone
“I have a very strong relationship with God in my day-to-day life, and it’s always structured around what I feel my spirit is being led to do,” she says. “I have never left the church, and to this day I still work in the church. I do a food pantry with my team every other Saturday, and if I’m out of town I make sure that someone will be there to bag the food. Otherwise, I’ll be out of town thinking about the people who need their food. Doing this keeps me grounded. Everyone should understand that they could fall one day and need a rescue place.”
A New York girl at heart, “always and forever,” Sharice moved back to the City and began working on her solo career. Partnered with EMI songwriter Shirazi, she began writing to tracks that 7 Aurelius had created. One track in particular stood out, but it was in the works for another artist. It was set aside, “But the beat spoke to me,” she says. “When I got together with Shirazi, I said, ‘Let’s revisit it.”
The result was “Pull The Plug,” the song that is introducing Sharice Styles to the world. Even though the lyrics speak to a broken relationship, “The message is universal,” she says. “Everybody wants to pull the plug on something in their life. I needed a first single that would reach into people’s souls, and I think this song does it. It’s strengthening. The bridge says, ‘Look at yourself and love yourself.’ It’s a rejuvenating song. It had to be the first single because it’s so different and it works for me. What turned me away from the industry for a while is that everyone is such a copycat. I like freshness and newness in music, and that’s what attracted me to 7’s track: it doesn’t sound like everything else you hear on the radio.”
So who is this talented, striking newcomer who can lay down the beats for the dance floor, then turn around and break your heart with a ballad? “I describe myself using that old bridal saying: ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue,” she says. “I do some old-school, but I’m still new. I borrow from my experience and make it my own. I can sing some blues. And I bring anything that’s needed. It’s a fresh start of a new sound.”
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