It’s one thing to be blessed with the voice of an angel. It’s another to unwaveringly direct that natural talent to inspire and uplift. Kierra Sheard is one of those gifted few.
“I just love singing,” says Sheard, a next generation member of gospel’s royal family The Clark Sisters. “Having such a gift that lets me express myself and inspire others is an amazing, fun thing. What more can you do or want? But at the same time, I’m always trying to make it bigger and better.”
Sheard does just that on the latest chapter in her blooming career, as seen with her fifth album entitled GRACELAND (Karew Records/Motown), July 22. As with her previous albums, beginning with 2004 standout debut I Owe You, the young singer/songwriter continues to deliver a seamless fusion of R&B/hip-hop and gospel intertwined with heartfelt lyrics extolling the wonder of God and what he can do. This time, however, Sheard gets more personal.
“If I was God, I would have gotten sick of myself,” says Sheard with a laugh as she recalls an ongoing inner battle last year between self-conviction and condemnation. “I didn’t want to be where I don’t have God’s grace,” she explains. “Then a feeling came over me: I was ready to get over this struggle; that I was still under his grace and mercy.”
Sheard’s triumph over turmoil ultimately triggered what is arguably her best and most versatile work to date. GRACELAND brims with self-introspection and lessons learned as a fearless Sheard bares her soul and shares a revelatory, yet joyous journey that everyone can personally embrace. “Songs just kept coming out of that experience,” Sheard relates. “Recording this album, I basically cried on every song.”
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