Sheena is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has entertained audiences for decades throughout the States.
Her music and live performances are simply captivating as she shares her personal journeys through Life, Love and Loss. Staying true to herself is evident in her performances, and that honesty has become the catalyst to her passion for music. Sheena was selected for NBC’s Season 12 of The Voice where she was hand picked by Adam Levine. Since her appearance, Sheena has moved on to partner with several Multi-Platinum Songwriters and Artists that have evolved her unique songwriting style with tracks such as; Piece Of Me, Tongues Of Angels and her debut single Bad Bitches Like Me. Sheena is also the founder of The F.E.M. Collective, an organization that hosts events in support of women and equality in the industry. Her mission through music is to empower the people around her to feel free and to be themselves without apology or fear.
Have you always been interested in music? Was there a particular song/performance that made you say Woah! I want to do that.
I started out singing in church and then like many people in the school choir in middle and high school. I wasn’t particularly good actually but I really enjoyed it and shortly after that some of my friends started rapping and I got really into it. We had a little rap group and I was learning to write rhymes. I wasn’t great at that either, lol. But I started writing and then I picked up a guitar and started playing piano more. I had some lessons as a kid but not many. I’m mostly self taught. It’s strange because I was pretty average considering but I just kept doing it because I loved it so much. I was pretty sheltered growing up so I didn’t know much music other than Christian based music like DC talk and Point of Grace. In high school, I got one of those mail in things. You know where you take the little stamps and they send you 10 CDs? I got a Sugarland CD and then after that, I saw Jennifer Nettles on the Grammys stage in a wife beater and jeans crowd surfing and thought to myself, “I want to do that!” She just did her thing, her way and I always thought that was a really pivotal point for me.
What do you enjoy about being an Artist?
Creating and performing is such an outlet for me. I love the ability to express myself through song, make jokes and connect with people I might not normally connect with. It’s pretty crazy to be able to share so much of myself with someone and then never see them again. And, in some cases, I may gain a friend or a fan for life.
What does your music say about you?
I think my music is pretty transparent to who I am. When I’m writing for myself as an artist I tend to write from my own story, or how I’m feeling in the moment. It’s important for me to be authentic. As someone who has had to hide a huge part of who I was growing up I just don’t have the capacity to do that anymore. In fact, because of that, I think I enjoy shouting out who I am loudly in my songs.
What can we expect from you within the next 6 months?
I’m really excited to be releasing 5 new songs after over 2 years of nothing new. I started releasing music on August 19th with “Bad Bitches Like Me” and have 4 more singles each month after that. I just dropped a new music video as well for the first single. In October I’m playing shows in Brooklyn, Pittsburgh and Boston. Also, I am hosting songwriter events to highlight women and the LGBTQ community this year!
Would you have any advice for would-be artists or songwriters wanting to follow in your footsteps?
I speak to a lot of artists about their career trek and it’s not at all because I have it figured out. I still have so much to learn and a lot of hills to climb. I think the discussion I like to have and encourage people with is this; We get to determine what success is for us. We get to decide what quality of life we are looking for and build our path from there. If you want to be famous, be famous and find the path to that. If you want to make a living doing music there are a million paths that lead to that and we get to determine what ours looks like. It’s the 21st century and there is room for all of us.
What was the last TV series you watched on TV?
My wife and I just finished The Sandman on Netflix. Beautifully shot show and an interesting interpretation of some famous characters. All in all pretty good.
What historical Figure would you love to see in the 231st century life?
I would have to answer that one more seriously than I’d like and say, Jesus. Long story short, I grew up in church, went to gay counseling at 16, went to bible college, fell into a dark place and eventually came out at 27. Religion and faith are an ebb and flow journey for me, depending on the day. I have often thought if Jesus were here in the 21st century I don’t think they would be hanging out in mega churches or standing on the side of the road picketing Planned Parenthood. I don’t find any part of the biblical story to inspire anything but peace, love, acceptance and completely non-violent behavior. My experience with the Christian church and some of my own family members is the opposite of this. I think Jesus would be hanging out with the outcasts, and the downtrodden and not those that are currently professing their so-called, “Christian” beliefs.
If you were a member of the Spice Girls, what would your spice handle be?
Call me Rainbow Spice! I love shouting from the rooftops how gay I am. If I could attend and play pride events only and forever I would!
Are you a valuable asset on a PUB Quiz team?
I think so, I love trivia nights. I tend to be the go to when the question is, well, “nerdy.” I might not know anything about foreign policy but man give me a Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or comic type question and I’ve got you covered.
If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself? YOU ARE GAY! I actually get asked this a lot. I always jokingly say I would tell myself to have sex with the girls I got in trouble with for just liking or kissing them. I went through an unbelievable amount of hurt and pain for being who I am before I came out. I didn’t know anyone or have anyone in my life to tell me it was ok for me to like girls and because of that I often say for the amount of trouble I got into I wish I would have done more. I missed out on a lot of these right of passage teenage moments. Things like getting drunk or smoking weed, skipping school, or just generally feeling free. I think that’s why in my music and in my life I try to make up for lost time and encourage others to be themselves.
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