Interview with Sheena Murray
• Performing Artist •
Name: Sheena O. Murray
Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica
Location: South Florida
Describe your sound as if we were deaf
There’s energy in everything. If you couldn’t hear it, you would definitely feel it. My music is like water. It’s soothing and boundless. It’s comforting and necessary. I’d like to think that it’s the soundtrack to euphoria…or gloom.
What producers, songwriters and/or artists do you see as your primary inspirations?
I love India.Arie! She’s soulful and purposeful in her music. I have admired her since her very first single, “Video” and I’ve followed her career since then. I was lucky enough to see her live and it was a memorable experience. Recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of Stacey Barthe. I love her melodies and songwriting skills. Jill Scott is an absolute definite. She is the personification of a woman in tune with her sexuality and femininity and is so unapologetic. Her word play is so clever! Even more recently, the haunting sounds of James Blake. Sade, Kimbra, Little Dragon. Really, I could go on. There are so many talented artists who at some point or another and in some way or another inspire me to create.
Do you have a favorite musical project that you’ve worked on?
Aside from my debute EP, “SOMone”, I recently was featured on a record titled “Beautiful Struggle” by New York lyricist/poet/rapper. The MarXman. It was released about 2 weeks ago. It’s a song that touches on the beauty of struggle and a tribute record to Keith Murray’s “The Most Beautifullest Thing In The World”. True hip hop heads would definitely appreciate it. I love it because it’s so relatable on so many levels to many people.
What was the main factor for launching your career when you did?
I have always had a genuine love for music and the creative process. I think I was about 5 years old when I realized that I could sing but I was too shy to let anyone hear me. I wrote my first song in the third grade. I was a big Whitney Houston fan and in private would try to emulate her. In high school, I was a theater major but after school I decided to sing. So, an old friend of mine would get together, he would make the beat and I would write the song. I’ve been, in and out of studios since I was 15 years old. I released a song and music video two years ago, “Hooked” but it didn’t really go past social media. Timing is truly everything. I feel like now, after all these years; I’m ready for people to really hear my work and message. I have grown as an individual and as an artist and what’s coming out me now versus what I could produce in the past, is reflective of that growth. I’m ready!
Who are some people you would like to work with?
India.Arie, John Legend, Jill Scott, James Blake, Goapole, Sade, Stacey Barthe, Sia, Lianne La Havas, C Lo Green, Tweet, Kimbra…
How is the internet changing your craft?
Oh gosh, the internet is heaven-sent! I just bought an acoustic guitar and I can pull up thousands of tutorials via YouTube to aid in my learning. I use it to study other artists and to learn more about the business end of the industry. The software that I use to record my reference tracks, I downloaded from the internet for free! I’ve learned how to engineer my recordings at home, building tracks, etc., which helps to cut time down in the studio.
Do you feel like what you are doing is important?
Initially, creating music was about me. I used it as a way to heal, to escape, to cope, and to find comfort because life can be difficult. I recognize now, that if I can reconcile my emotions through music, so can other people. I think that we are becoming more and more desensitized and music lends in connecting people in a very unique and profound way. It has the ability to bring us back to humanity. That’s important. People, who feel good, make other people feel good and it becomes a cycle. The world needs more people who feel good.
Lastly, could you talk about any long-term goals or talents you have in mind?
I want to play the acoustic guitar! I really want to learn so that I can bring it on stage with me. I also want to write for other artists, so I’m building a music catalogue. I’ve always wanted to sing or write (or both) for Disney, I think that’s the musical theater in me.