Kierra Sheard Don’t Judge Me
Written by Revival Staff on December 19, 2019
Just how mesmerizing is Kierra Sheard’s voice? Captivating enough to shut down a noisy audience until you can hear a pin drop.
Case in point: Sheard’s recent Grammy Week performance at BET’s annual Music Matters showcase. Those lucky enough to be in the audience were treated to a brief but powerful set that included a song about insecurities, both physical and emotional in her latest single, “Flaws,” as well as a goose bump-raising cover of the Mary J. Blige classic “No More Drama.” That colorful versatility provides the creative blueprint for Sheard’s contemporary urban inspirational sound.
“It’s about singing an inspiring song that everyone can listen to,” explains Sheard, “especially those people who may never step foot in a church. It’s about R&B/hip-hop and gospel beats mixed with Coldplay and other pop/rock sounds—but always with a positive message.”
Sheard delivers that and more on her Stellar Award-nominated fifth album, Graceland (Karew Records), which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s and iTunes’ Gospel Albums charts. Leading off with the exuberant pop-infused single “2nd Win,” the set is now spinning off its second single, the ballad “Flaws,” which provides an introspective about life’s insecurities.
“I know I try to claim that I’m flawless then I look in the mirror,” says Sheard, who confesses to an ongoing battle with weight. “But you have to get to the place where you’re content with what God has given you and not go by what society says is beautiful. That’s why I love and am excited about ‘Flaws’: any human being can relate to that message.”
To help further craft her signature sound, Sheard collaborated for the first time with Grammy Award-winning pop songwriter Diane Warren (Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion) on “Flaws.” She also teamed with rising songwriter/producer Harmony Samuels (Ariana Grande, Fantasia, Michelle Williams) on the ballad “Save Me.” Rounding out Sheard’s suite of collaborators: her longtime producer/brother J. Drew (“2nd Win”) and songwriters Justin Jones, Justin Brooks and Lakisha Barnes. Additional standout selections range from the folky, guitar-driven mid-tempo title track to the rap-accented anthem “Moving Forward.”
Triggering 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 journey that anyone can personally embrace. Her versatility, however, stretches beyond music.
Having earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in psychology from Wayne State University, Sheard is currently working on a master’s degree in clinical psychology. A budding entrepreneur as well, she started her own clothing line June 20, 2015 entitled Eleven60 (www.myeleven60.com).
A self-professed “people person,” Sheard fervently believes in giving back. She’s the founder of BRL (Bold! Right! Life!), a national organization with 15 local chapters dedicated to youth empowerment (www.boldrightlife.org).
Being able to “express myself and inspire others is an amazing, fun thing,” says Sheard of her various ventures. “But at the same time, I’m always trying to make it bigger and better.”