R&B, Hip-Hop, Reggae
From: brooklyn, NY, United States

About Artist

"I used to be afraid of my voice," says 27-year-old singer/songwriter Keishera of her raspy alto. "Growing up listening to singers like Whitney Houston, I thought everybody sang high. But Aretha Franklin gave me hope. Tina Turner, Tracy Chapman, Anita Baker, Sade-they all gave me hope." Keishera may not sound like your average pop diva, but her soulful voice is winning over fans around the world. Even international reggae star Shaggy-who collaborated with the Jamaican-born songstress on the Overseas hit single, "Feels Right"-couldn't deny Keishera's talent when he first heard her sing back in 2004 at his Big Yard studio in Jamaica. "He said, 'Let me tell you something,'" remembers Keishera, switching into her husky patois. "'You're bad, you know. You're gone. All you need is exposure. Your voice is so distinctive that once you get out there, everybody's gonna Know who you are.'" Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Keishera James grew up in St. Catherine Parish until the age of 11 when she moved to Brooklyn, New York. She attended Cunningham Junior High and Canarsie High School. An only child at the time, Keishera and her single mother struggled through a strained relationship, leading the rebellious 16-year-old to move out and live on her own. To make ends meet while finishing high school, Keishera worked as a waitress and a model, her gorgeous 5'11" frame appearing in Essence and Heart and Soul, on dozens of catwalks, and in ads for IMAN Cosmetics. She graduated from High school and enrolled at New York Technical College. It was during this time, however, that Keishera's songwriting gift began to emerge. "When I was living on my own, I didn't have a radio, TV-nothing," she recalls. "I was just renting a room somewhere. I was really feeling bad about my life, but I found hope in singing to myself. Even in high school, I'd sing to myself and people would be like, 'Why don't you write that down?' I'd put my own words to somebody else's song without even realizing it. I eventually started writing the words down and I'd sing them back to myself like, 'Whoa, that's actually interesting.'" Deciding to pursue music full-time, Keishera left college after her frist year and landed a few local singing gigs, including a brief stint with the New York-based band, Burnt Sugar, founded by celebrated Village Voice writer Greg Tate. Additionally, subsequent run-ins with legendary icons Maya Angelou and Patti Labelle-both of whom encouraged Keishera to stay focused on her dream-further convinced the rising talent that she was on the Right path. In 1999 Keishera-at the time managed by David Passick, who was behind The careers of Maxwell and Herbie Hancock-formed her own band, performing at New York venues like CB's Gallery, Joe's Pub and S.O.B's. Though the group disbanded the following year, Keishera set out on a world "adventure" to research her craft. She traveled to Paris and London, recording songs and learning different musical styles. Then in 2004, after a 15 year-long absence, Keishera returned to Jamaica. Rejuvenated by the spirit of her homeland, she began writing and releasing aseries of independent singles. She recorded the acoustic tune "So Good" with producer Mr.G aka "Goofy." The song was played on local Jamaican radio stations. Shortly afterward, Keishera met Shaggy through a mutual friend. The meeting led to the creation of the Klymaxx rhythm-based "Feels Right," which was an instant hit in Jamaica and Europe in 2005. "Feels Right" Was followed by the single "Cry No More," an anti-domestic abuse tribute Keishera wrote with Jamaican hit maker Christopher Birch. Currently, Keishera is hard at work on her as-yet-untitled debut album with hit young hit make producer Nottz she is also a Songwriter for Royalty Network. And while this star-in-the-making hopes to open minds with her unique vocals and reggae-soul fusion, ultimately, she just wants to make good music. "I'm most happy when I'm singing," she smiles. "I can't think of anything else I'd rather do. I really have something to say to people through song. This is a calling."

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Total Views: 14111
Total Plays: 814