We had the good fortune of connecting with Sheleah Monéa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sheleah, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I am split on my decisions with taking risks. I am a worrier by nature. I overthink and have multiple different scenarios play in my head. However, I have taken risks regarding my career path more so because of the fact that I truly believe I was given this gift of music from the time I was a baby, it is my purpose to bring my music and my stories to the forefront, even if that means sacrificing & taking risks. Calculated or non calculated. Oh a whim, I decided I was going to move to NYC to “make it” and I didn’t have any savings, I was very young. I didn’t even have a place to live. My family is from the east coast so I was able to stay in NJ or visit my birth state of Massachusetts, but for a month I crashed on my friends couch! I found a job and an apartment made it’s way open for me through people I was acquainted with during my years growing up in Boston. I worry and sometimes I can “psyche” myself out but when I am determined, I always find a way to make things happen. Unfortunately I didn’t stay in NYC but for a “New York Minute” financially I was unable to keep up and came back to Houston. Luckily for me I found ways to push through and still managed to make a name for myself. Writing for myself, other artists, performing on B.E.T as well as local Houston News Channels. Risks will always have to be taken in some way shape or form. I am a planner and I like to have a direction, but sometimes taking a leap of faith is the way to go if you’re willing to work hard and do what it takes to try and see your dreams through.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I, Sheleah Monéa, am a singer and songwriter who can take pain, joy, fantasies and more and create a relatable story through sing-along style melodic lines. I believe what sets me apart from many artists who are being recognized today is that while I am trained (Berklee, vocal/piano lessons as a child & teen) I was singing before I could truly “talk” and creating music that has been documented as young as 6 years old. This isn’t something that I discovered as a teenager and decided to give it a shot, this is something that I was born with. I have always wanted to sing but more importantly sing My OWN Songs about my feelings and my life and experiences. The biggest challenge I have faced is my own insecurity and sabotage due to overthinking and always competing against the best of the best. I consider the people who have already made it my competition. However, I truly truly believe there is room for all of us to shine! There is not only one star that lights up the night sky. Overcoming my own insecurity web is still very much a work in progress on my part, but the older I get the more sure of myself I am and believe whose heartedly that I was given this gift to share with the world. I want people to listen to my music and feel! Of course I want to you like my voice and respect me as a songwriter and vocal producer, as well as a content creator on YouTube, but FEELING is what I want the most! I want you to relate! To feel like I’m singing to you, whether your a girl/woman who is feeling insecure and “Insecurity” from ‘A Gemini’s Prelude’ really speaks to you or if your a guy who listens to “Magic” or “Lose U” I want you to feel like maybe, I’m talking to YOU or relating to your actual situation.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Considering covid times, I haven’t been out and about much these days. I am not much of a party girl, though I do like to have a good time and turn up every now and then. I enjoy food… probably too much LOL. If my friends were coming to town, I’d like to take them to places that are only here exclusively in Houston. I enjoy Taste Bar Kitchen, as well as many authentic Mexican Taquieras. Three of my favorite Mexican Food spots would be El Jaibo, Jabastians & Teotihuacan. Also, there are always fun live music spots that feature many of my music friends & acquaintances. Lily & Bloom events run by JXMXSXN who is always showing love to Houston independent artists is a live place to go as well. Lots of fun places and many discoveries here in houston that even myself I will be happy to do more of once things die down a bit more and it’s safer to do so.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have several people in my life that I want to shout out. 1. Family; Especially my Mom who has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and helped instill in me that I am a badass and that I am a superstar & to never give up on my dream/purpose. Most of my “main” family members are pretty supportive and I want to thank them for watching my videos, spreading the word on my music and content, helping me create my content (videos, pics, etc) and to be patient with me and understand this is a marathon not a sprint! 2. My Team, especially Tionne who pushes me to constantly create and that so many people are out there who want to hear or can relate to my stories. The producers I work with as well as my favorite engineer who always has been sounding great on my records. 3. For my music family/friends in Houston who offer words of encouragement often! We have a little community of support & we try our best to always show each other love. Making it in music is tough, especially in this day with so much accessibility to talent every single day! I appreciate anyone who has taken the time to share my posts on their pages, or have me on their platforms ; radio stations, podcasts, etc. 4. My Personal Trainer among other things. He really has my back. Pushes me to work hard, stay strong and to not give up, because my dream is not a small one… so in order to achieve my dream I need to push it further during our sessions together. His mentality has helped me even when I’m doing things alone. I’ll always be grateful to him. 5. My OG friends who have never given up on me. They have seen me working towards my goals and dreams since I was a kid and though many have fallen off and look the other way now, I have a nice core of homies/supporters that always show me love whether it’s through donating to help me achieve success or even something that is completely free which is sharing my content with their friends/family/audience.
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