We had the good fortune of connecting with Shaemara and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shaemara, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Music and art is my therapy, it is a lifestyle; it was not a choice, creativity and art chose me. Artistic expression has been a consistent part of my life, especially growing up with artists for parents, so it is natural that this has been my main pursuit. There have been times throughout my life when I tried to suppress my creative calling, for various reasons, however I always found my way back, and one day decided to embrace my creativity fully. I have a natural drive and motivation to pursue my artistic endeavours and push them as far as I can. Part of that drive is the pursuit of happiness and freedom, by living my authentic self. The other part is a calling deep down to share my message of hope, perseverance, and love, plus sharing my stories of heartbreak and romance. I aim to inspire and support others, while helping shift the global consciousness to a higher vibration. Overall, making people feel good by releasing original, unique, conscious and thoughtful art and music. I call myself a multimedia artist, who is self taught, and I express myself in many ways: as a singer songwriter, producer, designer, dancer, photographer, video editor, and a creator. I realized early on that although it is wise to find some focus, I also want to ensure I have a balance and I do not restrict myself when inspiration strikes. This can often lead to collaborations, which can create some magical pieces of art, and moments of mentorship and personal evolution. We live many lives within a lifetime, and I believe if we use our time wisely, we can maximize our many skills, if we lean into our vulnerability. Life is too short, not to pursue your talents, and revisit those activities that brought you the most joy as a child growing up. Maybe for you it was writing, dance, singing, sports, teaching, or helping others; we are all creators in different ways. My advice is even if it is on a small scale or just for you, it is never too late to find moments to highlight your true essence, and embrace your creativity.

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 am a Toronto born artist, currently located in Ottawa Ontario, of Barbadian, Czech and Hungarian descent. I graduated from Queen’s University as an English Major, and I especially love poetry both writing and analysis. This translates into my songwriting; I love the challenge of being concise while trying to create poetic beauty, and allowing the empty spaces between stanzas to hold meaning. I love that within a poem or song you can say everything you feel disguised in metaphors. I am actually a deeply shy and introverted person, so writing poetry has always been the easiest way to express myself fully. This is also why I find songwriting and production therapeutic, plus singing and creating harmonies, and feeling those vibrations is a healing way to get my emotions out. My earliest memories producing my own vocals are in my early teens, I discovered that one speaker on a tape deck/cd player always has a mic. As an artist being resourceful, using two cassette tapes I developed my method to record my vocal ideas and harmonies, this was only the beginning. I definitely feel most at home in my personal space, which over the years developed into “Palace Studio”, this is where I create all of my art, it is my sanctuary and safe space. I try to bring that same aesthetic to the stage, with props, set design and video projections. I strive to make art that will make you dance, think deep, and vibe high. As much as I love the creative process, I also love sharing my art, and especially connecting with an audience, getting instant feedback, seeing how people are affected, and sharing a unique moment in time.

I am feeling excited about my most recent 2022 independent music and video releases.
“Indigo Blue” (May 2022) is a song about unity and recognizing that we are connected, through vibrations and experiences. ‘Indigo Blue’ reminds the listener to vibe high; we are all royalty so wear your crown with pride while treating each other with the same elevated respect. When I was writing this song, I was inspired by “Indigo” as a spiritual concept describing indigo and crystal people, as spiritual beings who are here to help heal the world. I feel we are all here to do just that, we all inhibit the gifts and tools, the energy, and the power of vibration to contribute peaceful loving energy. We can contribute to healing the global consciousness by staying connected to our higher self, by doing the things we love. By making the conscious effort to have an abundant mindset as opposed to a scarcity mindset, and by having gratitude for the small things in between the big.

“Weightless” (November 2022),  is a true story I wrote in the fall of 2020, just when you start to feel the cold. I had gone through a major break up, creating a huge life shift, and it was also in between lockdowns; overall a challenging time. I finally received some anticipated news, which created a sense of relief, I felt “Weightless”. Like alchemy, I transformed this moment of exhausted relief into a song. “Weightless” is about finally resurfacing after holding your breath for so long, there is a sense of reflection, and perseverance, yet you can tell for the speaker, it is only the beginning of their next journey.

Overall, the pursuit of art is not easy, you have to be open to constructive criticism, while being confident in your own abilities, learn to be your own biggest fan, see your own potential, learn that good enough is just as good as perfect, and have integrity and follow through with yourself. From my experience one of the secrets to happiness is having gratitude, especially the small everyday things. This will support keeping your vibe high in each moment, which is vital for success. Also, having faith that everything is working out in your favour, allowing your intuition to guide you, and being open to inspiration in order to create your own momentum. I am most proud of myself for continuing to try, pushing through the discouraging times, in order to enjoy the good times. I am proud of continuing to work on my opportunities, and staying open to learn and evolve. The pursuit of art and music is a lifestyle, for me it will always be a lifelong journey. I’m excited to see what happens next and remain thankful for everything I have received.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I moved to Ottawa just before the first lockdown, so it has only been this last year that I have truly begun to explore this city, however I can say that I love it here. In comparison to my hometown Toronto, Ottawa is peaceful, low key and I can walk everywhere, which is my dream come true. What I love most about living in Ottawa is the canal, no matter where I am, I can always find a way onto the canal, which takes me through the city. It is a beautiful way to get around whether you are walking, driving, in a boat, and even skating in winter. I also love being a twenty minute drive away from nature, and recommend visiting Koena Spa just across the bridge in picturesque Gatineau, Quebec.
“The Flava Factory” is the best spot for dance class any day of the week. The National Arts Center is a beautiful building. I’ve performed there and attended many events such as “Capital Sessions” a free monthly family friendly class featuring Canadian dance instructors and DJ’s hosted by Rise Ashen and Miss Tangent Lee. Additionally, if you want a workout Gracie Barra has a great kickboxing program.
The Golden Triangle and Hintonburg are my favourite places to hang out, you will always find a good place for brunch, dinner, or even a quick snack, with many coffee shops, and beautiful parks. One of my most memorable eating experiences was at “Atelier” featuring forty gourmet courses and your own personal sommelier. Plus I love seafood, and so far nothing compares to “Whalesbone” on Elgin Street. Finally if you want a quality cocktail, a place to chill after a long day, or even dance a little to deep afro house chill beats, “City After Life” is the spot. Overall Ottawa has a little bit of everything that I love.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am so thankful and lucky to have had several mentors along the way who have encouraged me to continue to focus on my creative pursuits. Below I would like to highlight six of the most influential artistic people in my life.

My mother Sandra Lorde, who is an artist, designer, and entrepreneur, encouraged my artistic skills from a young age. I was always enrolled in creative activities like dance class, she taught me about sewing and jewelry design, which in fact led me to my first sale. Plus, she always involved me with her creative projects such as costume design for different productions and more, which truly opened my eyes to the creative world. My father Stevie Gee who is a musician and photographer, exposed me to different kinds of music and art. He helped me find ways to produce my music in the early stages, he provided the first opportunities for me to perform in professional settings, he would be there for my first shows to support with sound and filming and was even in my first band. The experiences I had with both of my parents truly set a foundation for the direction I have taken my life now, as they taught me how to be an independent artist and run a creative business.

David Rinaldo, my godfather who is an amazing artist and consistent figure in my life to this day, and was very influential in my early adulthood. He was always available with his amazing studio space ready to create anything we needed to. When it was time to design for instance, costumes, bags, crowns, or to create a beautiful backdrop for photos, or just a lovely dinner party to recharge, David was always ready and enthusiastic about creative projects. David even gave me my first sewing machine, plus he always gives the best advice and encouragement.

Paula Griffith, is an accomplished singer songwriter, vocal coach, and entrepreneur. Our mentorship connection began when I was 18, and for a time she truly nurtured me as a singer. Paula provided amazing opportunities to perform, and always provided the best inspiration such as taking me to see Sade in concert, an artist we both love. Paula is someone who I always looked up to, when we first connected she would share her dreams and aspirations, and I watched her manifest those dreams into reality. Paula always considered me her little sister, and she will always be a big inspiration to me.

Most recently I connected with a beautiful artistic couple, Rise Ashen and Miss Tangent Lee, who I consider mentors and close friends. Rise Ashen is an accomplished producer, writer, musician and dancer, and Miss Tangent Lee is an amazing House dancer, architect, graphic artist and designer. Together they have taken me under their wing, and we have been creating non stop since connecting. When the three of us are in the studio, I have the opportunity to be my deepest authentic self, and they both have this magic way of bringing out the best in me. I am expressing myself in ways I didn’t even know I was capable of, overall we have been creating in a whole new way.

I have so much gratitude for these connections and more, and for everything I have learned and absorbed to become the artist I am today. Mentorship is very important to me, and I hope to pass down the gifts I have received, and have the same impact on others.

Website: www.shaemara.com

Instagram: @shaemara_ (www.instagram.com/shaemara_/)

Twitter: @shaemara (https://twitter.com/SHAEMARA)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SHAEMARA/

Youtube: @shaemara (https://youtube.com/channel/UCXoBhrC9ZLtsQu9xIffTUhA)

Other: https://linktr.ee/shaemara WEIGHTLESS Pre Save Link: https://artists.landr.com/055120062292 SPOTIFY: Shaemara (https://open.spotify.com/artist/1EZyX8yuFh4SEg6x6MokQT?si=clUwaWFaRjaR4jIm2R61kQ) APPLE MUSIC:

Image Credits
Josh Haggarty Desiire Blair Bouskill Shaemara / Self Portraits

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