|The fabulous, fashion diva, Chanel from Hip Candy conducted an interview with Shareefa this week for "Juicy News." Check it out....
Chanel: Hey Shareefa! How are you!?!
Shareefa: I'm good, I'm good.
Chanel: Are you tired? I know you're probably working way more now than you would have imagined before your album came out.
Shareefa: Yeah, I'm working a whole lot more now that my album's been released.
Chanel: I know you recently completed a summer college tour back in August and September with Megan Rochell & Bobby Valentino..
Chanel: How was that?
Shareefa: That was fun. I love performing, and performing at the college level was beautiful. I love performing for my peers.
Chanel: Did the fans receive you well on that college tour?
Shareefa: Oh definitely. At which college would you say was your favorite performance?
Shareefa: Hampton University.
Chanel: Well, what about out by me? You were at Southern University and Grambling University.
Shareefa: Oh yeah! I had a good time at Grambling.
Chanel: Are you on Tour right now?
Shareefa: I just completed a tour with Lyfe Jennings and that was real cool, I enjoyed that.
Chanel: Let's talk about your album, how long were you working on it? How long did it take to complete?
Shareefa: My album was about 2 years in the making. We recorded around 85 songs and picked the top 14 songs from those.
Chanel: You said you recorded 85 songs?
Shareefa: Yep, 85 songs. You know as an artist, you are always working and laying stuff down. It's like you just never stop. It's a continual process.
Chanel: Did you write all of your songs for this album?
Shareefa: I wrote about 90% of my album.
Chanel: So, with 85 songs done, you're probably already working on your second album?
Shareefa: Yes I am.
Chanel: Ok, I wanna quote one of your lyrics that kinda stood out to me from your song.
"I'll Be Around" and it was this one: "Prissy chicks don't want me in the place...I might punch a silly chick in the face." so is that how you roll or do you attribute that to your stage persona?
Shareefa: I mean, sometimes that's me. That's just a different side of me that you wouldn't want to see. Nobody is nice 100% of the time.
Well, you've already worked with some real heavy hitters in terms of production, like straight out of the gate!
Chanel: How was your experience working with the likes of Teddy Riley? Rodney Jerkins? LudaCris? Chucky Thompson?
Shareefa: Oh it was a definite blessing. I was certainly blessed to have the opportunity to work with people that I consider legends, I mean working with them was big.
Chanel: Working with them was HUGE! And on your first album too... A lot of artists would have loved to have that kind of opportunity.
Shareefa: Yeah, you're right. Working with all of them was a real blessing for sure.
Chanel: Let's talk about Young Buck because you cast him as your love interest in the "Cry No More" video, so was it just for the camera's or is there something more there?
Shareefa: Young Buck is real cool, but we're just friends.
Chanel: Are you sure, because ya'll looked mighty cozy in the video?
Shareefa: I mean yeah, because he looks GOOD! So we had a chemisty [on set]. I mean if Denzel was in my video, I would have had a chemistry with him too!
Chanel: Oh, ok, I feel you right there! So how exactly did you get discovered by Disturbing Tha Peace?
Shareefa: I did a demo and sent it to Jeff Dixon, [CEO of DTP] then I auditioned for him in person and he liked what he heard. A little after that, I met LudaCris over at MTV, and before I knew it, everybody was welcoming me to the [DTP] family.
Chanel: Well, a lot of people are comparing you to Mary J, Keyshia Cole and Fantasia...How are you different from them?
Shareefa: Well, they are who they are and I'm Shareefa. Those artists are all doing their thing and doing it well, and I'm just trying to do mine.
Chanel: Let's go back a little bit. You are originally from New Jersey, but you moved to North Carolina with your mother at the age 14. How was it living in North Carolina?
Shareefa: There's an adjustment with any move, and I had to adjust, but I now consider North Carolina home.
Chanel: Do you consider North Carolina "home" more than New Jersey now?
Shareefa: I consider them both home.
Chanel: I read that you got involved in a local car theft ring while living in Carolina, how old were you when you were involved in that and why do you think you got involved in theft?
Shareefa: I was 16 when I started that. I was basically being rebellious and just acting out. You know, at that time, I didn't have a real clear picture of what I wanted to do with my life.
Chanel:What advice would you want to give other young girls who may be going through the same thing or something similar right now?
Shareefa: I would just tell them to keep their heads up, put God first and work to start turning things around, you know, basically decide what they want to do with their life. I had to decide what I wanted for my life before I was able to completely turn things around. Once I decided what I truly wanted, that's when things started turning around for me.
Chanel: That's good advice. Ok, back to you as a new artist. How would you rate yourself as an artist?
Shareefa: I'd give myself a "B"
Chanel: A "B" really? Do you feel like you are your own worst critic, like you're maybe harder on yourself than other people are on you?
Shareefa: Yeah, I deal with some of that. When you set high standards for yourself that makes you a little harder on yourself sometimes.
Chanel: If you could choose one person to work with, who would you choose?
Shareefa: Lauren Hill.
Chanel: I like her too. So, who would you say inspires you musically?
Shareefa: I like Lauren Hill, Mary J. Blige, Anita Baker, and Keyshia Cole.
Chanel: Ok, so tell me, where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
Shareefa: I see myself with a house, 5 albums completed, and living very comfortably.
Spoken like a woman who knows where she's going, what she wants and how to get it ~ Chanel