*EUR caught up with gospel singer Kierra Sheard to discuss all her amazing happenings, which includes a feature on the recent episode of “BEING” on Centric, a fashion line for full-figured women, and new music that she hopes to drop later this year.
Kierra is the daughter of the famed Grammy Award Winning gospel music icon Karen Clark Sheard. Now, seven albums deep she is re-discovering her sound, image, branding, her place in the entertainment industry and finally finding a voice of her own.
As a tech-lover, Sheard has released a brand new self-titled app giving her millions of fans a close-up look at her life and musical content. This original phone app is a first in gospel music, and is titled “Kierra Sheard.” It’s available for $2.99 in the Apple App and Google Play stores.
“The APP is my outlet. It’s like my own personal reality show. It’s like my own personal diary,” Kierra said. “I’m basically sharing every part of my journey, from my music career to my personal life, to the clothing and everything that I’m doing. I’m putting everything in the APP. I even go live sometimes. I make those who are inside of the app feel exclusive and like they are really my friend.”
Check out the rest of our Q&A with the talented young star.
Talk about what it means to have your musical journey profiled on an episode of “BEING.”
Kierra: It’s really exciting and unbelievable. My friend asked me the other day, “Who you think you is?” And I was like, “You know what? I don’t know”… (laughs). So I’m real excited to even have that question in a joking manner because I’m grateful and thankful to God for him allowing me to have message or a moment to tell my story, and my story, hopefully, helping someone.
You’re seven albums deep now. What types of themes do you enjoy exploring in your music?
Kierra: In the most recent record I basically have like a faith-based message, and it’s basically saying, you can get through anything, but you have to have faith. Trust God and get to whatever finish line you’re trying to get to. Those are the kinds of things that I try to convey in music. And then, I’m more transparent. I’ve been talking about being a single woman — some of the mistakes that I’ve made in my dating life. My father always said to me, but I’m just now realizing that it makes a lot of sense, that the root word of dating is data, and while you’re dating you should not act as if you’re married. I have actually been one of those young ladies who have made a boyfriend my husband in my mind and my heart was all broken because I was acting as a wife and he was only acting as a boyfriend. So that’s also another message that I have. I’m just excited about the more that I will share in this new music coming up.
And this music coming up, when can fans expect it?
Kierra: I don’t have a date for you just yet but it’s coming soon.
How challenging has it been for you to carve your own path out of the shadow of your famous mother, and what advice has she given you along the way?
Kierra: The advice that both of my parents give me is to just only compete with yourself. You know – embrace other people. Don’t be jealous of other people’s craft or skill. There are so many people in this world who have absolutely amazing gifts, and so one thing that my parents have told me is to not compete. Theodore Roosevelt once said that comparison is the thief of joy. Sometimes we can get distracted. I’ve watched my mom, even with her not saying anything, she’s not compared herself to other people. She’s just walked in her own lane — gracefully embraced what she can do and gracefully embraced what she can not do, but she owned everything that she could do, with all power, with all authority and she’s just rocked it out, put her own swag to it and she’s always evolved, and so those are the things that I’ve learned from my mother and my father. My mom has taught me to be a student of music, not just a student of the music you’re in. Be a student of all music so that you can sit at the table and broaden your horizon and expand and extend your reach. So those are tips that I’ve learned from her.
How often do you encounter things going against your faith, and how do you stay grounded?
Kierra: I experience it very often and I deal with it by simply putting myself out there and admitting to when I’ve had moments of losing my religion, or when I’ve had moments of questioning my God. And I try and connect with everybody by saying “Hey, I’ve been there.” Because truth be told, there are a lot of us who have been in the church all our lives and we have some of the same questions of those who have never stepped foot in the church. And so the way I connect with them is I stay transparent. I stay open to their questions. We’re taught to study and to show ourselves approved. Meaning, I have to have some kind of answer. If I don’t have an answer, I need to jot down that question that I did not have an answer to and I need to go and do some study. I need to go pray about it so that I can provide an answer, and if I don’t have an answer, it goes back to my faith. There are going to be moments when I don’t know. My father has taught me that sometimes the wisest answer that you can give is simply “I don’t know.” I try to stay transparent and open. If I can say that I’ve been there and provide and answer with experience or from experience, then I’ll give it that way. But I try not to be over religious because truth be told, our entire lives, every minute – every second, were’ not churching ourselves. We like to let the windows down, let our hair blow. We like to go to the beach, and turn on some Beyonce or Jay Z, and we like to let our ratchet out. I like those moments. I like to have a good time.
Lastly, your clothing line, Eleven60, let’s talk about the inspiration behind it and the response from fans.
Kierra: Well, I’m a full-figured woman and I’ve been wearing a girdle since I was thirteen, and I like to eat. I come from full-figured women and women who obviously like to eat some kind of fried chicken and not work out. But that’s not an excuse, I do work out now. I wanted to cater to that young girl who had a lot of skinny friends and she always had to go in the men’s store to find clothes for her size, or had to go to the back of the store. I wanted to provide fashion forward pieces because I could not find those kinds of styles for my size, and my mom taught me, if you’re going to be thick, where it well. Don’t be sloppy with it. I’ve always kinda had to piece things together, cut things up. I used to wear my father’s clothes and cut his sleeves off and he would be pissed off at me. So I started designing clothes that way. And the name was inspired by my mom’s birthday…and that’s how it came about. It’s going really well. The women are loving the clothes.
For more on Kierra’s clothing line, her music and phone app, check out her official website: iamkierrasheard.com.
Currently her single, “HANG ON” is #5 on the Billboard Gospel charts.