Name: Sheba Sahlemariam
Occupation: R&B/Reggae/Afro-Beat Artist
Place of birth: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Current residence: Brooklyn, New York City
I’m Ethiopian, born in Addis Ababa, but raised in exile with New York City as my home base. My parents were international civil servants and after the revolution in Ethiopia, my family became scattered around the globe. We were quite nomadic and traveled around a lot so I grew up in Guyana and I’ve lived in Germany, Canada, Jamaica and too many other places to mention.
I don’t sleep a ton so I’m an early riser. I like to get up between six and seven so I can hit my computer and get some work done. I start my day with a super food shake, because it makes me feel less guilty about the coffee or anything junkie that I might have right after. I’m an artist from head to toe so my clothes are always colorful, bohemian and rebellious. You would be hard pressed to catch me in a suit or anything too status quo.
I make my living doing the odd thing here and there. I used to work as a Marketing Director before I decided to go full throttle with music. Since then, I’ve held down a zillion part time jobs doing everything from selling real estate to packaging and selling essential oils. I am currently working on a project titled ‘Who is the Queen of Hearts’. I wrote this song called ‘Queen of Hearts’ a time in my life when I felt like a line was being drawn in the sand. My personality and persona has always been loud, but if you strip everything away, all the culture, pizzaz and bells and whistles, I’m just a woman who is lead by her heart, even if it’s broken. I think a lot of people can relate to that and there are a lot of ‘Queen of Hearts’ out there.
This project, album, my whole philosophy is about heart, courage and passion. When people listen to my music I want them to feel the heart in my music so I could have a real relationship with my fans. I have two albums worth of material that I will be releasing over the next year and there is a lot coming down the pike; like self-directed videos and possibly a book. But I want people to get a sense of who I am and what I stand for before I start plying them with a ton of new material.
I was feeling lost and heartbroken when I put out the song ‘Love This Lifetime’ with Bounty Killer. I was burned out from running the label, I did not make money back and was having a difficult time supporting myself. I had to move out of my home and find new ways to get some income. I basically took time out and wandered around Europe for a few months, visiting friends and family, and ended up doing a pilgrimage across France and Spain that renewed my purpose and love for life.
My forthcoming album ‘The Queen of Hearts’ is a collection of songs that take you through the journey I went on from seeing things in black and white to Technicolor. It’s a chronicle of going from an optimistic and eager young woman to a Queen of Hearts, who’s seen a thing or two and had her heart broken, but found her way back home again.
The song titled ‘Technicolor’ was inspired by all the people that were there for me, reminding me that life is about good relationships and being around loved ones. Musically, expect a pop album with a lot of international, global culture influenced by my travels and life. So there’s dance/edm, a little reggae, African and rock.
I love the feminine spark in me that is sensual, sexy, compassionate, powerful, divine and motherly all at the same time. Women give birth to worlds. Being a woman is awesome. If I had to give another woman advice I would tell her to be the Queen of her own heart. Wait for no one; you are the one you have been waiting for. Step into your power and open up like a lotus flower. Shine and never apologize for being a light in the world.
We are all special and unique, but my particular brand of special is colorful, honest, bold, spicy and very global. I am a Complexd Woman because I grew up in the UN community where I was constantly interacting with different people from different cultures. Growing up scrappy little kid in New York City and coming from this rich ancient heritage in Ethiopia have all informed me and made my particular voice interesting and flavored. I am a woman with a lot to say and a lot of stories to tell.