Growth. It is the one word that exemplifies Kierra Sheard and her third EMI Gospel release BOLD RIGHT LIFE.
Fans have literally watched her grow up in the industry from a much-talked about young prodigy of a legendary Gospel family to today’s chic, bold and purposed young woman. Kierra presents a grown-up style, a sound and spiritual perspective that is all her own. The collection of songs that make-up BOLD RIGHT LIFE is all cutting edge material that puts Kierra Sheard in a different league from the others in today’s contemporary Gospel landscape.
The album and Kierra’s youth organization called BOLD RIGHT LIFE, is an outward challenge to today’s young people. Through her music and her own life, Kierra hopes to nurture and encourage people spiritually and naturally. Inspired by Colossians 3: 1-6 “We are dead to the things of this world … BOLDLY LIVING RIGHT GETTING READY FOR LIFE,” the composition is both daring and proudly Christ-Centered. Kierra takes cutting-edge music with a mass-appeal that could be at home in churches and clubs alike, and brings her open declaration of the love and awesomeness of God.
“This is THE album for me,” said Kierra. “I have never been so excited about a project. This album is finally everything I wanted it to be and I believe that God is truly using me [through this project] in a way he’s never used me before.”
One of the songs Kierra (not Kiki, a nod to her maturity into young adulthood) brings to this groundbreaking project is “Invisible.” It is absolutely one of those big turning-point songs in an artist’s career. The song is equally meaningful personally to Kierra and universally to all those who minister, it has just the right balance of emotion. Showcasing Kierra’s maturing vocal palette, the Gerald and Tammi Haddon penned and produced track “Invisible” embodies everything her music ministry is about. “The lyrics convey my desire that when I am out front, singing and ministering, I want the people to see Him and not me,” Kierra said.
The formula of matching the right vocals with the right production works on BOLD RIGHT LIFE. Kierra and her brother J Drew Sheard truly make the perfect combo of vocals and production. With the head bobbing beat crafted by JDS Productions coupled with the lyrics written by Kierra, on the kick-off single, “Won’t Hold Back” both Sheard kids brilliantly capture the essence of what is today’s Gospel music.
“When I first heard the beat I just started blasting it,” said Kierra. “I just started singing and the lyrics started to come. We’re basically saying if you can’t give God praise then you’re wack. I really believe that you can worship and enjoy God … you can Praise Him even when you’re dancing and have a good time. You don’t have to be nasty … I want to show our peers you don’t have to curse, or talk about sex or be so explicit to have a good time. It’s better when God’s presence is amongst us.”
“I think I’ve come into my womanhood on this album and I have truly grown spiritually and naturally, she said. “I have my own personal relationship with the Lord,” she said.
“There are certain situations that David goes through that I used as metaphors for things going on in my own life. Everything I went through you will hear on the album … in places you will hear darkness and then you will hear the burden being lifted. The lyrics I wrote were saying to God ‘whatever You want me to do … I will obey, I’ll do it.”
Pulling-out the big beats, Kierra recruited music man of the year Warryn Campbell. Campbell contributes four powerful tracks to BOLD RIGHT LIFE. Using his trademarked soundscapes, Campbell’s harder-edged dance sensibility fuels his collaborations with Kierra especially on the all out dance track of “Wave Your Banner.” Inspired by reigning Contemporary duo, Mary Mary, Kierra wanted something of her own that is right at home spinning in the clubs and on R&B radio that at the end of the day still represents Christ.
One of the strongest offerings is the sweeping and classical “Praise Him Now.” The simple yet pure praise and worship ballad is a reflection of Kierra’s growth. Produced by PAJAM, Kierra says “it was just right … J. knew I was growing spiritually and naturally, so he gave me this song.”
“My Boyfriend,” is a funky pop song that talks about relationship with Christ in a real and relatable way. Straight from her personal experiences, Kierra drew inspiration from situations that almost all young women have to deal with – Boyfriend drama. Though boyfriend-girlfriend relationship problems are a right of passage into young adulthood, Kierra flips the script to offer a song that tells us above all else it’s our relationship with Jesus that really matters.
“I was talking with my cousin and one of my friends, both of whom were going through some things with their boyfriends,” explained Kierra. “I was sharing with them that they didn’t have to keep putting themselves in the same situation, and by doing so, they were allowing themselves to get hurt. We have to give ourselves to God … we can’t love another person if we don’t love ourselves. Just because you are single, doesn’t mean you’re alone – It’s the time to get to know God better. Jesus is my boyfriend because He knows me inside and out.”
Never falling back on old moves, Kierra has crafted the strongest disc of her short career. BOLD RIGHT LIFE is the kind of music that builds longevity, and now there’s only Kierra’s bold right life that is ahead of her.