Kierra Sheard: Her Journey To GRACELAND…
Gospel recording artist Kierra Sheard is no stranger to the limelight. Coming from a long line of gospel royalty, Kierra has managed to uphold the legacy and create some shine of her own. Looking from the outside, it would appear that Kierra’s life is abundantly blessed and highly favored and although this is true, Kierra wants to share a more intimate view of her life, one that reflects her “flaws” and how by grace she overcomes.
BlackDoctor.org recently chatted with the soulful songstress about her latest album, GRACELAND, her health routine, upcoming projects and her journey to more self love.
BDO: What was the motivation behind your most recent gospel release, GRACELAND?
KS: I wanted to provide fans with a transparent view of me. I wanted everyone to know that Kierra is human and I have my flaws, but I sincerely and wholeheartedly love the Lord. I wanted people to see a side of me that they can relate to…
In life, when we feel like we are alone, we can often create inner issues that hinder us from talking to anyone. I believe that the struggles and challenges we go through not only benefit us and make us better, but it can also help someone else so they won’t have to bump their head as hard as I have done. I wanted to give this album to my fans, especially those who are trying to do the right thing and need help on their journey to grace.
The one song that speaks to that on the album is “Flaws” [written] by the legendary Diane Warren.
BDO: How has your faith been strengthened in revealing your flaws?
KS: Well, first I had to realize I had flaws.When I acknowledged my flaws, my issues and my struggles, it opened up the door for me to see how the Lord loves me in spite of all the extra drama that comes with me. I felt drawn and connected to the Lord even more. I felt inspired to change and work on my stuff because of that love. I wanted to know more about the God that loved me and shown me so much grace.
BDO: You come from a legacy of gospel greats – in your family alone are the legendary Clark Sisters. How has your embarking on your journey and revealing your flaws inspired your family?
KS: It’s funny you would ask that question. Just the other day my mom shared with me how even though I am her baby, I inspire her and recently my dad shared the same sentiment as my mom. They shared the beauty of how I am so young and they can see themselves in me, but they see my growth and that is inspiring to them. When I hear them say that, it inspires them even more. I already felt like my family was blessed with a timeless gift to make relevant music that is multi-generational. People still refer to the music the Clark Sister made/make and they love it. I am inspired by their ability to remain current, because one thing you never want to be is a dated trailblazer. Take for instance Patti Labelle, Charlie Wilson and Lionel Richie, they remain relevant and current in fashion, music offerings and keeping their pulse on what’s trending.
BDO: I have been eyeing your Instagram page and I see all of the wonderful pictures you post of your workout plan. What is your workout routine that has you looking so fit and fabulous?
KS: I do Zumba and Hiphop Abs. I am in love with Zumba and enjoy being able to let my hair down and dance while working out. I enjoy doing Zumba to “Booty” by J. Lo and any of the Will.i.am songs. I try to get in a workout at least three to four times a week. Even when I am not able to get to the gym to workout, like if I am taping the “Sunday’s Best” episodes, I utilize an app for Zumba on my phone. I can definitely see the changes in my singing and breathing, so I want to keep going even when I am not in the gym.
BDO: What advice do you have for women or young girls on dealing with their body image flaws?
KS: I have done some nipping and tucking on myself and have felt like there is still more work that I would like to have done. I have even entertained the thought that maybe I would like to get the weight loss surgery and have my stomach cut down, but one thing I have learned is though no matter what you do it still requires discipline. Self discipline is one of the fruits of the Spirit and that has to be mastered. We can have a quick fix and have the look that we want but we still have to love ourselves enough to have self discipline. This can apply to a lot of things. It could be a spending habit or an addiction. Since the purchase of my new home, I have had to acquire discipline with my spending. So, self discipline is a way of loving yourself and loving the areas that you see as flawed, but understanding those are the ones that God gave you. Those flaws are the parts of you God sees as beautiful. It is important to find appreciation for them because when we don’t, we will find unhealthy fillers to fulfill those voids that cause more damage than good. I would encourage women to surround themselves with women who love themselves. Having healthy connections, be it mentally, spiritually in our relationships is key.
During this season in my life I have become much closer to my mom and she is my healthy connection. Being able to share and talk to her has made a major impact in my life.
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BDO: What are some current or future projects you are working on?
KS: Well, I have been asked to come back and be on “Sunday’s Best” and that is a blessing that they’ve counted me in again. People are always eager to hear what I have to say and contribute on the show.
I have a clothing line, Eleven60, for the plus size woman. Recently, I learned that the average size of an American woman is between a size 12 and 14 and that’s considered a plus size woman, however, there is a fashion void for designers who cater to them. My goal weight is still considered full figured, so, for myself and other women within the plus size community I want to offer high fashion trends, with style, class and grace. Cute stuff that a plus size woman would wear and not have to deal with it cutting into her thighs or not fitting right. Plus size fashion that still make her feel sexy with class.
I also have a pantyhose line, “Sheers by Sheard,” that is currently in Walgreens now. So as you can see I have a lot going on and great things in the works.
BDO: Final question: What is your favorite song on GRACELAND?
KS: Oh wow, that’s hard. It’s hard to name one. I have a couple if that’s ok… “Moving Forward,” “In You” and my interludes before the songs.
Graceland is available on iTunes here. For more on Kierra Sheard, follow @kierrasheard. In the meantime, check out the single “Flaws” below.