The Examiner.com got a chance to catch up with Pendulum Records recording artist, Shaliek to talk his upcoming album, "Blood. Sweat. Tears" which is set to drop April 2014. The Singer and Songwriter has had a very interesting year and his journey...It's just beginning! Earlier this year, the rising star released his debut single from the album, "The Past" which is now one of the #1 most added songs in the country and we're definitely excited to see what else he has up his sleeve. Check out our exclusive one on one with Shaliek below:
When did you first discover your passion for music?
I would say performing in my after school program's Black History Month programs. I think I was in Kindergarten when I first started doing it and would perform every year until about the third or fourth grade. Mrs. Maxwell was my music teacher and use to play the piano for me while I sung.
Kindergarten...Wow! So you would definitely consider music your first love?
Yeah, she was definitely my first love.
For someone who has never heard your music, how would you describe your sound?
Passionate and soulful.
I like that and speaking on passion and soul, you have a new called "Blood. Sweat. Tears" which is set to drop next year...The title is deep, can you break it down for us?
The concept was born the day I wrote the title track, "Blood. Sweat. Tears." When Chino Stringss played me the track idea, I fell in love with it. I said, "man I'ma put my blood, sweat and tears into this." We both looked at each other and said "Yo, that's a good concept for a song." As he was building the track, I started writing the lyrics and we finished about the same time. The energy in the studio that day was crazy. Everything just flowed organically, so in regards to naming the album that, it only made sense because I put my blood, sweat and tears into this project. I literally zoned out and got to work.
Your first single, "The Past" was big. Congrats! Can you tell us a little about the process of writing the track and where your influence or inspiration comes from when writing?
Thank you. "The Past" was produced by Sam Trax. When I first heard the track to "The Past," it was only strings and piano. It just had a timeless feel to it. My mind was going crazy trying to find the words to write to it. I spent about two weeks trying to come up with something and it wasn't coming, so I gave the track to my boy Fred The Writer. I told him to take his time with it because the track needed a certain melody and lyric for it to work. I found out later on that Fred wrote "The Past" in the back seat of the car we were all riding in heading to Jones Beach in New York. I can tell Fred was focused on something, so I kind of gave him his space not knowing he was writing my first single which ended up being the #1 most added song in the country. A couple days later he recorded the song on his Blackberry voice note and sent it to me. I lost my mind. It was everything I wanted to say, it was perfect. The melody, the lyrics, the way the song begins on a high but still manages to build. I couldn't wait to cut it. I felt the song was missing an ending, so I winded up writing the bridge and the rest is history.
What will your next single be and do you plan to drop a visual as well?
We are still deciding on what the next single should be, but will definitely have a visual.
Have you ever doubted yourself or your career?
Yes I have and I never thought I would, but there was a time when doubt crept in and I though maybe I'm just not meant to do this artist thing. I ran away from it for a while. I remember not wanting to be an artist anymore and it killed me to feel that way because from an early age that's all I ever knew. In hindsight, it all makes sense though. I wouldn't be the Songwriter I am today if I didn't go through that little setback. Ironically, I was never really interested in writing until I didn't want to be an artist anymore. Songwriting became my "thing to do" to keep me busy and relevant and now it's part of my brand.
Who are you listening to?
Man, a little bit of everything. Sam Cooke, Michael Jackson, Usher, Aretha, Kanye, Stevie, Amy Winehouse, Whitney, CeeLo, Big Sean, Hov ...It really depends on the day.
Who are some of your musical influences?
The greats like Sam Cooke, Michael, Whitney, Aretha, Stevie and James Brown.
What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?
Being featured in Billboard Magazine as a Songwriter to watch and signing to Pendulum Records.
Outside of music, is there anything else you are interested in doing?
I'm a trained actor, so I definitely want to dive into acting at some point.
In your opinion, how has the music game changed in the past 10 years?
It's more internet driven. Social networks are being utilized more and Artist are able to connect with their fans easier.
What can we expect from Shaliek in 2014?
My new album drops April 1st, 2014. The next single will hit radio in the top of January and if God willing, i'll be touring all of 2014 so I'm hoping to meet the fans in person.
What is the best advice you would give to someone interested in pursuing a career in music or even film?
Be resilient and work hard
Where can your fans find your music or follow you?
Shoutout to my fans (Souldierz), my personal team, Pendulum Records (my label) and staff!