Keshena the Artist
Tell us about yourself and your music
I’m a music lover with over 30 years of directing and performance experience. I make feel good music and enjoy collaborating with artists who believe, like me, that music is medicine for the soul!
Talk to us more about your latest release
My latest release, See a Need, was originally recorded in 2002 and was one of the first songs I wrote as a young adult. It shares my concern about the state of the world and it’s affect on us as humans.
What inspired you to write this release?
My inspiration for writing “See A Need” came from observing people from all different backgrounds. At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel safe and loved. Although we’ve been conditioned to fight and point out our differences, we are more alike than we may think. I see this every where I go, which is where the line came from: every where I go I see a need for us to be together.
Describe the writing and recording process
At the time of the recording, I was a single mother struggling to make ends meet. I knew I a gift but didn’t really have the means to pay for studio time so I used what I had; space to record without being interrupted and equipment I knew how to use .
At that time I had a Tascam portastudio, Motif 6 and a mic (all of which I still have today). I’d recently ended a relationship that broke me financially and emotionally. Writing and recording was the only healthy escape I had and I was determined to not allow my daughter see me depressed.
Because I was a private music teacher and musician for hire, I’d have open time slots in my day. I’d spend those times recording and reviewing until songs were to a point where I wasn’t cringing.
Eventually, See a Need, along with about 12 other songs were recorded, with the hope of one day recording in a real studio.
Any plans to hit the road?
Currently, I am a resident artist at one of Milwaukee’s oldest establishments, Angelo’s Piano Lounge, where I play piano and sing every 2nd and 4th Friday. I also have shows coming up through out the year with my band, Shuga Blu. Performance dates and more information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/keshenaarmonmusic.mke/.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I rarely play a song the same and my set list is always changing. My supporters are love my style because it’s truly anchored in love for the music and it’s ability to heal. I also love singing 90s grunge rock and mixing pop songs with my own originals. As an indie artist my main goal is to make you feel it!
Who have you been listening to lately?
Lately I’ve been listening to other indie artists like Abby Jeanne and Dennis Lloyd. There’s rarely a day that will go by that I’m not relaxing to reggae favorites (Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Gregory Isaacs etc) and Nigerian based artists Davido, MasterKraft, Yemi Alade and others. I like to say Spotify is my boyfriend:)
Who are your biggest influences?
Gospel influences include The Clark Sisters, southern quartet groups The Canton Spirituals and The Mighty Clouds of Joy, The Winans and Kirk Franklin.
Secular artist influences are Sade, Prince, George Clinton, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.
Tell us about your passions
My passions outside of music are education, promotion of the arts and personal development. I believe I would not be able to survive without music as an outlet and helping others find their ‘thing’ makes me feel like I am positively contributing to my community and society as a whole.
What else is happening next in your world?
Now that I’m an empty nester, I am writing and recording a lot more and collaborating with other artists, from visual to music. I have a single produced by a long time friend, Milliyon D’Elegance, that will be released next month and hopefully, more to follow. Needless to say, I am super excited about my future.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Keshena Armon and Shuga Blu