Sha’Vonne has been a fixture in the local music scene for several years – performing at Cool Canyon Nights, Alfresco! Fridays – and everything in between.
She sings a mixture of R&B, gospel, alternative rock and funk, as evidenced by her wide variety of covers in her live sets – ranging from Chaka Khan’s “Sweet Thing,” The Beatles’ “Come Together,” to a Latin-tinged arrangement of Colplay’s “Clocks.”
A native of East Texas who’s lived in El Paso since she was a little girl, Sha’Vonne says she was born into music and knew early on that the was meant to be on stage.
Sha’Vonne, whose last name is Williams, is recording her debut album and hopes to have a release date soon.
For now, you can catch her at the Cool Canyon Nights concert series on July 18.
Here are five questions with one of El Paso’s most exciting up-and-coming musicians.
Q: How did music enter your life?
I was literally born into music. Everyone in my family sings. My mom, aunt, cousins – everyone. Since I was always around music, it felt like the norm, like everyone should be doing it because it was just natural to me. Michael Jackson has always been an influence in my life. As a little girl, listening to his music and watching his concerts – that was my first inclination that I knew I was going to be doing this for the rest of my life.
Whitney Houston was another influence as well, I always wanted to sing like Whitney Houston and be a performer, writer – everything – like Michael Jackson.
Q: Have you recorded an album?
I’ve recorded a bit throughout the years, but right now I’m in the middle of a project – my first actual record. A lot of the writers I’m working with are based out of Nashville, Tennessee. People like Zachary Cale and Ross King – big names in the music industry.
They’ve worked with some of the greatest in country music, gospel music, Christian music, even some R&B and hip-hop artists as well. I’ll be recording most of the album in Nashville, some of it in California and some of it in New York.
Q: If you were stranded on a desert island and you could only take five records with you, what would they be?
I would definitely take a Fred Hammond album – he’s a Christian artist, one of my favorites ever – and I would definitely take both Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Bad, Prince’s Purple Rain, and Whitney Houston’s Bodyguard Soundtrack.
Q: What notable memories do you have from performing in El Paso all these years?
When people come up to me and they’re crying and they say, “Your voice touched me and spoke to me.” That’s when I know I’m doing what I was born to do. Any time people have told me that my voice moved them, encouraged them, or helped them through something, that’s how I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I love what I do. I was born to do it.
Q: Any new material we can expect at your upcoming Cool Canyon Nights performance?
Yeah, I’ll be debuting some new stuff. It’s different from what people have heard from me. I mean, it’s similar to the kind of stuff that I’ve always done – but I think I’ve never really done it publicly, so there will definitely be some surprises. I’m not gonna tell you what those surprises are though, you’re gonna have to come to the show and see for yourself.