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New label, album for Sheard

Karen Clark Sheard   COURTESY PHOTOS

Karen Clark Sheard COURTESY PHOTOS

By Kimberly R. Simmons
Special to the Michigan Citizen

Grammy Award-winning gospel recording artist Karen Clark Sheard, a Detroit native, recorded her newest solo album Sept. 9, during a live performance held at the House of Hope in Chicago, Ill. This latest project was produced by Grammy Award-winning recording artist and producer, Donald Lawrence. This is Sheard’s sixth solo project. Fans will be in for a treat as Sheard said they went for a different sound — mixing traditional Gospel with a touch of hip hop.

“What they can expect is an experience,” Sheard told the Michigan Citizen. “We’re letting them know to look for the best in hard times. The overall theme is ‘the best is yet to come.’”

Sheard and Lawrence have been long-time musical collaborators and Sheard is excited about this new music.  She hailed Lawrence as the “Quincy Jones of Gospel.”

“He has been a blessing to my family,” Sheard said. “He keeps us current without taking away from our sound.”

In addition to new music, Sheard also has a new label on which the project will debut. Karew Records was founded in 2009 by Sheard and her husband, Bishop J. Drew Sheard.

The faith-based label is a dream come true for Sheard and focuses on various forms of gospel, christian and inspirational music.

The label is a family business with Sheard as president; her husband Bishop J. Drew Sheard as CEO/CFO; their children Kierra Sheard as director of creative development and J. Drew Sheard II as producer/A&R for demos/submissions.

The roster of artists includes Sheard, Kierra Sheard, The Legendary Clark Sisters, and worship leader Jonathan Nelson.

“Down through the years, I always said that when I got to a certain point in my career I wanted to have my own label,” Sheard said.

And thanks to her husband, she is living her dream.

“He is such a great husband and businessman,” Sheard said. “He’s always been supportive of everything I’ve done and he made this happen for me. I’m so happy and excited about it.”

One of Sheard’s biggest goals with the label is to mentor up-and-coming gospel artists.

“I feel like my role is to help them understand they are representing God,” Sheard said. “They have to know that this is a lifestyle.”

Sheard’s new music will be the first project with the label’s new distribution partner, Entertainment Music (eOne Music).

“I’m excited about this new partnership. They can take us to the next phase with their years of experience,” Sheard said. In addition to new music and a new distribution deal, the Sheard family will return for another season of their reality series, “The Sheards,” which airs on the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Network.

“This is a great blessing and an opportunity to minister to a whole other audience,” Sheard said about the show. “We’re ministering outside of the four-walls of the church and representing in a Godly way.”

Sheard’s new music will be available early next year.

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