LP: When did you start writing Spoken Word poetry and why?
J.Sharelle: I started writing when I was very young. It was a way to deal with all the chaos around me. The poetry & spoken word were more of a progressive thing. It kind of just happened on its own. Strangely, my diary read like a book of poetry. I would recite it for people and they would suggest that I begin performing it as poetry. At first, I hated performing, then it became a rush. So I went with it.
LP: How did you get the opportunity to become a host and featured performer at the Avena Lounge at Long Island University?
J.Sharelle: In college, I was part of the staff at The Avena Lounge. When I graduated, I couldn’t find a good job. I expressed this to my boss. He came up with the idea because I had already started doing small event planning in other avenues. In the beginning, I did everything: planning, securing the artists, etc. Then I progressed into host. It’s been almost 6 years now. We have a blast.
LP: I saw in your bio that you have a degree in Sociology from Long Island University, why did you decide to become a Spoken Word artist instead of a sociologist?
J.Sharelle: Funny thing is, I still consider myself a sociologist when I write. I write from a place of emotion but its based on my observations of the world. The way that I view society and observe my relationships is deeply rooted in all of my writing. Sociology is used everywhere in my life. We all interact with each other based on social norms that are always positively or negatively changing. For instance, this interview is being conducted in a new socially accepted format: e-mail. I’m very grateful for what I’ve learned in sociology.
LP: Tell me more about your career as a spoken word artist, what have been the highlights? The disappointments?
J.Sharelle: As far as my career, I’m just working, trying to grow. Spoken word is just one of my many goals. Honestly, I don’t really focus on highs and lows. I don’t think I’ve had any of either. Its all momentary for me right now. Everyday is a new struggle. I’m doing a lot on a nonexistent budget but God is good. I’m so blessed. I live everyday on a hope and a prayer. I have had women say to me “I needed to hear that poem, Thank you.” That’s an honor to me. Everything else that I’ve experienced and the choices that I’ve made to pursue this dream of mine are a part of life.
LP: Tell me more about the upcoming, EP “Matters of the Heart”, what’s the inspiration? And what can listeners expect to hear?
J.Sharelle: The inspiration to do the project came about because I wanted to challenge myself and to tap into my artistry. I had an idea for a single and the project came together more & more, as we recorded. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for 5 years or more. And things would just fall apart. So when I met my current producer, The Architect, we talked about it and it finally clicked. I didn’t really get too deep. Matters of the Heart is just a reflection of my emotions, as a single woman: chasing a dream and wanting to be loved by someone. Just really matters of my heart. You can expect to hear a heartfelt mix of R & B, Hip Hop, & Soul. My producer calls it “Poetic Soul.”
LP: What are your plans for the future? Are there any upcoming projects besides “Matters of the Heart” you’d like to share?
J.Sharelle: My plans for the future are to keep working hard to become a successful writer. After this project is done, I’ll start focusing on getting some of my written work published. I have a few short stories that I may turn into a film. They say if you want to make God laugh, make plans. So I’m just going to keep working and see where it takes me.