This weekend was the kickoff to Boston's first annual Outside the Box festival. Three days in, it's already featured some amazing artists, including the very talented Shea Rose. She performed in Saturday night's "Rythm of the Universe" concert, a 150 piece ensemble celebrating music around the world.
The show was spectacular and Shea was my personal favorite musician. She rocked the stage with an R&B set including a cover of The Cranberries song "Zombie," a mashup of "Suit and Tie" and "Mr. Nice Watch," as well as her own songwriting. Her sister sang backup vocals and her brother rapped with her.
Aside from her singing and rapping skills, her style really caught my attention. She wore leather pants, sky-high heels, and an edgy harness, very similar to something my favorite girl Rihanna would wear. Shea definitely has her own style though. She rocks her hot hairdo just as effortlessly as her dance moves and she doesn't need a lot of stage makeup because she's naturally beautiful. The confidence she exudes on stage and in person isn't overwhelming, but rather approachable. When I tracked her down after the show she was extremely down-to-earth and friendly. After I told her I was totally girl-crushing on her, she took a few minutes out of her busy post-show night to answer some questions.
J: Where did you get everything in your outfit?S: This [harness] is from BCBG, this belt that I attached to it is from Arden B, these [shoes] are from Bakers, and this top is, I believe, H&M.
J: Is this how you normally dress everyday?S: Oh, yes when I roll out of bed! Haha. You know, I try to stay as close to how I am in everyday life so that I feel like when I'm on the stage, it's just a natural segue. Because sometimes I feel like when you put on a lot of makeup and a lot of stuff, it puts you in a different physical space and you're not quite as free. I like to integrate a little bit of things, high-heeled shoes, that's different from my daily, eyes pop and lips pop.
J: Where are you originally from?S: I grew up in Braintree, Mass! So I'm a Boston girl! I just graduated from Berklee in 2011. When I decided to go to Berklee, I moved into the Back Bay area. This is my home town, which is why this is so significant for me. It's historic! For this to be happening in Boston, for me to be a part of it the first time we ever have a music and arts festival.
J:When did you start singing?S: I started taking it seriously when I went to Berklee. I went in 2007, and that's when I was like, 'I think I want to do this as a living! Crazy!'.
J: And when did you get into the rapping?S: I was not always a rapper. I was singing first, and then I started rapping in about 2009. I did this contest with Queen Latifah and Covergirl and they wanted someone who raps...and I just started rapping!
J: How did you start performing these concerts?S: Emir [Cerman] and I met in school and he told me about this Rythm of the Universe. I didn't quite know what it as but everyone was doing it. That was the amazing part! So I was a part of this monumental performance they did in Symphony Hall. So I had a chance to rap in Symphony Hall! This is the first of many for them and I'm jut so happy to be a part of it!
J: What's the best part of being on stage while you're performing?S: Oh my gosh, the best part is when you have those moments when you're just completely connected to everybody, not just your band members, but the audience, everyone is connected. It's like a reciprocal experience. The audience is giving to you, you're giving to them, so when those moments come you're like 'This is why I work so hard!'.
If you missed Saturday's concert, you still have a chance to see Shea perform! She will be doing a solo performance for Outside the Box this Thursday, July 18th at 1pm, at City Hall Plaza.
Make sure to check out Shea Rose's music on her website at www.shearose.com and watch this awesome video of one of her recent street performances.
Photo has been removed as per request of subject.