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Sharlene-Monique: 'Success is my blessing'

MAKING WAVES: Sharlene-Monique is making an impact as a Christian musician

THERE ARE not many black British Christian artists that can say their songs have been streamed on Spotify over half a million times, but SharleneMonique is one of them.

This young songstress is creating waves in the Christian music scene and beyond following the release of Destiny, her debut EP earlier this year.

As you can imagine, Sharlene-Monique is over the moon about her Spotify success: “I was quite simply elated! Getting all those streams is a huge blessing that I don’t take lightly,” she says. “When I get messages from people around world I’m reminded of my ‘Why’.”

It’s not surprising. She was the recipient of three awards, including best video, at the Jump Music Video Awards for her single You, released in 2017. Sharlene-Monique describes her music as soulful and inspiring. And although her EP can’t be described as a gospel album per se, it shares her faith values.

She explains: “My songs are stories about my life experiences which all reflect my faith. My faith revolves around love and my songs encourage listeners to have self-love, live a life of purpose and fulfilment, find the beauty in the journey and to grow and evolve in character.”

Sharlene Monique’s husband Christopher produced her EP. “It was great to work on a project together,” she said. “We definitely grew throughout the process and because we are so close I had to remind myself to not get offended when he was correcting me in regards to my vocals. I love working with him and we work very well as a team.”

Just recently Sharlene was the headline artist at a show in east London.

The audience included choir director Karen Gibson and black academic/speaker Akala.

Thanks to the show’s success, she’s planning another one for 2019 – and pursuing some of the new opportunities that have come her way.

Sharlene-Monique is a church girl through and through, albeit a fashionable one. She writes a blog entitled Be Uniquely You where she talks about life, fashion and interviews inspirational people.

She grew up in a strict but loving Christian family alongside her sister Natalie. She recalls: “My life revolved heavily around church activities. I sung in choirs, got involved in drama activities, sung in a gospel girl band and spent a number of summers at youth retreats and camps. I loved it and treasure those times.”

All those years spent in church and performing music and drama have paid off. As well as receiving critical acclaim for her EP, Sharlene sings with Britain’s most high-profile UK gospel choir at the moment, Kingdom Choir. She’s been part of the choir for 10 years.

Their most notable gig to date has been performing at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It’s a performance she won’t forget. “So many people from different cultures connected with us to share how much they loved it and that’s been amazing.”

The Kingdom Choir’s debut album on Sony has special significance for Sharlene-Monique. She shares: “I’m so excited about it. The songs sound great and there are some really strong lead vocalists on it. I wrote the only original song on the album, titled Chases, which was a massive blessing.”

Her husband also runs a production house called Porch House with Marc Morrison, which co-produced Kingdom Choir’s album alongside John Cohen.

The future looks bright for Sharlene-Monique. She has plans to release another EP next year and just wants to keep making music, inspiring others and travelling the world with the Kingdom Choir.

“I feel extremely blessed to live the life I’m currently living and singing full time is what I’ve wanted to do since I was five so it’s like a dream come true.”

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