Wrap Radar: Sharaya J
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Having been born in Hawaii but raised in New Jersey, Sharaya J has always been earmarked as a star. She built a successful career as a dance, working alongside the likes of Diddy, Rihanna, Ciara and Alicia Keys before stepping out into the spotlight on her own.
After an initial meeting with Missy Elliott at a dinner party in 2010 where they became friends, Sharaya has since become Missy’s protégé and has been working incredibly close with her for the last 6 years. Over those years, Sharaya has gone on to put out several tracks whilst attempting to establish herself as a standout artist.
She spearheaded the BANJI (Be Authentic Never Jeopardize Individuality) movement and in 2013 launched a single by the same name which also featured Missy Elliott. It was met with a positive response and featured a very creative promo video. Later that year, Sharaya released the very contemporary sounding ‘Smash Up The Place’ and followed that up with a feature on Faith Evans’ sixth studio album ‘Incomparable’. A year later, ‘Takin’ It No More’ was released and this more soulful-infused rap offering is the last release we’ve seen from the rising rap star.
You can hear the Missy Elliott influence flowing throughout Sharaya’s music and as a big fan of the iconic rapper, it must be pretty special being able to work so closely with someone you really admire. Missy has had a hand in co-directing and executive producing all of Sharaya J’s music and videos throughout her career so far and it’s clear that she has an incredible amount of belief in Sharaya’s ability. Her music videos always showcase her talent as a dancer too which, combined with her clear talent on the mic, makes Sharaya an artist who is able to put on a seriously engaging and well-rounded show.
With the promise of a brand new project dropping in May this year, we’re hugely excited to hear what’s next for Sharaya J. 2016 has given us an abundance of amazing music so far and having already seen the evidence above of the kinds of quality we can expect when Sharaya J and Missy Elliott team up, we know this new release is going to be an incredible one.
Words: Matt Tarr