Many of us know Missy Elliott as a super star, talented, ground breaking, music genius, and the woman who graced many records, along with numerous memorable hooks. Monday night at Parlour in NYC Missy was not only an artist she introduced us to soon to be break out artist Sharaya. "Sharaya was raised in New Jersey, and was exposed to music very early on by her father who was a member of 90's Hip Hop group Double XX Posse. Sharaya's influences varied with artist TLC, Biggie, Wutang Clan, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson and of course Aaliyah who was one of Missy's very good friends before she passed away in 2001. Sharaya's entertainment career mostly started in dance, working with various people as Diddy, Rihanna, Alicia Keys as well as great choreographers like Laurianne Gibson, Fatima Robinson and Jamaica Craft. With such a great dance influence it's with no surprise that Sharaya's sound is definitely something for the dancers.
Monday night Sharaya gave us a chance to experience her fun sound, along with incredible dance moves featured in the video for the single " Banji -Smash Up The Place". Banji is a mix of hip-hop and R&B with pure Missy -esque funk that will keep all choreographers and dancers on their tip toes. After talking to Sharaya I found out that Banji wasn't just a single but it is a movement for the masses to embrace Uniqueness and Originality. Banji means Be Authentic Never Jeopardize Individuality (BANJI). Sharaya definitely loves to dance, as she and her Banji movement entourage grooved till the end of the listening event. Sharaya was sweet, and humble with a great enthusiasm, showcasing that she isn't riding on any one's coat tails but she's hungry enough, willing to do the hard work to get to success. Good luck Sharaya!
New Sharaya Video: Banji