At 32-years-young, award-winning Gospel siren Kierra Sheard is already a music industry veteran of 20+ years.
Heiress to the Clark dynasty, Sheard’s Urban-tinged Gospel hits like ‘You Don’t Know’, ‘Why Me,’ ‘Indescribable,’ and more – have seen her step out of her family’s legendary shadow to stomp her own path in the genre’s history books. The positioning is one she’ll undoubtedly reassert with the arrival of her long awaited self-titled new album, ‘Kierra’ (in stores April 17).
That Grape Juice recently caught up with the ‘It Keeps Happening’ singer to dish on her latest happenings, which is highlighted by her highly anticipated film debut aboard the forthcoming Lifetime ‘Clark Sisters’ biopic (set for an April 11 premiere).
Look inside to read on this and more:
That Grape Juice: Before we hop into the interview, I just want to know how is quarantining going for you?
Kierra: Easy. I’ve always been the kind of person that enjoys her own space.
That Grape Juice: I also wanted to ask about your grandparents, how are they doing?
Kierra: They’re doing good; my grandfather is progressing and my grandmother is doing better. My grandfather is actually home, so we’re just waiting on my grandmother to come home.
[Editor’s note: Both of Kierra’s paternal grandparents tested positive for COVID-19.]
That Grape Juice: Good to hear. As it relates to your new album, tell us why you opted to take the ‘live approach’ versus the traditional studio recording.
Kierra: There’s a different “me” that I give when in a live space. It’s the same way with my singers and musicians. Plus, so many of my supporters have been asking me to do a live project since [my 2011 album] ‘Free.’ So, the new album is the best of both worlds – live and studio-recorded tracks.
That Grape Juice: We are loving what we’ve heard so far. Speaking of the live component, do you have any plans – once this quarantine season passes – to support this effort with a tour?
Kierra: Absolutely! Tours and a few other surprises once we get through this.
That Grape Juice: Good. We’re especially excited to talk about Lifetime’s Clark Sisters movie, in which you portray your mom – the legendary Karen Clark Sheard.
What was your initial reaction after seeing the finished product?
Kierra: I was blown away. I’m very hard on myself, but I was really blessed to be a part of something so epic.
I was completely blown away at how the story came together.
That Grape Juice: Having seen the film, I was particularly impressed with the attention to detail as it relates to the music and fashion. I can’t wait to see viewers’ responses.
Kierra: Me too! I think it’s a stylish film. Their fans know how discreet they are and they’ve been really good about maintaining their privacy over the years; that is commendable. But, I think now is a beautiful time for them to share their story.
That Grape Juice: As a longtime follower of the group, I know they are immensely private. So, what are you hoping viewers who watch this movie come away from it having learned about them?
Kierra: They didn’t give off that you had to be perfect, but there was a standard you had to meet.
Also, you’ll see how my grandmother handled my Aunt Denise and the challenges that came with all of that. It wasn’t so much “hiding,” but it was using discretion.
That Grape Juice: That’s a great point. One thing I really appreciate about the film is the amount of time dedicated to Dr. Mattie Moss Clark’s story specifically.
For the time period, the challenges African American women faced were many-fold – especially in the music business and religious leadership respectively. To have balanced both really proved how much of a boss she was.
Kierra: Absolutely! I couldn’t say it better, so I agree.
That Grape Juice: Ok. Switching gears, it’s time for our “Five from Fans” segment where we’ve collected 5 questions specifically for you from some of your biggest fans.
- TGJ #1: Your parents and grandparents are very involved in Gospel music. Would you be disappointed if your child pursued secular music?
Kierra: I wouldn’t be disappointed, but I would just want my child to know Jesus and have a true and honest relationship with the Lord. I want to know their purpose, so their decision just has to make sense.
- TGJ #2: Is Kierra Sheard single?
Kierra: I am not single. I am dating someone and he’s super special.
- TGJ #3: What is Kierra Sheard’s least favorite Kierra Sheard song?
Kierra: Oh, that’s a good question (laughs). I don’t know.
- TGJ #4: We love watching your Youtube vlog, ‘Katching Kierra’ [click here to view]. On one episode you asked your parents about “one thing every woman should know before 30.” What is your answer to that question?
Kierra: That it’s okay to listen to somebody, that’s it.
- TGJ #5: We know you’re getting ready to do the Clarks biopic, but before this movie what was your favorite biopic?
Kierra: I’ll say New Edition and, of course, ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’ (Tina Turner).
- TGJ (Bonus): I’m going to throw in a bonus. If Kierra was doing a Clark Sisters tribute album, what are some of the songs that would be on it?
Kierra: ‘More Than Conquerors,’ ‘Computers Rule the World, ‘Praying Spirit,’ and ‘My Redeemer Liveth.’ Oh yeah, and ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love.’
That Grape Juice: Thanks for playing! To wrap it all up, what else will we see from you in 2020?
Kierra: I’m working on my clothing line and more TV opportunities!
Kierra’s latest single, ‘It Keeps Happening,’ is available on all platforms now!