Monday, 4 September 2017

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Leading lady Sharee Elise readies her first solo album and discovers a thrilling new passion

CLASS ACT: “You just have to keep some things for you, keep the mystery,” the actress says of maintaining her privacy.

IF there’s one thing Sharee Elise has learnt over the years, it’s to listen to her body. Last season, the actress realized she needed a break from the stage to rest her vocal chords. She heeded the warning signs. This season, she’s on a health-and-wellness binge. “I’m doing a cleanse for the first time,” she tells us at front-of-house at New Kingston’s Centrestage Theatre, where her new play, Matey Chronicles, is drawing packed houses and earning rave reviews. “I’m putting the sweet tooth on pause for now. The body tells you when it’s time to make certain decisions.”

And the timing couldn’t be more perfect, given the slew of projects she has in the works while doing Matey Chronicles, in which she plays Minnie, a devout Christian and loyal wife laid bare by her husband’s infidelity. 

Aside from making a return to the stage, the actress and former principal member of Ashé, has been busy rekindling her passion for music as a singer-songwriter, laying down tracks with such hitmakers as Rory Baker (known for his work with Sly & Robbie) and Razz (of the popular duo Razz & Biggy). She even scored a collabo with an up-and-coming singing sensation from Guyana – with an accompanying music video set to be filmed in the coming weeks. 

Getting in the swing of the music biz has presented a steep learning curve for Sharee Elise. “It’s about persistence and patience,” she readily concedes. “The industry is different from what I thought it would be, but I’m here to stay. I want to continue learning about the industry. I want to play the guitar and just expand myself.” 

Expanding her horizons also means prepping her first solo album, a soul-reggae-R&B fusion tentatively titled Love Game, which she hopes to share with her fans in October. Full of surprises, she’s also trying her hand at visual art. “They recently had this painting session at my church, and I realized that painting is something that I like. I’m enjoying it. I started three weeks ago, and it’s very relaxing, very therapeutic. It’s like a cool new discovery for me,” says Elise, whose father, coincidentally, is a professional artist.

Her first pieces, displayed via her sleek mobile phone, are fairly impressive for their hyperchromatic imagery and attention to detail. She promises to email copies to TALLAWAH. “I’m discovering new talents.”

Even so, nothing can separate Sharee Elise from her first love. “Theatre will always be in my life. I hope to eventually start my own performing arts company to give back because having that kind of outlet when I was younger helped me a lot.” 

Sporting shiny long hair and a flawless pimple-free face, she is the picture of great health and confident, secure womanhood. She’s learning to breathe more deeply, she tells us, and vows to continue keeping her private life out of the public eye. “Everybody has an opinion. Some people thrive on that,” observes the actress, who is avidly looking forward to starting a family. (She wants three kids.) “You just have to keep some things for you, keep the mystery.” 

So in case you’re wondering how old she is – early 30s, late 30s, 40-something? She’s not telling, “Let’s keep them guessing,” she proposes. 

> Matey Chronicles (read our review!) plays at Centrestage Theatre, Dominica Drive, Tuesdays to Sundays.Tickets: 754-3877.

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