On stage, barefoot, strumming her guitar, Shaheen Sheik’s soulful music pours out, captivating the hearts of her audience. Her natural ability to entrance those who listen was planted in this Indian girl from Cleveland at an early age. Shaheen’s mother inspired her through singing and her father’s ritualistic playing of classical South Indian music every Saturday morning left a lasting impression. Now, artists such as the Dave Mathews Band, Sade, and Sheryl Crow have influence on Shaheen’s music, though her own style radiates through.
Shaheen made her way to California to pursue her love of songwriting and performing. First she had a brief stint in San Francisco where she played clubs such as Paradise Lounge and won a “Best Performance” award from Northern California Songwriters Association. Soon Shaheen realized that her talents called for a broader audience and set off for Los Angeles where she began gracing the stages of Club 7969, Genghis Cohen, Hotel Café and the Joint.
In June 2003 Shaheen was invited to perform at Artwallah, an international artists’ festival in Los Angeles. After much recognition at the festival, a San Francisco DJ discovered Shaheen’s music and gave Shaheen her first radio play that summer. Shaheen was also chosen to perform “Acoustic Live 2003” where she was selected as one of 42 artists out of a total of 450 to perform in last year’s competition.
In January of 2003, Shaheen released her first and live album, entitled “Live from Santosha,” which showcases not only her songwriting, but also the magic of her live performance. Her first studio release “In your Love,” which was released during the summer of 2003, offers the world an intimate look into Shaheen’s artistry and sound where she sings of what she holds dear: love, truth and compassion.
Currently Shaheen is working with the Music Industry Studies Music Group at California State University, Northridge. The MIS music group yearly seeks out talent to develop, record and market to professionals in the music industry. Of over 60 submissions received during he summer of 2003, 3 were selected to audition for the class. When performing that October morning, she lit up the room with her originality and performance skills, capturing the critical audience with her magnetic voice. As she sang, listener’s eyes were riveted on Shaheen as lyrical honesty, simplicity and uninhibited performance embraced the intimate setting. It was apparent that she would be the artist of year. Everyone there knew right away that she was something special.