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Sharissa

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Sharissa
An image of a woman with shoulder-length hair and a white jacket smiles toward the camera.
Sharissa in 2005
Background information
Birth name Sharissa Dawes
Born (1975-08-21) August 21, 1975 (age 43)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Genres R&B
Occupation(s) Singer, actress
Labels Motown, Virgin
Associated acts Wyclef Jean

Sharissa Dawes (born August 21, 1975) is an American singer. Born and raised in New York City's borough of Brooklyn, she began her musical career in the girl groups Triple Dose and 4Kast. 4Kast released their 1998 debut album, Any Weather, which was promoted with the singles "Miss My Lovin'" and "I Tried". After her time in the groups, Sharissa worked as a backing vocalist before she was discovered by Jimmy Henchman.

Her debut solo album, No Half Steppin' (2002), peaked at number 44 on the Billboard 200 chart. Several of its songs appeared on other Billboard charts. Sharissa was featured the soundtrack of the 2003 romantic comedy film, Love Actually. Her second solo album, Every Beat of My Heart (2005), was only released in Japan. The singer has also contributed to several compilation albums, and has been featured on other artists' albums.

Life and career[edit]

1975–2001: Early life and career[edit]

Sharissa Dawes was born in August 21, 1975 in New York City's borough of Brooklyn.[1][2][3] She is the oldest of three children.[4] Raised in the Bronx' Edenwald Projects, she became interested in music at age seven.[1] When Sharissa was about 13, she performed with neighborhood children[2] and sang in her school cafeteria.[1] She was influenced by her mother's music collection (which included Deniece Williams and Patti LaBelle),[2] and recorded and studied televised music specials.[1] Sharissa's father nicknamed her "Little Stevie Wonder".[1] Growing up, she felt pressure within the community: "People expected me to do nothing but have babies and depend on the system. I fought through all that."[4]

Sharissa joined the group Triple Dose as a teenager,[1][2] and became part of the "urban vocal quartet" 4Kast in 1995.[5][6] 4Kast released their debut album, Any Weather on October 13, 1998, on RCA Records.[5][6] Its lead single, "Miss My Lovin'", features Mic Geronimo.[6] Released as the second single on August 21, 1998,[7] "I Tried" reached number 46 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Billboard chart on October 10, 1998.[8] It remained on the chart for 12 weeks.[8] To promote the album, the group performed as part of a fundraiser at Madison Square Garden.[7]

Sharissa contributed "Bring Out The Freak" (featuring ILL Bread) to the 1996 compilation album, The Ultimate Mix.[9] The following year, she released the solo single "Keep It Simple" through Emotive Music.[10] Sharissa became a backing vocalist for a number of singers, including Wyclef Jean, Beanie Sigel, Father MC, and Carl Thomas.[1] Three of her songs appeared on the 2001 compilation album, Bullet Proof Love, Vol. 1: "Money Ain't Gonna Change Us" (including verses from The Prodigy and Bars-N-Hooks), "Gone 2 Long", and "I Can't Wait".[11] Sharissa was also featured on Carl Thomas' "Cold, Cold Wind", on the compilation album BMG Dance Compilation #69, that year.[12]

2002: No Half Steppin'[edit]

Jimmy Henchman discovered Sharissa in November 2002.[2] Her 2002 debut album, No Half Steppin', was released through Henchmen and Motown on February 26 of that year.[1][13] Ayana Byrd of Vibe called its sound a "brand of gritty, hip hop-influenced R&B, and its lyrics revolve around tales of love, heartbreak, and independence"; according to Bryce Wilson, the album was inspired by 1970s music.[2] Jason Birchmeier of AllMusic identified No Half Steppin' as part of Motown's attempt "to break new artists into the urban market", and the label was presenting Sharissa in a style similar to Mary J. Blige and Aaliyah.[13] Other music critics also compared the singer to Blige.[14][15]

The album received mainly-positive reviews,[2][13][14] although some criticized its production.[13][16] It peaked at number 44 on the Billboard 200 chart on March 16, 2002 (remaining on the chart for 10 weeks),[17] number seven on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Billboard chart[18] and number 44 on the Top Album Sales Billboard chart.[19] Sharissa performed material from the album at the Blazin' Hip-Hop and R&B Concert in Pittsburgh on June 16, 2002,[20] and released a mixtape version.[21]

"Any Other Night"'s music video was "the story of a woman getting her groove back after being neglected by her man".[2] The single peaked at number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on April 6, 2002, remaining on the chart for 14 weeks.[22] It reached number 21 on the Adult R&B Songs Billboard chart,[23] number 23 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay,[24] number 23 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs,[25] and number 70 on the Radio Songs Billboard charts.[26] The album's title track was also released as a single,[27] and was promoted with a video.[28][29] It peaked at number 75 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay[24] and number 78 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Billboard charts.[25] The third (and final) single from the album was "I Can't Wait".[30]

Sharissa was featured on "You Say Keep It Gangsta" with Butch Cassidy on Wyclef Jean's third studio album, Masquerade, which was released on June 18, 2002.[31][32] The singer featured on The Ranjahz's "Animal Life", from the album Say What You Say, that year.[33][33][a] She also played Yanesha in the 2002 television film, Play'd: A Hip Hop Story.[35] Sociology professor Geoff Harkness wrote in a 2015 article that Yanesha is an example of the bad-girl archetype, which he defined as "sexually insatiable females who emphasize their physical attributes and downplay other aspects of their identity".[36]

2003–present: Every Beat of My Heart and continued career[edit]

On November 11, 2003, Sharissa contributed "Take Me as I Am" to the soundtrack of the 2003 romantic comedy film Love Actually; it features Wyclef Jean.[37][b] An accompanying music video was released.[40] The song peaked at number 96 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Billboard chart.[25] Baria A. Razzaq of Vibe criticized the song: "Wyclef Jean misleads her into regurgitating one of his ditties from The Carnival era".[41] Sharissa attended the film's New York City premiere.[42]

EMI Music Japan and Virgin released her second album, Every Beat of My Heart, in Japan on October 25, 2005.[38][43][44] The album was originally scheduled for a full release on September 27 of that year.[45] Sharissa has co-writing credits on all its songs, and said about the process: "I can't sing about things that I haven't experienced, so it was important for me to work with producers who understood my struggle."[46] Baria A. Razzaq praised the album for the collaborations with R. Kelly and Millie Jackson.[41]

Singles from the album were "I'm In Love With a Thug", featuring R. Kelly,[46] and "I Got Love".[47] The track "You Can Do Better" reached number 28 on the Adult R&B Songs Billboard chart.[23] Before Every Beat of My Heart, Sharissa had released "Guess Who's Back", "See If I Won't", "You Make It Easy", "I'm Heat" and "Drop on Me" as singles.[48][49][50] "I'm Heat" features verses by The Game, and "Drop on Me" includes verses by The Notorious B.I.G..[50]

Sharissa designed a MaDame Bluez & Co. line of "street couture" in 2005[45] and participated in the reality competition show, Survive This![51] She performed at a Masonic Temple event in Decatur, Illinois on February 17, 2006, to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS.[52] Sharissa's song, "Further", was included on the compilation album Dear Summer, Vol. 1 the following year.[53] She released "All or Nuth'n" in 2011 through the Assirahs Music Group.[54][c]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart position
US
[56]
US
R&B

[18]
US
Sales

[19]
No Half Steppin' 44 7 44
Every Beat of My Heart
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Mixtape[edit]

Title Details
Freestyle Mixtape
  • Released: 2002
  • Label: Henchmen
  • Formats: CD
  • Notes: Mixtape of No Half Steppin'

As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart position Album
US
[57]
US
Adult R&B

[23]
US
R&B/HH

[25]
US
Radio

[26]
US
R&B/HH Airplay

[24]
"Keep It Simple" 1996 Non-album single
"Any Other Night” 2002 72 21 23 70 23 No Half Steppin’
“No Half Steppin’" 78 75
“I Can't Wait”
"Guess Who's Back" 2005 Non-album singles
"See If I Won't"
"You Make It Easy"
"I'm Heat"
(featuring The Game)
Every Beat of My Heart
"Drop on Me"
(featuring The Notorious B.I.G.)
Non-album single
"I'm In Love With a Thug”
(featuring R. Kelly)
Every Beat of My Heart
“I Got Love”
“Further" 2007 Dear Summer, Vol. 1
"All or Nuth’n" 2011 Non-album single
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist and other appearances[edit]

Title Year Primary performer(s) Album
"Bring Out The Freak" 1996 ILL Bread The Ultimate Mix
"Money Ain't Gonna Change Us" 2001 The Prodigy and Bars-N-Hooks Bullet Proof Love, Vol. 1
"Cold, Cold Wind" Carl Thomas BMG Dance Compilation #69
"You Say Keep It Gangsta” 2002 Butch Cassidy and Wyclef Jean Masquerade
"Animal Life” The Ranjahz Say What You Say
"Take Me as I Am" 2003 Wyclef Jean Love Actually

Other songs[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
Adult
R&B

[23]
"Gone 2 Long" 2001 Bullet Proof Love, Vol. 1
"I Can't Wait"
"You Can Do Better" 2005 28 Every Beat of My Heart

Filmography[edit]

Title Year Medium Role Notes
Play'd: A Hip Hop Story 2002 Television film Yanesha Film debut
Survive This! 2005 TV series Herself

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Animal Life" was also included on The Ranjahz's 2015 album Missing Ingredient under the title "Animall Life".[34]
  2. ^ "Take Me as I Am" was also featured on Sharissa's second studio album Every Beat of My Heart[38] and Jean's fourth studio album The Preacher's Son.[39]
  3. ^ The Assirahs Music Group had previously published "Take Me as I Am".[55]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Seida, Linda. "Artist Biography by Linda Seida". AllMusic. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Byrd, Anna (March 2002). "Sharissa: A Woman's Worth". Vibe. 10 (3): 102. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  3. ^ Whitburn (2003): p. 46
  4. ^ a b Mitchell, Gail (March 2, 2002). "Rhythm, Rap, and The Blues". Billboard. 114 (9): 44. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason. "Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny". AllMusic. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "AllMusic Review by AllMusic". AllMusic. Archived from the original on July 17, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Weather Girls". Billboard. 110 (31): 17. August 1, 1998. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  9. ^ The Ultimate Mix (Inlay cover). Various Artists. Marlboro Music. 1996.
  10. ^ "Keep It Simple". AllMusic. Archived from the original on May 17, 2018.
  11. ^ "Bullet Proof Love, Vol. 1". Apple Music. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  12. ^ BMG Dance Compilation #69 (Inlay cover). Various Artists. BMG Music Canada. May 2001.
  13. ^ a b c d Birchmeier, Jason. "AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier". AllMusic. Archived from the original on July 13, 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Recordings on Review". Dayton Daily News. March 22, 2002. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018. (subscription required)
  15. ^ "Daily Break". The Virginian-Pilot. March 22, 2002. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018. (subscription required)
  16. ^ "Sound Check". Los Angeles Daily News. March 15, 2002. Retrieved May 14, 2018. (subscription required)
  17. ^ "Billboard 200". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Top Album Sales". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  20. ^ "Magical Mystikal tour: Rap star shines during annual Juneteenth celebration". New Pittsburgh Courier. June 26, 2002. Retrieved May 14, 2018. (subscription required)
  21. ^ Freestyle Mixtape (Inlay cover). Sharissa. Henchmen.
  22. ^ "Hot 100". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d "Adult R&B". Billboard. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  24. ^ a b c "R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  25. ^ a b c d "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Radio Songs". Billboard. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  27. ^ "Hot New Female Singers On Music Scene". Jet. 101 (18): 59. April 22, 2002. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  28. ^ "Sharissa Dawes - No Half Steppin'". Vevo. October 7, 2009. Archived from the original on December 18, 2015.
  29. ^ "no half steppin'". MTV. October 7, 2009. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  30. ^ "I Can't Wait" (Inlay cover). Sharissa. Motown. 2002.
  31. ^ Norment, Lynn (August 1, 2002). "Sounding off. (the Best in Recorded Music)". Ebony. Retrieved May 14, 2018. (subscription required)
  32. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine". AllMusic. Archived from the original on March 1, 2017.
  33. ^ a b Say What You Say (Inlay cover). DJ Kay Slay. Independent. 2002.
  34. ^ "Missing Ingredient". Apple Music. October 2, 2015. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018.
  35. ^ Tynan, Cory (Director) (June 26, 2002). Play'd: A Hip Hop Story (Television film). Artisan.
  36. ^ Harkness (2015): p. 173
  37. ^ Phares, Heather. "AllMusic Review by Heather Phares". AllMusic. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  38. ^ a b "Every Beat of My Heart". AllMusic. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016.
  39. ^ Theakston, Rob. "AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston". AllMusic. Archived from the original on October 14, 2017.
  40. ^ "Wyclef Jean - Take Me As I Am ft. Sharissa". YouTube. October 25, 2009. Archived from the original on October 8, 2011.
  41. ^ a b Razzaq, Baria A. (October 2005). "Sharissa: Every Beat of My Heart". Vibe. 13 (11): 173. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  42. ^ "Love Actually New York Premiere". Getty Images. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  43. ^ "Releases". AllMusic. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  44. ^ "Every beat of my heart". WorldCat. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  45. ^ a b Mitchell, Gail (August 6, 2005). "Producer Seal Puts His Stamp on Hits". Billboard. 117 (32): 37. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  46. ^ a b "R. Kelly, The Game Bolster Sharissa Album". Billboard. July 25, 2005. Archived from the original on September 19, 2014.
  47. ^ "I Got Love - Single". Apple Music. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016.
  48. ^ "Guess Who's Back" (Inlay cover). Sharissa. Czar Entertainment. 2005.
  49. ^ "See If I Won't" / "You Make It Easy" (Inlay cover). Sharissa. Henchmen. 2005.
  50. ^ a b "I'm Heat" / "Drop On Me" (Inlay cover). Sharissa. Henchmen. 2005.
  51. ^ Wahl, Ed (Director) (2005). Survive This! (Television film). Regain Records.
  52. ^ Spates, Alicia (February 16, 2006). "Teens Night Out hopes to provide upbeat education". Herald & Review. Retrieved May 14, 2018. (subscription required)
  53. ^ "Dear Summer, Vol. 1". Apple Music. November 27, 2007. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  54. ^ "All or Nuth'n". Spotify. Retrieved May 14, 2018. (subscription required)
  55. ^ Love Actually Original Soundtrack (PVG) (2004)
  56. ^ "Sharissa – Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  57. ^ "Hot 100". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 17, 2018.

Book sources[edit]

  • Harkness, Geoff (2015). "Thirty Years of Rapsploitation: Hip-Hop Culture in American Cinema". In Williams, Justin A. The Cambridge Companion to Hip-Hop. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 168–180. ISBN 978-1-107-03746-5.
  • Love Actually Original Soundtrack (PVG). London: Wise Publications. 2004. ISBN 978-1-78323-407-3.
  • Whitburn, Joel (2003). 2002 Billboard Music Yearbook. New York City: Record Res. ISBN 978-0-89820-096-6.

External links[edit]