Community News articles in October

There was some great press coverage from Community Newspapers in Perth, in the lead up to my gig at The Ellington Jazz Club on 18 October. You can check out two different articles that their various papers ran below.

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SHE’S supported music stars such as Michael Bolton and Anthony Callea, performed for crowds internationally and fronted a five piece band.

Now after the success of a busy year touring, neo-soul songstress Shameem Taheri-Lee is returning to Perth this month to bring the sounds of her latest album to the Ellington Jazz Club.

The Victoria Park resident’s sophomore album The Second City boasts 15 tracks with lyrics touching on thought-provoking themes, including prejudice, broken trust and gratitude in the face of difficulties.

“Music is a very powerful medium which can be used to communicate positive ideas and messages,” Taheri-Lee said.

“I see my purpose as an artist being to uplift people, inspire them to take action and make the world a better place.”

Drawing on her natural ability in her diverse genre combination of soul, R&B and jazz music, The Second City marks her first album release in four years.

“This album was a while in the making, I haven’t released anything since 2011,” Taheri-Lee said.

“I used crowdfunding to get it all going and the support was amazing, I’m absolutely stoked with the positive response to the album.”

And while the talented musician is no stranger to big audiences, having sold out her last performance at the Perth International Jazz Festival, she said she was looking forward to sharing her new album’s emotion in a more intimate fashion.

“I’ll be playing my new album, a couple songs from my older album and every now and then I like to throw in a cheeky cover with my own spin.”

Shameem Taheri-Lee performs at The Ellington Jazz Club on Sunday, October 18 with doors open at 6pm.

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FROM domestic violence and its connection to inequality, to saving the economy versus protecting the environment, Perth soul songstress Shameem Taheri-Lee pens lyrics with a social conscience.

The overarching topic at play in her music is the need to eliminate prejudice.

A subject close to her heart, the bi-racial beauty, raised in Nedlands, has had some experience with the issue.

“My mum is Iranian and my dad Chinese-Malaysian,” Taheri-Lee said. “I feel that when you are bi-racial, you don’t belong to a particular group and are brought up with this feeling that you belong to the whole world, not just to one country.

“And then because of that you start to see how people compartmentalise themselves according to their race or religion. Because people look at me and can’t tell what my heritage is, they can’t put me in a box, so I don’t get boxed as an Asian or a Middle Eastern person, but people look at me and see me as an ‘other’.”

The 27-year-old Victoria Park resident said people often asked where she was from.

“I say, ‘Australia’ and they respond with, ‘but where are you actually from?’,” Taheri-Lee said.

“I feel like replying, ‘hang on, I belong here as much as you’.

“Of course, this is nothing compared to what other people have to go through. One thing I’m always grateful to my parents for is that we had Aboriginal friends when I was growing up, which is very unusual for western suburbs people, and just seeing the way they lived definitely broadened my vision of what prejudice is and what it can look like.”

Living her childhood dream, Taheri-Lee admits her career launched quickly but entailed a lot of hard work.

“I remember writing in a time capsule in Year 7 that I would like to be a pop star when I grew up,” she said. “And then I went to high school (St Hilda’s) and was faced with this realism of how I would make money from that.

“I went away from the idea for a while then had a singing teacher who really inspired me. I saw she was making a career out of being a musician and I thought, ‘if she can do it, why can’t I?’.”

It has been a busy year for the self-managed artist, kicking off with the launch of her second album, Second City, followed by a national tour and support shows for Michael Bolton and Anthony Callea. Next year will include a tour of China and time at home song writing.

Sara Fitzpatrick

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