An accomplished artist, business owner and star of a cappella scene, Shalisa is at the best she’s ever been while releasing her new album, Five Decades. This album is a tribute to her career and life as she celebrates her 50th birthday. It includes 13 covers and an original track, all of which showcase Shalisa and her amazing voice.
From the very beginning, Shalisa was interested in doing something that strayed from the mainstream. “I decided at 19 that instead of following a mainstream career path with Pop and Rock music that I wanted to find a different genre or a different way that that music is presented, which is a cappella.” Shalisa spent several years touring around the world and receiving a collection of accolades with her a cappella group Toxic Audio, which is now under the name Fox Audio. She has now turned her focus to working with bands and a variety of other artists.
“Five Decades”, which was created over the course of the COVID-19 Pandemic, is a collaborative album that uses the skills of several different musicians and producers, including a track that features Shalisa’s entire family. As the owner of an entertainment company, she wanted to give artists something to work on during such an unstable time. “I compiled over 20 musicians and commissioned different tracks by different musicians so it became a collaboration of people who were all distanced and working out of their home studios. I would pick different ones for different tracks I’d send over and say, ‘Put a cymbal on this one,’ ‘Add a lead guitar,’ ‘How about you trying drums on this one.’” The project became a mash up of a variety of artists in order to create a unique set of tracks in a way that was seemingly unheard of before the pandemic.
This album features 14 tracks, depicting the five decades through which Shalisa has lived. Many of the songs are pieces that she has performed in some way in the past, but there are a few new pieces as well. There is also an original track, “Best Love I Never Had” that Shalisa wrote about her husband, years before their marriage. “I wrote this song for my husband, before we were ever really able to date. I thought that we were star crossed and would never be able to work. I was a single mom and he was an actor and performer that wasn’t necessarily going to stay put in one location. So we kind of agreed that we love each other but it couldn’t go anywhere. Despite that, we ended up together anyway. This is a special song for both of us.”
While Shalisa did not go into this project with a set theme in mind, ‘Love’ became a recurrent concept in each of the songs and in the album as a whole. “I had not originally chosen a theme, other than the five decades and wanting to pick songs that I felt like represented my life. When we compile the whole thing and look at it, though, there really is a running theme and that was love. It has songs about falling in love, songs about love gains, love loss, and even some of them are a community sense of love like the song by Sugar Land.” This theme can be easily seen through both the song choice and the dedication and work that went into the album as a whole.
On top of this concept of ‘Love’, “Five Decades” comes with the message that you can still be in your prime, no matter your age. “I wanted to record this album because I feel like as I was approaching 50, I was in the best course of my life. I had never had a clearer, better sound and had never been able to handle a song and deliver a song, as well as I can now. I want to tell people, particularly artists, and more so even women that are artists that it’s not too late to pursue your dreams that you don’t have an expiration date. Some of your best work and your best years may still lie ahead of you.”
Be sure to keep an eye out for Shalisa as she is currently putting together plans for a solo concert series that will include much of the music from “Five Decades”. Check out her music and her social media via the links listed below.
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