Aside

Struttin’ in Stilettos to the Beat of Her Own Drum

originally written for Lawndale Bilingual Newspaper, 7/31/14

“You can’t plan everything,” explained singer, drummer and percussionist Sheila Escovedo or better known as Sheila “E”. And if you would have told her she would make collaborations with some of the greatest musical talent from around the world including Gloria Estefan, Carlos Santana, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross she would have told you, you were crazy.  A California native, music quickly became an outlet of creative expression and escape.

Rounding out 40 years in the music industry, Sheila E’s album Icon, her first record in 12 years,  mixes a variety of sounds and has something for everyone: funk, rock, R&B, Latin rhythms and jazz. Music was the heart beating sound and life throughout her family’s household walls as a child and served as fuel for her musical inclination. She grew up surrounded by great music legends like her percussionist father Pete Escovedo and Latin star Tito Puente, who all supported and inspired her to follow her passion.

After four decades in the business it is surprising to see Sheila E remain dynamic and actively touring. Many artists often burnout or plateau after a few years in the industry. “Acknowledging that [music] is really about the people and the connections made,” said Sheila of what helps her stay honest with her music. “Music brings people together..it is a celebration of freedom and community, and I feel so grateful to be able to contribute to that mission.” 

When asked what piece of advice she would give a younger version of her self, “You might want to put some gel insoles in those stilettos every now and then, girl, Just a thought.” Despite life’s tough punches, and its twists and turns it appears that Sheila E hasn’t forgotten one thing: her sense of humor.

Catch her performing at Buddy Guy’s Legends’ “Intimate Concert Series” August 5th. For more information, visit www.buddyguy.com

Be on the lookout for our next edition where we will have a follow-up to this article about her show at Buddy Guy’s Legends.

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