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A Conversation Between Musicians: Shelley Nicole and Ben Tyree
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A Conversation Between Musicians: Shelley Nicole and Ben Tyree
the daring magazine
Sep 28, 2021
Location: New York City
This conversation is part of The Tune-In with Ben Tyree, 12 conversations about the music industry illuminating and humanizing artists’ everyday triumphs and struggles

Shelley Nicole—the mainspring behind Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe—is simultaneously a product, a witness and architect of Black-on-Black love, a calling that has informed all of her work as a singer, writer, composer, actor, poet, musician, and a healer. It is the tap root of her latest work, I Am American, a collection of songs written by her and produced by award-winning guitarist, composer, and producer Vernon Reid of the band Living Colour.

The project is part of the continuum of audacious, self-confident, and eclectic Black sisterhood that extends from Rosetta Tharpe to Nina Simone to Betty Davis to Labelle to Joan Armatrading to Meshell Ndegeocello. As band leader, she released two previous albums, she who bleeds… and The Quick & Dirty EP. Shelley is also featured vocalist and percussionist in Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber founded by writer and musician Greg Tate and songwriter and bassist Jared M. Nickerson. As a member of Burnt Sugar, she has traveled the globe performing in venues from The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles to Sons d’hiver in Paris.

A product of the diverse Washington, D.C. music scene, Ben Tyree is a performer and composer of virtuosic ability, infectious groove, and eclectic tastes. Ben’s toured and recorded with the eclectic Burnt Sugar: The Arkestra Chamber as well as the uncategorizable Memphis singer-songwriter Valerie June, whose idiosyncratic blend of folk, blues, gospel, and soul have brought him to the stages of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Late Show with David Letterman. He has scored several independent films as well as pieces for television that have appeared on ESPN and in advertising campaigns for companies like Green Team USA.

Watch the conversation
Shelley Nicole | The Tune-In with Ben Tyree | The Daring
A video interview with Ben Tyree and singer and musician Shelley Nicole about the future of the music industry, her creative process, and working as an artist based in New York.
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