Trisha: What made you start the BRL Conference and can you give us the background on the name Bold Right Life?
Kierra: Bold Right Life stands for Boldly Living Right, Getting Ready For Life and the scripture comes from Colossians 3:1-6. God had given me this vision through my career traveling. I was observing how the young people are so on fire for what the world has to offer whether its’ music or hot topics for today’s society. I just wanted to give our generation something new with being more proactive in catering to their spiritual side outside of the church walls. Many organizations like Essence and BET present festivals yearly with all types of genre of music and from the gospel side I just wanted to give the young people the same experience. With this conference, it gives young people an opportunity to connect with new people in a Christian experience. In addition, BRL is a non-profit organization where we have 15 chapters in 15 different cities and states.
Trisha: This is the sixth year for the BRL Conference. How will this year be different from the last five years?
Kierrra: This year the event will take place from August 15-17 and it will be held in Detroit, MI. I want to encourage your readers to push their young people to come to the conferences. What’s going to top this year off is that we are taking it to the Emagine Theatre which means, we are taking it outside of the church where we will be doing kingdom work by having banners in the streets and putting Jesus in the faces of people, not just church people but people outside of the church. We are putting it in the movie theater so it gives us the opportunity to capture the minds and eyes of people who will be going to theaters for the matinee and evening shows and more than likely they will want to peak in the room and see what the conference is about and hopefully we will grab a hold of someones heart who does not know Jesus.
During this conference I will be doing all new music and those in attendance will be able to hear otherwise, you will have to wait until my album comes out to hear my new music– Kierra Sheard on the benefits of attending the BRL Conference and Concert.
The BRL Conference and Concert line up:
The BRL Experience will kick-off on Thursday, August 15, with day sessions featuring Pastor Welton Smith, and a 7:00 p.m. evening service with Pastor Toure Roberts and featured speaker and musical guest Tasha Cobbs. After-hour activities will include bowling, movies and a viewing of “The Voice” at the Emagine Theatre Royal Oak from 10:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
On Friday, August 16, the day sessions will include a special seminar with conference founder, Kierra Sheard and a Zumba session led by Y’Anna Crawley. Pastor John Hannah will lead the main service, along with musical guest Jonathan McReynolds. The Midnight Musical will feature award-winning recording artist and producer Pastor John P. Kee and New Life.
On Saturday, August 17, the day session will include seminars with Sarah Jakes, Jonathan McReynolds and GooGoo Atkins. The BRL Experience closing event will be a listening party and concert featuring Kierra Sheard and award-winning recording artist Canton Jones. This event is free and open to the public. The after-hours activities will follow the closing concert at Ram’s Horn Restaurant.
Asha: You are working with some really great producers for your upcoming album. Can you tell us where you are with your new music?
Kierra: I am super excited about the record and more excited that we are doing new music at this year’s conference. God has opened so many doors for me. I was able to get in the studio and record with Diane Warren. She is a well know writer in the music industry, having written songs for Celine Dion, Toni Braxton, Cher, Ozzy Osbourne along with doing contracts for Space Jam, Justin Bieber. I can go down the list because she has worked with most everyone <laughs>.
It is such an honor to be able to say that I worked with Babyface and Harmony David Samuels who has worked with Maroon 5. I also worked with Rodney Jerkins and my brother J. Drew Sheard. Some of my family will be on the record so I am really excited about this project. We are set to release the record at the top of next year.
Asha: Can we expect a different sound from your new music?
Kierra: Definitely! this record is giving me an opportunity to not just cater to the ear of the church but to the ear that is not used to the church. By having a sound of pop, we are adding that twist to it so that’s it’s not just a small boxed in genre. On this record I am rapping, singing and the great thing is that we have some snippets of the Clark Sisters old record from before I was born. My brother took from their songs and twisted it to today’s sound which, worked out well because the Clark Sisters had a contemporary sound to their music. It’s really exciting!
Asha: What was the reception from the producers as far as working with a gospel artist and creating new music that would reach more people?
Kierra: I have to shout out my managers Howie Carter and Ezkekial at Motown Universal Records. I told my managers that I wanted to go bigger for this record and they made connections for me. I will say that when your motives are pure and your heart is pure people will want to work with you for that very reason and although they may not always recognize it as Christ, they know that there is something about you that makes you stand out. Again back to Diane Warren, she sat in my session and I was like “I know this woman is too busy to be sitting with someone named Kierra Sheard and she was so sweet and nice!” I feel the non-gospel producers are open to the idea of working with gospel artists especially, when they know your heart is in a different place (genuine). It’s just about going after it!”
Asha: What are the future plans for the TV show “The Sheards?”
Kierra: As far as the show, we don’t know if we have a second season yet because we have not gotten the official letter to say that we have been renewed. However, BET is re-running the show which is very exciting news and the reviews were very high so that was a blessing! We will see what happens.
There are a lot of things in the works and although I can not speak on everything I will share that I am starting an online retail store and it is going to be for the plus size.
Trisha: In regards to the BRL Conference, do you have any parting words for our readers and all those looking to attend this wonderful event?
Kierra: Absolutely! I think what we lack in the African-American, Christian community is being proactive and ahead of the game and giving something new. The BRL Conference is an African-American community however, we are not just catering to African-Americans only. We would like for everyone to be there to have a Jesus experience and to be given an opportunity to let that happen. God has just shown himself every year where we have had people come from London, Barbados, Bahamas and they are coming every year thereafter. It’s an opportunity to connect with different people and to meet new people at the same time to have a Jesus experience.
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Article photos courtesy of Gwendolyn Quinn
Cover photo credit: Kierra Sheard/ social media