Trans soul singer-songwriter Shea Diamond embodies transcendence. Imprisoned in male correctional facilities for 10 years, searching for something to carry her through her incarceration, she found her voice.
In 2016, the singer introduced herself with the powerful “I Am Her,” and two years later, on Friday (June 29), she released her triumphant debut EP Seen It All.
“I sang 'I Am Her' everywhere,” she told Billboard. “I remember singing it one time — well, a few times — when I was in segregation. Amazing acoustics, right? Laughs] I remember just laying on my stomach on this nasty floor, just wanting to get out this beat. People would be like, 'Sing that one! The “Her” one!' And these are straight men, who didn't identify as being allies or anything else. They just liked the song.”
Here are the most empowering lyrics from the five-track EP:
“Just want my piece the American pie/ Got your slice/ Where is mine?”
“When you say you love my Keisha complexion/ And the way I ain't ever respected/ Got me admiring my own reflection/ It's so hot in this place.”
“I Am Her”
“Don't care too much what other people see/ I get along swell by my goddamn self/ Never asked for no one's philosophy/ It's obvious I'm proud me.”
“How you love doesn’t matter to me/ Just as long as the pressure’s on me/ How you love doesn’t matter to me/ Doesn’t matter”
“Seen It All”
“Something’s telling me/ It’s time to be/ The girl I’ve always dreamed .”