If you’re looking for the epitome of fierceness look no further than Shelley Nicole. Whether she’s rocking out with her band Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe, healing you with “Rock ‘N Reiki”, or just walking down the streets of Brooklyn, you will take notice. Not afraid to sing her truth and speak her mind, Shelley can be poignant and still make you dance. Think Nona Hendryx meets Black Sabbath meets Grace Jones. She declares, “Can a Girl Catch a Break” in her song “Black Girls”. Seen & Herd watches as this superstar breaks out.
Imagine how thrilled we were when Shelley agreed to participate in our first ever fashion film. In this collaboration with filmmaker Wayne Schrengosht we asked Shelley to channel her supernatural side while wearing a KHH | Kelly Horrigan Handmade costume creation: A Medusa like Serpent goddess for a modern tale. With music by our very own Lee Free, Seen & Herd continues our collaborative cooking and serves up a fresh new blog post just in time for fall.
Seen & Herd: Shelley, you move easily from rock star, to new age woo, to down to earth city girl… Tell us your secrets for multi-dimensional living?
Shelley Nicole: At the risk of sounding really cliché, I don’t know how to be anything but myself, and all those things you mentioned are me. I am a rock star, I am a crunchy-granola and I am your neighborhood girl all rolled into one. Probably that rock chick needs to come out a little more to get some more things done in this crazy world, but I turn to the woo because that’s what keeps me grounded when things start to swirl.
I think if I walked as rock star all the time, I mean wearing it on my sleeve then it would get tired. At least I know I would get tired. I am a big star in my heart. I know it. I carry it with me all the time and she shows up when she needs to set someone straight or set fire to stage, but otherwise I need and really like the quiet of my crystals and the ease of a friendly hello in the hood. I know that might change one day soon, but hopefully when my life turns up the volume there will always been real friends and safe spaces to land and call home.
SNH: According to Greek mythology, Medusa’s condition was a punishment bestowed on her by goddess Athena. We framed you here as Medusa’s alter ego “Asudem”, if you get to re-write the mythos what would you want “Asudem’s” origins to be, what would be her super ability?
SN: Asudem is also one of the Gorgons. Although her hair was made of snakes like her fellow Gorgonians, instead of being ugly, she was beautiful. She also had the power to turn men into stone just by looking into their eyes, but she only used that power on those whose energy she felt was evil and bound to hurt someone. When she would come upon such a person instead of killing them, she had the power to heal their evil by encasing them in a quartz crystal capsule, alive. Once the person was encased in crystal and if they truly let go of their evil energy the crystal would melt away and they could return to their life renewed. If there is any malice or ill will in their heart, they would remain in their crystal case…they would still be offering good to the world because of the crystals massive healing power.
SNH: At points the video plays like a moving Rorschach test. Give us a 10-word interpretation.
SN: It’s all about perception. Don’t get caught up.
SNH: How did you form your band Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe? What are ya’ll up to? Any other projects we should know about?
SN: I formed the band in 1999. At that time it wasn’t called blaKbüshe. I didn’t take on the band name until about 2001. The band was formed with people I had played with around NYC in other bands as a backing vocalist. I think the only person I hadn’t played with was the bass player…I started writing back then with my guitarist Jerome Jordan who is still in the band.
We will begin recording our next project this fall. This will be our third project, but the second studio album. Recording is the main focus at the moment, but I will be doing a b’earthday show on November 6th at RockbarNYC.
SNH: This is the Chinese Astrology’s Year of the Snake, supposedly a good time to begin important detail work, research and investigation. What’s on your to do list?
SN: HA! I laugh because my “To Do” list is so long. But I will say at the top of the list is recording my next band album. That is really the most important thing I’m working to get out at the moment. Other things include launching my Sovereign Hands website for all of my healing work, continuing to develop healing workshops, building my yoga practice/business, re-launching my blaKbüshe website, writing songs, and taking the world by storm with the power of love. Yes the world takeover with love thing sounds a little corny, but that’s how it needs to go down. I’m definitely deep in the details right now and research is my actual name. Trust me this list could go on to the point of madness, but everything is aligning.
This film and the original leather costume will be on view as part of the “Fashion Studies” exhibition at Pratt Institute’s Rubelle & Norman Schafler Gallery September 6 – December 12, 2013 in Brooklyn NY.
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