Places & Faces K eisha “Shae” Williams’ first stage was at Greater St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church in Lake Charles. It was at church
that she first unleashed the powerful singing voice that would inch her closer to the spotlight. Gospel laid the foundation for a music career that would eventually take her to the studio, where her critically acclaimed team includes Grammy-nominated producers Alvin Garrett, who has worked with Joe, Johnny Gill, and Ruben Studdard; producer Roger Ryan, whose performance credits include Whitney Houston, Wynonna Judd, Faith Evans, and Kirk Franklin; and Michael Gaines, who has worked with Cher, Kelly Price, Eric Clapton and the Pointer Sisters. Shae had polished and perfected her voice and stage presence her entire life, since the moment she first sang at church at age five, and throughout middle and high school, with choir director Gladys McKnight as her mentor. McKnight insisted that Shae study Mariah Carey, Lauren Hill, CeCe Winnans, and—of course—Whitney Houston. Shae cites Houston as one of her greatest influences and inspirations. After graduating from high school, Shae majored in music performance at McNeese State University, where she studied classical and jazz. In 2002, she moved to Nashville, where she brought her gospel roots and classical training to the competitive R&B circuit. Her performances caught the eyes of BET-featured playwright Alvin Moore and award-winning playwright Garrett Davis, both of whom cast her in acting roles. Shae is currently recording her latest R&B album. On November 13, she’ll return to her hometown to perform for the second annual Celebration of Life Cancer Showcase at the Lake Charles Civic Center, an event that benefits the CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital’s Regional Cancer Center. Shae recently spoke with Thrive about her emerging music career.
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Thrive Magazine for Better Living
by Erin Kelly
October 2015 Issue of Thrive