Music Review: Shea Diamond's "Seen It All"
Artist, Shea Diamond, is no stranger to structural hurdles. She has battled and won various struggles since a young age, all which have been channeled into her latest EP, Seen It All.
As an artist born in the American South, Shea Diamond’s music is deeply rooted in soul. Her album is filled with soulful sounds which completely embody her own lived experiences. At a young age, Shea was forced to suppress her own identity. Without having the support of her parents, she ended up in the foster care system and was later incarcerated for committing an act as a way to pay for her gender confirmation surgery.
Shea Diamond is a musical trailblazer. She couples music with activism and utilizes both as a vessel to advance the fight for Transgender Rights. Through her music, she recounts her pains and joys. It is through music that she has healed and hopes to heal others.
Seen It All is an album that embodies the lives of many trans women of color who continue to thrive in a world that is too vain to see their potential. Her album sends a message of defiance, a reminder that trans women will continue to exist and excel regardless of it all.
Each of her songs embodies a sense of resistance against structural oppression. Listeners are reminded of the beauty of blackness, the ways to tackle transphobia and the joy of having a sex-positive movement.
Ms. Diamond’s musical work has achieved what many others often desire, the ability to move people in a way that transfers emotional feelings into taking action; to hear what one has experienced and to be so moved to join them in their fight. Seen It All is a soulful call to action.
Very rarely do we witness an artist who truthfully sings about their own lived experiences. Shea Diamond lays everything on the table for us. She does not hold back because she wants us to hear it all. It is very rare that an artist’s musical team will allow them to openly sing about social justice issues; this is primarily because they do not want the issue to overshadow the music. Seen It All is the end product of both an artist and a team that believed in the power of music, a team that dared to go against the grain. This is the result of providing black trans women the mic. This is what occurs when folks see the value of storytelling and how important it is to let those who are directly impacted to take lead.
Even if you are not fired up after listening to the album, at the very least you’ll be granted the gift of listening to Shea’s story. Sometimes the goal is just to be heard.