It’s April 20, 3:48 p.m. at the East Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club and I’m sitting across from Sheila E. talking about her music career, the day before Prince died. At the time, we just got acquainted and began an interview about her long-lived music career.
“I’m a student of life and will be one forever,” said Sheila E. about her constant revolution of learning and playing music. “If I continue to be the student, like I am, I’ll continue to learn. I love teaching others, but I love learning.”
Music is the key to life’s understandings for musician Sheila Escovedo. In an industry that has a quick turnaround, she has kept longevity in her career by being persistent and aware of evolving genres.
“’There is so much music in the world and I haven’t played everything. I’m interested in the areas of the world that we haven’t traveled to. I want to hear their story telling through music,” Sheila said.
The renowned drummer stopped by the Boys and Girls Club in East Los Angeles for a Saving Our Daughters event; where, she showed young girls and boys the importantance of music and confidence when it comes to making their talents a reality for their careers.
“It’s important to educate other people about music. I learned by watching and knowledge is power. A lot of the kids don’t know how important it is to have an education and increased education is really going to the schools to talk to them,” she said.
Over 40 children filled the Boys and Girls club to watch Sheila E. play and get hands on experience from the skilled musician. It wasn’t a surprise to see parents of the young children line up to tell her “I love your music” or “Your playing inspired me as a child”.
Sheila’s trailblazing career created an avenue for the people that came after she aspired to break down barriers as musicians. Her hits include “The Glamorous Life” and “A Love Bizarre”. Her musical skills have ventured into several different genres ranging from pop, R&B, funk, Latin and jazz.
Sheila has worked with some of music’s heavy hitters such as Marvin Gaye, Prince, Dianna Ross, Gloria Estefan and countless others.
“Its was [an] honor to work with all the people that I have over the years because I learned so much about the business and had the opportunity to perform with people like Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Prince,” she said.
In the late 70’s Sheila met Prince backstage, where a joke he said caught her attention. “He told me ‘I know who you are and I’ve been watching your career’. We started hanging out and working together,” she said.
Although we talked about Prince briefly, I could tell the respect she had for him and his help in launching her career. Now, Sheila E. has taken that legacy to higher heights by planting seeds in the youth.
For more information about Sheila E. visit her website at www.sheilae.com