Figure Skater turned song-writer Aneesa Sheikh celebrates debut EP and more. Her accomplishments do not stop there, as she continues to work for her Non-Profit Music4M.I.R.A.C.L.E. after winning the title of Miss Michigan Teen USA 2020. She began her passion for music at the age of eight while watching her sister skate to Santana’s, “Black Magic Women”. She can play multiple instruments and hopes one day to earn herself a Grammy or two. Just by her senior year of of High School, this young woman is beaming with success, and inspires us to keep reaching for our dreams. Get to know Aneesa and what she is working on now.
Cliche Mag: Growing up you were a committed figure skater. Do you ever see the sport and your music influence each other?
Aneesa Sheikh: Absolutely! Figure skating is a dynamic sport that embodies musicality, expression, and athleticism. Skating is very similar to dancing, it’s just executed while balancing on a 10-millimeter iron blade and, of course, ice. When learning choreography for a new skating program, I appreciate rhythm and specific music elements more because I have the ear to hear them in the song from my knowledge in music. Being able to move my body to all types of music styles in skating has transferred to perform naturally. The influence skating and music has had on me is being able to concentrate on several different things simultaneously such as playing guitar, singing, while interpreting the music. One of my favorite ice skating programs was a medley of Santana, I loved this program because I could hear so many music components which I could interpret on the ice, all because I knew how to play the Santana Medley on my electric guitar.
Talk about your non-profit Music4M.I.R.A.C.L.E.
Music4M.I.R.A.C.L.E. is an acronym for Music, Inspires, Reaches, Accepts, Captures, Loves, Equally. I started it because my music was a miracle to someone very close to me. This is where I turned a passion into a purpose. Music4M.I.R.A.C.L.E.’s goal is to spread music therapy and give hope to those who are victims of a medical crisis, or any tough time. I have been able to perform at many charities such as St. Judes, the Healing Notes Foundation, and many rehabilitation and nursing centers. During Covid-19 I virtually Skyped with many institutions and sang for patients who have been isolated from any outside visitors due to the effects of Covid-19.
What was the motivation behind your debut single “ Bad Thing ”?
My motivation behind “Bad Thing” was to open the eyes of teenagers to toxic relationships in a way that they will listen to: music. As a teen, I have seen many other teenagers in a relationship with that “Bad Thing”. My cowriter originally came up with the idea, and I felt as though it will appeal to many teens.
You are quite an accomplished young woman. What have been some of your favorite moments?
Thank you! If I had to choose, my most favorite moments would be completing my gold tests in skating, singing at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital Charity show, performing on “Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour”, walking in Nicole Miller’s Fashion show, and definitely winning the title of Miss Michigan Teen USA 2020!
What influences your music and your songwriting process?
Memories, experiences, and things I observe in the world. For example, my new song “Tough Times” has the message of “Tough Times Don’t last, but tough people do. My father was my influence behind this song and a lot of my music. The song was written while at home due to Covid-19 and I felt as though the world was facing a tough time and they needed to hear this message of hope and again what better way to spread a message than in music.
What is the process of writing your debut EP like?
What may look very simple to many people is a series of several small steps. Writing an EP is not taking ten minutes to write a song and then the next day walking into a recording studio and the song being ready to be released. Writing my debut EP has been a series of cowrites. Typically, out of every ten songs, one will be chosen to go on the EP. Recently, I’ve chosen about 5-8 songs and the order to release them. The first song I plan to release is called “Tough Times” that I wrote with my producer, Justine Blazer. I called her with the idea of “tough times don’t last, but tough people do” and then we bounced lyrics and melodies off of each other. I practiced the song for two weeks and then recorded the lead vocals. As an artist, I love to do my own harmonies, so after I record the lead vocals then I record harmonies, which take a while. After this, there are so many other components that have to be completed. This is the never-ending process for a singer/songwriter!
What is out of your comfort zone that you would love to do one day?
One doesn’t grow in their comfort zone. I push myself outside of my comfort zone in all aspects of life. I am a very adventurous person; however, I have a fear of heights. One day, I would like to step way outside of my comfort zone and bungee jump off of “AJ Hackett Macau Tower bungee jump” which is the highest bungee jump tower in the world.
What are your dreams for the future?
My dreams are to live a life where I utilize every talent and skill I have to help others and help myself. Whether it is through my music or voice, I want to help others live a courageous life without regrets. My dream is to continue learning every day like a sponge soaking up knowledge and sharing it. I also dream of having several Grammys and publications!
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