Today marks the start of our ‘Artist Spotlight Series,’ a chance for you to learn about Born Genius’s talent, artists affiliated with Born Genius, and even obscure artists who aren’t well known within mainstream circles. Through these posts, we hope to introduce you to your next favorite Musician and Performer, themselves encompassing a wide array of occupational stages, from virtually unknown creators looking to break out into the public consciousness. to the familiar, all the way up to the award-winning, seasoned professionals.
The first installment will be dedicated to the doubly Soul Train Award nominated singing / actor, Shaliek Rivers, an amazing recording artist with several musical accolades to his name, namely his 2005 single ‘Get 2 Know Ya’ with Universal Music Group, his 2012 EP ‘“I Don’t Wanna Be Famous’ which materialized into a 3-month tour, and his 2014, 12-song Album ‘Blood Sweat Tears,’ not to mention his most current, now ended, acting engagement with CBS. Announced in January via NewsWire, Shaliek Rivers had taken on a continual role in the American true-crime series named ‘Interrogation’ as a correctional officer. Rivers had said that acting had provided him with a new approach to his developing creativity stating,
“With acting, it’s a whole other technique. The viewer needs to believe you. I can’t be Shaliek 'the singer' when I’m on set 'acting.' I have to become this whole other person.”
However, the entire series was greeted with less-than-favorable scoring by critics and audiences alike, garnishing a Rotten Tomatoes Critical scoring of 57% with an audience score of 88%, while a harsh 54/100 via Metacritic for its disorderly storyline, “complicating a narrative for its own sake,” which didn’t adhere to a straightforward, temporal unfolding, rather introduced and reintroduced content as it became applicable, a form only successful under certain conditions. The show closed its production this month after only 10 episodes, and so it will be interesting to see how Rivers develops his acting chops with his growing discography, his other credits including an unknown participatory role in FOX’s ongoing series ‘The Resident,’ HBO’s 2020 science fiction-horror series ‘Lovecraft Country,’ where Rivers was a Guest star in Episode 8, although not listed among the show’s regular cast. According to his official press release, he is slated to be a part of the 2021 film depicting Aretha Franklin’s life called ‘Respect,’ although how is not stated.
According to his Apple Music Profile via Pendulum Records, his most recent musical releases have been in the form of singles, in 2017 releasing a synth-R&B, yet fondly nostalgic single named ‘All This Love,’ reminiscent of Freddie Jackson’s 1985 song ‘You are My Lady’ with its sensually airs, and even Teddy Pendergrass’s 1980 release, ‘Love T.K.O. [technical knock-out]’ with his orchestrated accompaniment and masterful vocalisms. He followed this single with a reggae-heavy remix of the single in collaboration with Chad Hype, a Jamaican musician, founder of newly created 300MilliEntertainment, and son of the notable Jamaican Dj and recording Artist Flourgon, contemporaneously notable due to his lawsuit with Miley Cyrus over alleged copyright within Cyrus’s single ‘We Can’t Stop.’ Hopefully, towards the end of 2020, and especially in 2021, Rivers will reintegrate himself within the R&B world with his 80s style, evocative blend of synth, electronics, vocals, and lyric persuasion. Based solely on his recent singles, one can tell he has the vocal aptitude, but one will have to wait to see what exactly he does with such talent, and if his inclinations towards epochal nostalgism will be either helpful or inhibitory to his developing musical expressionism in the future.
Shaliek Rivers is not an unknown Musician in semi-mainstream culture, who lives in obscurity without an accompanying vocal ‘image.’ In 2013, his song ‘The Past’ found itself on the Top-20 ‘Urban Adult Contemporary radio,’ the Top-10 Billboard, and his 2014 single ‘Ain’t Supposed to Cry,’ was no. 8 on Urban AC’s Top-10 for 3 weeks. This is all to say that not only has Rivers crafted a personal sonic voice, he has also forged a way for himself outside of music, a helpful avenue for post-vocal success and notoriety. Along with his recognized talents as a songwriter within the group ‘The Hitterzz’ by mainstream successes like Jordan Knight and Day 26, Rivers has acquired most of the fundamental attributes of a societal success [singing, acting, writing]. But it is what he decides to do with them that will ultimately make or break his career, how he will channel his nostalgic uniquity into a consumable product without tainting its exceptional quality.
Rivers has recently been creating with us here at Born Genius Records, specifically with our founder / Platinum Selling Music Producer J. Bonkaz. The two are currently in the process of reshaping River's sound, while remaining true to his nostalgic, 80s soul-loving, vocal aesthetic to which his fans have grown accustomed. We hope you enjoyed reading about the cross-medium creator Shaliek Rivers, and be sure to like, share, and comment your thoughts. We'd love to hear what you have to say!
Writer: John David Vandevert [Johndavidvandevert.com]