On stage, she stands out like a pretty peacock amongst blue jays.
The rainbow of colors sewn into singer-songwriter Angela Sheik's feathers derive from her soulful voice, gifted hands and vast imagination, of which the latter propels her to construct songs with a loop pedal: an effects pedal that allows her to become a one-woman show.
Serving as the headliner, Sheik will spread her colorful wings in her debut at Cooldog Concert Series (hosted by Paul Gumerman) in Kenton on Saturday, sharing tunes from her recently released album "One by One." Multi-instrumentalist Stephen DiJoseph, who'll return to Cooldog, will be the opener.
Sheik, who lives in Wilmington, believes the show will also mark her first time performing near the Smyrna-Clayton area.
"I'm very excited," said Sheik, 35, who also plays piano and autoharp. "[Gumerman] has done a great job of making his concert series really elite, and he's had great names come through here and I'm happy to be one of them."
'One by One'
Sheik's new album is a compilation of nearly three years of songwriting, recording and collaborations with esteemed musicians/producers Scot Sax and Ritchie Rubini. She describes "One by One" as having themes stemming from relationship struggles, the recent passing of loved ones, tongue-in-cheek breakup songs and the fight to see dreams thrive and be realized. The project even includes a nifty synthesized cover of Elvis' "Can't Help Falling In Love."
In addition, the album's new single is "My Turn," an adorable and campy song written from the perspective of her greyhound, Blitzen. The hilarious video is available on YouTube and features Blitzen behind the wheel of Sheik's car, enjoying a day out with her doggy pals.
"[Blitzen] steals the car and you see her driving it all over Delaware," beamed Sheik. "She goes to New Castle with her buddies and they have a picnic."
Sheik thinks the funny concept of the song may have originated from "weird dreams I have." But make no bones about it, she's not surprised by Blitzen's actions because the greyhound is "very talented."
Page 2 of 2 - Creating fruity loops
In 2011, Sheik began using a loop pedal (also known as a loop station). The hardware device allows musicians to record sound such as vocals and instruments on the fly. The pedal plays back the recorded sound over and over (which is known as "looping") and it can be used as background music. When done properly, a musician can become a one-person show and create an entire loop-based song right before your eyes – like Sheik has done multiple times on stage in the Greater Wilmington area.
In her first year using the loop pedal, Sheik competed in the 2011-12 BOSS US National Loop competition in Los Angeles, Calif., and won.
"It was amazing," Sheik said. "It was a really fantastic experience and it pushed me to be the best I could possibly be, and it gave me a new platform."
Since then, life has gotten sweeter for the singer-songwriter. She has partnered with Gable Music Ventures, a Wilmington-based company that manages and promotes music artists.
"They've helped to take care a lot of the booking and management part so I can focus on the music," Sheik said. "They've been a great team."
Sheik says she's directed her attention from competing in loop contests to touring colleges throughout the country, something she's hopeful to begin this fall.
IF YOU GO
WHAT Angela Sheik in concert
WHEN 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2
WHERE Cooldog Concert Series, private house concert in northern Kent County (address will be provided after RSVP)
COST $15 adult; $10 ages 10-18 and active military