Up-and-coming singer-songwriter Shea Diamond (pronounced she-uh) has always had to fight to live her truth.
At 14, she ran away from home, got shuffled around in the foster care system, and eventually ended up serving a 10-year prison sentence for armed robbery desperate for money for a sex reassignment surgery. During her incarceration, Diamond found her voice as an artist and began singing and writing music. After being released in November 2009, the entertainer moved to New York City and was introduced to the trans activism world where she was able to connect with people who understood her.
Now, Diamond is ready to shake up the music industry.
In her new single “Keisha Complexion,” executive produced by acclaimed producer and songwriter Justin Tranter (Selena Gomez, Justin Beiber), Diamond sings about self-love and pride in her dark skin.
“Being dark in a world that says beauty is being light or white, somewhere we forgot about mother!” reads the video’s description. “This song is about men desiring and women loving her complexion—not despite being dark, but because it’s dark.”
“Everything about Shea exudes confidence, love, and the secret beauty of being an underdog,” Tranter said in a statement. “’Keisha Complexion’ showcases all of that and then some.”
Diamond first caught Tranter’s ear after he heard an acapella performance of her original song, an empowering trans anthem, “I Am Her” at a Black Trans Lives Matter event. “A friend sent me a video of her singing,” recalls Tranter. “I just kind of lost my mind and was like, ’Who is this? Why is this song so good? How have I never heard of this person?’ From there I tracked her down.”
“Complexion” is the first taste of Diamond’s upcoming EP Seen It All, which is scheduled to drop on June 29 on Asylum Records and is executive produced by Tranter. Tranter also co-wrote on three of the EPs tracks, including “Keisha Complexion.”