Armed with knowledge, persistence and passion, pop sensation Kreesha Turner is a busy gal
It’s 6pm and we’re finally wrapping up the photo shoot.
The Faze girls and Kreesha cozy-up for one last photo together, after spending the whole day in the photographer’s studio. Laughing and joking around, Kreesha high-fives me upon discovering we are exactly the same height: a towering 5’4”. Embracing our common bond of shortness, and each other, we both turn and smile one last time for the camera.
It’s hard to believe—especially after meeting this open and friendly 23-year-old—that Kreesha ever felt anything but ease in a crowded room. After all, her current music career has her travelling the country, appearing on live radio shows, performing in front of thousands of fans, and even making room to splurge on a day with Faze.
But once upon a time, this talented singer wasn’t so naturally outgoing. “I was always a shy person, all throughout school,” says Kreesha. She admits that in the past the ability to just go up to people and talk to them could be difficult for her.
Rather than cowering in the corner, afraid to interact with the rest of the world, Kreesha faced her fear head-on. She beganvolunteering for everything she could, through her high school and outside of it, in order to push herself beyond her natural inclinations to shy-away. From a leadership program, to helping out at the local Sick Kids Hospital in Edmonton, to starting her own dance crew (dubbed “Divine Flava”), Kreesha began expanding her comfort zones.
“The bonus part of a lot of extra-curricular activities is they normally have meeting games…so it helps you conquer your shy feet.”
From shy-girl to fly-girl, Kreesha has taken the lesson she learned through these activities and applied them to her passion for music; her newly released album, appropriated entitled Passion, is said to be an “eclectic blend of soulful, jazzy, pop-infused R&B,” and Kreesha herself has been compared with mega-stars like Faze’s previous cover-girl Rihanna. With reviews like that, two singles already hitting the charts (“Don’t Call Me Baby” and “Bounce With Me”) and countless spots heard on shows like Gossip Girl, The Hills and Entourage, Passion has already begun its work riding the airwaves and infiltrating our iPods.
The hard work, however, began a long time ago for Kreesha. At 15, her parents, a Canadian father and Jamaican mother, sent Kreesha from their home in Edmonton, Alberta to live in Jamaica for a year, to learn from the culture and the people in that area. It was here that she first joined a gospel choir and discovered, to her own surprise, that she had quite a powerful voice.
Yet Jamaica held more than one lesson for Kreesha. After getting over the very daunting culture shock, she discovered a way of life in the Caribbean that was not only inspiring, but life-changing.
MY MOM WOULD ALWAYS SAY,
‘WHATEVER YOU DECIDE TO DO,
JUST MAKE SURE YOU EDUCATE
YOURSELF ON EVERYTHING.’
“There is a completely different mentality, and completely different drive,” Kreesha explains. “School’s exciting in Jamaica, ‘cause everybody is there to learn. Like when a teacher asks a question, everyone raises their hands. Because their mentality is, the only way out of poverty is [through] education.”
The excitement and enthusiasm over a simple day in the classroom was something Kreesha had never experienced before, being from a country like Canada, where we tend to take a lot of things (like education) for granted.
Kreesha credits her time away in a different country as the reason for her success. “I applied that same drive that I learned from the Jamaican people into what I wanted to accomplish in the music industry,” she says. “I remember my mom would always say, ‘whatever you decide to do, just make sure you educate yourself on everything.’”
Armed with this new Jamaican way of thinking, Kreesha began her pursuit of a career in the music business. Her theory? Take the lead.
“I started doing everything I possibly could: I did vocal, guitar, piano, music theatre, acting; I was a part of a gospel choir, jazz choir, I started writing, recording my own material…It was about increasing my odds, and also, increasing my knowledge.”
Maybe she wasn’t born that way, maybe it didn’t come naturally, but Kreesha Turner has certainly made the effort to become a leader in her own right. A unique drive and passion for her profession have given Kreesha an edge over those who might take more of a passenger role on the road to their dreams.
“Obviously, when you reach for higher heights, and you believe more extreme things are possible, it sets a whole different path and a whole different engine running for whatever it is you’re trying to do.”
MORE FROM KREESHA
WHAT’S YOUR ALL-TIME FAVE…
JELLY BELLY FLAVOUR
BRAND OF JEANS
THING TO DO ON A SATURDAY MORNING
Photography by David Hou
Styling by Carolee Custus
Hair by Leland Olson for Exit Hair Salon
Thanks to everyone who helped contribute to another wonderful shoot.