Award-Winning Grammy Artist Sharon Lia: 5th Annual Ladies Who Rock 4 A Cause® – October 8, 2022
Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing of Sharon Lia.
Sharon Lia is an award-winning symphonic rock/pop artist and a voting member of the GRAMMY’s®. A singer, songwriter, pianist, and graphic artist, her music has landed on the GRAMMY® Ballot multiple times.
She has appeared on TV programs across the USA on NBC, ABC, CW, PHL17, and others, sharing her inspiring story and music. Sharon and her band (Sharon Lia Band), who worked with David Ivory (Halestorm, Patti Labelle), have two albums entitled “Fairytales” and “Beyond Wonderland”.
Her most recent single, “The Sum of Us” is an anthem of victory, bringing artists together from the United States to Malaysia to join in the chorus. Her sentiment that “every one of us contributes to the sum of us” is deeply felt and caught the attention of Deepak Chopra (Meditation / spiritual guru), who selected Sharon Lia as his artist pick on Spotify.
On October 8, 2021, she released her solo album “Welcome To My World, The Songs of Linda Creed” featuring the un-released, never-before-heard songs of the late SONGWRITER HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE Linda Creed (co-songwriter of “The Greatest Love of All”).
A beautiful traditional pop, regionally rooted R&B album showcasing Sharon’s beautiful rich vocals and one of Philly’s most prolific songwriters.
Hailed as one of Philadelphia’s Remarkable Women (by Philly radio veteran Marilyn Russell on 98.1 WOGL FM), Sharon founded the Ladies Who Rock 4 A Cause® organization in 2015.
During her battle with cancer, Lia began leveraging her passion for music with her journey of overcoming to help others facing critical circumstances, with the organization becoming a 501c3 non-profit in 2021.
Busy producing the 5th Annual Ladies Who Rock 4 A Cause® charitable festival, Sharon and her band will be joined by the legendary Taylor Dayne, Tiffany, and Jennifer Paige and emerging local and nationally touring artists.
Sharon is writing, recording, and producing her next album with her partner and husband, guitarist and co-producer Rick Jannotti, and their band, entitled “LIVE OUT LOUD”. The title is a tribute to her late sister, who died young and is the primary inspiration for her following her dream, finding her voice, and living… out loud.
Can you share with us your background and your career?
I am normally not so candid, but it’s in my heart to share, and I thank you for this interview.
I have had to overcome great odds to fight for my music career. Like many artists, paying bills and pursuing your dream is a challenge. I did as much as possible while not making sacrifices that hurt anyone.
As time went on, I became laser-focused on crushing a music career, going back to school to be a graphic artist by day, and taking care of my family. I had to fight for my voice against many odds, including tragic loss, abuse, cancer, a brain injury, and even an autoimmune disease (Sjogrens) that dries your vocal cords (and more).
Still, it only fueled my passion for taking the visceral love of creating musical landscapes with the fierceness to “do something” to help others with the voice I fought so hard for, that I often thought I would lose.
I released a demo early on, and then an EP (Forevermore). My first full album with my band called “Fairytales” was released in 2016. We then released our next album (partially produced by Grammy® nominated producer David Ivory (Patti LaBelle, Halestorm, The Roots)) called “Beyond Wonderland” and a few other singles sprinkled in there.
I had the privilege of recording a solo album containing songs by the legendary Songwriting Hall of Fame inductee Linda Creed (Greatest Love of All). I officially released “Welcome To My World: The Songs of Linda Creed” in October 2021.
Building a career, launching music projects, working with legendary musicians and producers, garnering music awards, becoming a voting member of the GRAMMY’s®, and landing on the ballot multiple times confirmed that the dream God put in my heart was meant to be followed. I was finding and living my purpose with humility, love, and an insane amount of drive in my heart.
Can you share with our readers how you started your company and the mission behind it?
I started Ladies Who Rock 4 A Cause® during my battle with breast cancer. Vowing to help people who suffer has been in my heart since I was a little girl. Losing my sister at 26 and enduring years in a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship with little ones to protect and care for against an adversary intent on destruction ignited my fire.
But it would be a long road before I would find the voice within, in music, and in life. In 2015, I merged all my grit, skills, knowledge, and drive into creating the branding, mission, and the first-ever female-fronted music event.
Leveraging the healing power of music with doing good in the world, I was joined by a chorus of other ladies who wanted to rock for a cause. My foundation, Ladies Who Rock 4 A Cause®, provides a platform for ladies to lift ladies in need and finally became a 501c3 non-profit in 2021.
Our mission is to help women facing life-changing crises’ by providing temporary assistance. We have helped many people, but historically mostly women in need. This year we hope our music festival will enable us to help more women, continue to grow, push boundaries and spread our wings further each year to take more women in need under them.
Can you share with the readers about your event and what it will entail?
This event is the very example of pressing forward. An accident shortly after our 2018 festival and then Covid hitting stopped everything. We held a virtual event in 2021, which was excellent, but we are ready to return to the outdoor music festival world.
This year Taylor Dayne, Tiffany, and Jennifer Paige join us (Sharon Lia Band) and Kick It Out (A Tribute to Hear) along with up-and-coming or nationally touring female-fronted bands (TBA).
It’s an all-day, outdoor music festival where we transform the grounds of our gracious host Cannstatter Volksfest-Verein on Academy Rd in Philly, PA, into an all-out music festival on October 8. We will have a pink carpet experience with our media partner BIG 98.1FM’s street team on deck.
A portion of the net proceeds will go directly to women in need. Every ticket sold is a donation, and every tee-shirt or merchandise item purchased goes toward this goal.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now?
Live Out Loud. In between planning a music festival, which is a huge undertaking, we are in the studio creating what I think is our best work ever. I have a large trove of music that I’ve written that needs recording, plus new material keeps being created.
We are nearly finished after almost two years and will release “Live Out Loud” this fall. Sneak peek, some titles include “Blue Skies”, “Put it On My Heart”, and “I Will Remember (Live Out Loud)” which is a song I wrote for my sister that I am finally going to release.
Her wisdom pushed me into a light she knew I’d own… she helped me find my voice and will never know it.
Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
I always want to thank everyone on this journey: the friends, fans, volunteers, ambassadors, my band, my family, and my amazing guitarist, co-producer, technical wizard, engineer, and partner in all hubby Rick Jannotti. Nothing would be possible without them.
I want to encourage your readers to find something to believe in, find your gifts, never give up, live in gratitude, live your purpose, and live out loud.
How can our readers connect with you on social media and purchase tickets to the festival?
Our website (and email sign-up) is sharonliaband.com
We are on Instagram, Facebook, and all platforms under Sharon Lia Band and also Ladies Who Rock 4 a Cause.