Though he's young, singer/songwriter Shaliek's sense of history is as vast as his vocal range. Influenced by legends like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, the soulful singer/songwriter made a name for himself early on, performing to sold out crowds at the world famous Apollo Theatre when he was only 15.
Now an adult, Shaliek has come into his own in a big way, having already collaborated with some of the biggest names in music such as Alicia Keys and the iconic Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and having rocked stages like Music Matters in 2012. And while R&B is chock-full of talent, if you ask Shaliek, there's still a void, which he plans to fill.
"What's really missing is people being true to what they feel and what they believe," the Bronx native told BET.com recently. "A lot of artists are only influenced by what's hot on the radio, what's popular, and I think artists back in the day were more true to themselves and true to what they like. There were more creative leaders back in the day."
For fans - or "Souldierz" as he likes to call them - who are wondering what to expect from his debut album, Shaliek made it clear when he named it that this is more than just a hit record.
"It's called, 'Blood, Sweat and Tears,' and just like the title says, I put my blood, sweat and tears into every song," proclaimed Shaliek, who then pointed to his chemistry with Pendulum Records founder and CEO, Ruben Rodriguez's as a major force behind the album's sound.
"(Ruben) and I were on the same page when it came to what music should be," he said. "We're both risk takers and we both agreed that the album should showcase me as a singer first, with timeless lyrics, great melodies and just a balance of tempos."
Blood, Sweat and Tears is scheduled to hit stores on Oct. 29, but don't expect Shaliek to take a break anytime soon. After hitting the road in the U.S., he's got his eyes set on going global.
"I wanna perform my music in front of different people from all different parts of the world," Shaliek exclaimed. "I want people to come along with me on this musical journey."
(Photo: John Ricard/BET)