Live performances remain a rewarding experience for Sheila E. And the drummer/singer is happy to be bringing her current show to fans around the country.
Sheila E.'s percussive show will be in the spotlight Saturday when she performs at Fusic Fest at Jeorse Park in East Chicago.
"Fans can expect high energy, a lot of fun, laughter, singing, dancing and crying," she said about her concert. The performer said her show is always a real "jam" session. "And audience participation is important."
Sheila, who released her autobiography "The Beat of My Own Drum: A Memoir" in 2014, is preparing to release a new album, "ICONIC: Message 4 America," in early September.
The entertainer, known for hits such as "The Glamorous Life," "A Love Bizarre" and others, said she likes the touring process these days.
"I'm enjoying it more than I did before," she said. "Things are different when you're older ... you appreciate each day," she said. "The crowds and the fans have been amazing (on this tour)."
"ICONIC" will address the problems in society today — the political unrest, stresses on humankind, lack of kindness and understanding in communities and in the country and other social ills.
"The times we're in right now have been challenging. I'm not one to complain as much, but things have gone a little too far as far as Americans being respected," she said.
Sheila said the album, which features special guest stars, will include many tunes from the '60s and '70s with powerful messages. Songs include "Come Together," performed with Ringo Starr; "Everyday People" featuring Freddie Stone; "Blackbird"; "Inner City Blues/Troubleman"; "One Nation Under a Groove/Mothership Connection," featuring George Clinton; and others.
"I started recording it in May. And I recorded it in a week," she said.
Sheila said she always stresses the power of music to connect people.
"In my shows right now, you see all ethnicities and the (audience) represents ages from 2 to 80," she said. "It's awesome to see that music brings people together."
Looking out at the community that gathers for her concerts, Sheila said, "This is what America should look like. I'm not standing in support of bullying and disrespect. I stand for love, and love is huge."
The singer, who was born Sheila Escobedo in Oakland, California, believes "one person" can change a lot.
About the process of writing her autobiography, Sheila said she avidly worked on the book for an entire year. In the book, the entertainer delves into her life, career, relationships with Prince and Carlos Santana, sexual abuse, rape and more.
In a sense, writing the book was "therapeutic," she said. At the point that she started putting her story down on paper she had been used to talking to youth groups and church groups about her life.
The act of writing the book, she explained, was a bit challenging, though, because she had been versed in writing 3 1/2-minute songs and this was a 300-page book.
About the iconic Prince, Sheila said, "his legacy was his music." She met Prince in the 1970s in the Bay area of California.
"When I first met him, he was not famous at all. No one knew who he was," Sheila said. In fact, it was Prince who had heard about her and her music.
"He had been following my career. He knew everything about me, and I was shocked," said Sheila, who is the daughter of Santana percussionist Pete Escovedo.
The entertainer said Prince loved the music from the Bay area and visited there quite often.
Sheila said she hopes fans at her concert "leave different than when you came in."
FYI: Sheila E. will perform Saturday night at Fusic Fest at Jeorse Park, 3501 Aldis Ave., East Chicago. Visit facebook.com/fusicfest for more information and exact time of the performance.