... the other Black experience

  • Male
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • United States

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About Me
BlakShel formally Sonnyboy is known as an urban misfit on the musical scene. A multi- layered artist whose talents have taken him all over the world, BlakShel (legal: Sheldon “Shel” Riser) is a musician, singer, composer, producer, and band leader. With five independently produced albums to his name, his latest work is The Barfly Theory – thirteen tracks of “Rock N’ Soul mixed with some good old funk.”

Taken in total, BlakShel musical genius reveals a mastery of soul, funk, rock, and hip hop. The listener might recall just a few great artists whose talents Sonnyboy respects: Sly & The Family Stone, Prince, The Isley Brothers.

Early on, it was BlakShel well known Blues musician uncle, Sonny Green, who inspired him to explore the genre. Born in Monroe, Louisiana and raised in the Baptist churches of Milwaukee, BlakShel learned to play multiple instruments at an early age, and did so with a traditional gospel/R&B slant. From Milwaukee, BlakShel moved to Minneapolis. With only his guitar and the clothes on his back, BlakShel journeyed into what he had been told was forbidden devil music: funk, reggae, rock, and hip hop. And he did so in the middle of the Prince- led Paisley Park music scene.

After a few months in downtown Minneapolis, BlakShel earned a reputation as an exceptional musician. He quickly became accepted into the Minneapolis music community and began working with artists on the Paisley Park label, the Parliament Funkadelic family, Mary Harris of Spearhead, and countless other artists. He has come to share the stage with Prince, The Black Crows, The Skatalights, and has performed at venues as prestigious as the world famous Paisley Park Studios.

BlakShel was on a fast and at times dangerous track. Also known as a hip hop hippie and an urban poet, he cheated death in a near fatal car crash and found himself back on the streets where he started. From there, he transformed his life. His rededication to music, his renewed energy, and his creative explosion resulted in him writing songs, composing, producing music, and even co-producing his music videos. With a lifestyle reserved for uncommon people (he is a vegetarian, an avid reader, and normally runs 25 miles a week), BlakShel established his own record label, Art Form Entertainment (now known as ArtSoul Entertainment). The well-rounded artist and newly made entrepreneur soon gained a reputation of being a workaholic. He got grounded, developed a unique sound, and formed the four member band, BlakShel. Soon after, Rolling Stone Magazine acclaimed the group as " of the best unsigned bands to come out of Minneapolis since Prince and The Time."

Next: BlakShel moved the band to New York and has continued to soar. The band has toured across the country and throughout Europe and has been featured on national television (BETJ, VH1, TVOne). His live performances have been dubbed as “high energy FishBone meets James Brown” shows. Beyond his talent,

BlakShel's success can be attributed to his uncommon focus and an artistic integrity that is often lacking in today’s corporate music arena. He shares that he just doesn’t do music, but that he “thinks about the music.” He continues, “All I want to do is make good music. If I can get your head nodding and coming back for more, then I’ve done my job. It all boils down to one question: Is it good music?”

Sonnyboy-BarFly Theory, 2010
Sonnyboy-Psycho.Delic.Ghetto.Vibe 2007
Sonnyboy-Urban Misfit 2004
Sonnyboy-Love Child 1998
Sonnyboy-Afro Soul 1995
Website :
Musician, Guitarist, Pianist, music engineer,
Favorite bands:
Living Color, Prince, P Funk, Jimi Hendrix, Earth Wind and Fire, The Time, Sly Stone, 24/7 Spy's, Fish Bone, Mint Condition, OutKast, Aerosmith, Brand New Heaves, Santana,
Favorite movies:
Relationship status:
Im funking, Soul, Funk and Roll every night, we been in a long term relationship for I still love her.....
Question For Bands: Genre?
Soul, Funk and Roll
Band Question - Sounds like:
Living Color, Prince, P Funk, Jimi Hendrix, Earth Wind and Fire, The Time, Sly Stone, 24/7 Spy's, Fish Bone, Mint Condition, OutKast, Aerosmith, Brand New Heaves, Santana,
Band Question - Musical Influences:
Living Color, Prince, P Funk, Jimi Hendrix, Earth Wind and Fire, The Time, Sly Stone, 24/7 Spy's, Fish Bone, Mint Condition, Aerosmith, Eric Gale, Jesse Johnson, Janelle Monae, OutKast, Aerosmith, Brand New Heaves, Santana
Band Question - Record label:

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Comment Wall (4 comments)

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At 8:22am on December 31, 2015, MistressHookFashion said…

sorry, re-write, "oh hell yeah, music is just as beautiful as you", grooooovy!!!

At 5:04pm on December 30, 2015, Mark Clemons said…

I Love your sound Man!

At 10:06pm on May 19, 2015, pelligiomanson said…

Have you ever read A clockwork orange or books by george orwell,if not i suggest you do.

At 4:02pm on May 28, 2014, Matthew said…

came to your page to listen to music so i could vote - no music



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