Shine Bright Like a Diamond
An exclusive interview with Shara Nova.
There’s something incredibly magnetizing about Shara Nova, the lead singer of My Brightest Diamond. Her physical presence—untamed fiery-red hair and electric brown eyes—is met with an calm demeanor and whisper-like voice. It’s almost hard to believe that the soft-spoken singer could command a room of fans—that is, until she takes the stage and transforms into, well, a star.
Shara’s background is just as colorful and charming as her physical being. Before the age of 18, she had lived in 9 states. For a while, she settled down in Denton at the University of North Texas, where she received classical training as an opera singer. Eventually, though, she found her way to an incredibly inspiring place—Detroit.
“The city has such a beautiful well of music culture,” Shara says. “I can’t dig deep enough into the history. Aretha Franklin and Anita Baker are from there, so you have a lot of Motown. Then there are Detroit DJs and producers like J Dilla who deeply influenced modern house and hip-hop music. And of course, Iggy Pop is from Michigan, so there is a huge punk scene. All of it is so inspiring and influencing on my creativity.”
And much like the city of Detroit, Shara’s musical style can’t be pegged down. Of course, there’s the aforementioned classical opera training, which helps her mold her voice to fit different genres.
“My adventures in music have always been about mixing acoustic instruments with electric ones,” Shara says. Each of her albums has focused on a different iteration of this thought, incorporating playful components like synths and a marching band with more traditional instruments. “My new record, which I’m working on right now, is a completely different journey.”
At Headington Companies’ annual Eye Ball on April 16, Shara debuted two new songs off the untitled work, special for the crowd—“Big Star” and “Supernova.” The only other nugget of information she’d divulge is that the work is “heavily inspired by Prince and feels very ‘Purple Rain’-like” (may he rest in peace).
The evolution of Shara’s music is much like that in her life. She’s been through quite a life few changes recently—the birth of a child, a divorce—which have culminated into her revising her name from the unique “Shara Worden” to the poetic “Shara Nova” about a month ago.
“I wanted my name to symbolize where I am right now, and where I feel like I’m going,” Shara says. “‘Nova’ means new in Latin, and I also feel like it represents the death and rebirth of a star, which is why I was drawn to it. I was named for my mother’s cousin, and my name just happened to mean ‘she sings’ in Hebrew, and even though we’re not Jewish, I figured I’d take it.”