THE PIANO AND THE DAIRY QUEEN. Hailing from the dog eat dog, sprawling metropolis of Cottage Grove, Oregon (pop. 7,000), Cheris has been earning money as a musical artist since the seasoned age of three. Cheris learned to play the piano by sitting next to her muse (mom) at their baby grand piano, emulating mom's fingers as she struck the keys. After lengthy negotiations, mom agreed to pay Cheris-acting as her own manager-ten cents for every song she learned. Upon completing a book of songs, mom would reward Cheris with a bonus by taking her down to the Dairy Queen for an ice cream.
THE SEDUCTIVE SPIRITUALITY. From the sweet beginnings of ice cream and maternal love, Cheris' music has paradoxically evolved into what has been praised as having a seductive spirituality. Her music reflects a unique blend of pop and R&B, with world influence. The voice has fondly been described as being a fusion of Tori Amos, Madonna, Sarah Malachlan, and Alannis Morisette, with a Celtic/Middle-Eastern vibe. Her subliminal lyrics swirling in your mind, the pulsing rhythms cascading over your heart, the soft melodies washing over your soul, seducing you into a world of musical spirituality.
THE GENESIS. The spirituality in her music, by no surprise, had its genesis in the church where Cheris began performing live, singing while being accompanied by mom. Cheris' own unique sound and songwriting began at an early age when she used a peculiar gift (omnichord) from mom, to compose her first song entitled, "Firecracker". Her courage to take risks also began early on when she performed an original song on this bizarre omnichord for a surprised, conservative church congregation, which never heard anything digital presented in the Church. Her willingness to experiment also began early at home, when her grandmother's Lebanese heritage sparked interest in the harmonic minor scale and varied world influences. From grade school through high school Cheris honed her performance and songwriting skills by performing in major events, holiday concerts, and musical theatre productions. Ultimately, she gained notoriety as a featured soloist for the revered jazz choir, Exodus, winner of multiple first place awards.
THE JOURNEY. In keeping with being inspired by world influences, Cheris journeyed to Norway to study music. Her studies included: numerous solo performances, talent competitions, and cultural influence for world awareness and creativity. But most importantly, Norway is where Cheris came into her own as a songwriter, learning not only the craft, but the art as well. Next, her journey took her to La Sierra University in California where she continued her advanced study of music, voice, and songwriting. Recognized for her exceptional voice, Cheris was selected to the University's prestigious, Chambers Singers. Praised for her performance, Cheris was then selected to the exclusive vocal group, Octet, then further to an even more elite four woman quartet, performing self-arranged acapella pieces. Adding to her repertoire of performance skills, Cheris used her athletic background as a competitive gymnast, to excel in modern dance, ballet, and hip hop. This maturation as a musical artist and performer culminated in a west coast tour (2000-2001)--Los Angeles included--where Cheris performed at various religious and civilian venues, including a television appearance.
THE ALBUM. The journey has brought her to the climax of a new beginning in her musical exodus. This beginning climax is the release of her debut album, UNDER YOUR SKIN (C & P 2002 CHERIS). This remarkable album is a compilation of fifteen songs, reflecting a personal journey that encompasses a year of her life. Rare by modern day standards, the album was composed, written, arranged, sequenced, and produced by Cheris herself. Cheris states , "It's purpose is to shatter barriers by present culture and society that are quick to label or judge one's surface or actions based on the exterior. It is about daring to dive into the internal workings of human existence and finding that for every finger we point at someone, we have three pointing back at us. It is a unity of primitive separation based on love and courage".
THE QUEST. Cheris smiles peacefully, "My life is dedicated to the music! Literally! To inspire even one person is everything." In her young life she has already inspired not one, but many. To inspire one life is to inspire the world entire. Her music-progressive, her appeal-universal, her art-timeless. She is an artist with a quest, an artist with a message, and an artist embodying a spiritual seduction that will get UNDER YOUR SKIN.