I first found out about Shurlavision through Serafemme, an annual lesbian women of color music festival where she’s known for being a crowd pleaser. For some reason or another I would also miss her performances around town or leave the event before she hit the stage.
Well finally we were in the same place at the same time. The event happened to be at the Outfest Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival’s Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival’s Sabor Con Fusion, an eclectic showcase of LGBT talent earlier this month.
Shurlavision was part of an amazing line up of performers that performed for a standing room only crowd that I was fortunate to be a part of.
Shurlavision, who was born Shurla Thomason, is an extremely talent and gifted vocalist and guitarist who has made it her lifelong practice to always do things her way.
Shurla left Motor City (Detroit) in 1993 driving alone cross-country to Los Angeles in pursuit of her dream of writing and producing music. Her style? She describes it as a unique style of deo-soul (Detroit-soul). She was heavily influenced by the sounds of George Benson, Phyllis Hyman, Earl Klugh, Aretha Franklin, and Anita Baker.
She is a commanding stage performer when she graces the stage with her guitar and belts out note after melodic note.
Having grown up as the musical director and organist for her father’s small Church of God in Christ (C.O.G.I.C.) congregation, she honed her skills and developed her own self-described method of conveying smooth, sensual spirituality through intense vocal self-expression. Plainly stated, the girl can blow. It doesn’t get much better than singer, songwriter, and guitarist. The complete package.
Her latest release a 6-song CD entitled, “WDIG?” was written, performed and produced by Shurlavision for her independent label, mosoulmusikko©.
Because of Shurlavision’s never-ending desire to give the very best that she’s got with every song she sings and having the guts to move out to Los Angeles and follow her dreams, she is my latest profile in my series of Lesbians I Love.
More About Shurlavision
Name: Shurla Thomason
Age: Fabulous 46
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Current Location: Downtown L.A.
Single, Dating, or Married: Single
Children? Yes, No, In the Future: Nope, don’t want any
Occupation: Mild-mannered Intellectual Property Legal Assistant by day, singer/songwriter by night
How did you get your start in music?
I was drafted to sing with my siblings and father when I was about 2 or 3. Being the fifth child of nine born into a competitive gospel sangin’ church family can leave you with either scars or stars on your soul. I’ve got both!! (Mothers never let your child grow up in a crowd!) LMAO!!
Who or what inspires your songwriting?
My inspiration comes from my day to day interactions and my belief that life is for the living, so make sure you’re living your life.
Describe your sound?
A slow sensual mind massage into virtual sexuosity…or Deo-soul (Detroit Soul).
What is your favorite song that you’ve recorded?
“Tak’n Me High”
Artists that move you?
Sam Cooke, Tramaine Hawkins, Marvin Gaye, Aretha, and George Benson.
Your thoughts on today’s music industry?
Lord help me! There’s not enough time or space to really elaborate.
Describe your current projects.
Trying to complete my sophomore CD and scripting the first video for that album.
What are your future goals?
To take over the world one set of eardrums at a time!
What’s your favorite color? Blue
What’s your favorite food? Soul food
If you had a choice of watching LOGO, here!, BET or Lifetime which would you choose?
BET, I’m so starved for black faces on TV!!
L Word or Girlfriends?
Girlfriends, starved for sistahs on the screen
Do you prefer fem or butch women and why?
I prefer fem woman because they tend to embrace the wholeness of being a woman without including the stereotypes. With a fem woman, I can be both dominant and submissive allowing me to be all of me without restriction or judgment.
Favorite body part and why?
Breasts, I have an addiction of which I’m sure there is no cure!
As Black a woman do you prefer nappy or straight hair and why?
I don’t really have a preference but I do enjoy running my fingers through natural hair be it long and straight or short and nappy. Oh, I’m not into full weaves, can’t run my fingers though the roadblocks.
What in your opinion are the biggest issues facing Black lesbians and your solutions if any?
The need to be free and live free in society. It seems that the media only shows you two types of black women, the pseudo-progressive sista, an Angela Davis-like cartoon character or the all knowing and all nurturing Gone With the Wind mammy type. We are many different images and women and the world should be able to embrace each and every difference and nuance.
What your favorite quote?
The most yielding parts of the world, overtake the most rigid parts of the world. The insubstantial can penetrate indefinitely… Taoist Proverb
Who’s your favorite author and why?
Dr. Paula Giddings. She wrote "When and Where I Enter," a history of black women in America. She really opened my eyes to our herstory.
Single most important piece of advice for younger Black lesbians…
Don’t define yourself by utilizing the definitions of others. Create your own path and continue your journey towards oneness of self and the universe.
Who are you supporting in the 2008 Presidential election and why?
Undecided, but wavering between Obama and Hillary.
Check out Shurlavision’s Song "WhereDuzItGro?"