Born and raised in Louisiana, Sharmond is an eclectic singer-songwriter with a few surprises up his sleeve. Sharmond infuses his heart and soul into his music, unafraid to put his vulnerability center stage performing as a proud, Black male pop & r&b artist, while simultaneously tackling the toxic masculinity and societal standards set for men today.

Produced by the Billboard-charting producer Andrew Beckner, “LETTING GO” is a raw mid-tempo ballad that shares the struggle that all of us can relate with, which is falling in love. Giving his most vulnerable vocal performance, Sharmond penned an timeless track that seems as if it could have been released in the early 2000’s. Making a splash on Valentines day, Sharmond is ready to let everything go, and bare his heart for the world to see.

You called this track a raw ballad. Where is rawness coming from? What’s the feeling of the track overall?

With my music, I always want to be as open as possible with my experiences. In this case, it is falling in love. The rawness in this track comes from the idea that I am unlovable and not deserving of love, which I’m sure a lot of people can relate to. For me, this is rooted in a lot of my past experiences of falling in love, but not knowing how to take that next step. Another side of this is my sexuality and how in the past, due to my religious upbringing, I felt like I was not deserving of that love. With all those issues, I had to learn to let go and trust my heart, which is exactly what I wanted the overall feeling of the track to represent. Being free and open to love, and admitting that, “letting go is hard to do” because emotionally it is. Especially when you’ve been hurt in the past. 

You talk about the struggle of falling in love with someone. What do you think makes it a constant battle?

Falling in love is a struggle because I feel a lot of the time we like to wear masks. We put on this facade who we feel we need to be in order to be loved by someone. I think the constant battle is more with ourselves than anything. We tell ourselves these self-depreciating ideas about ourselves and then expect the best outcome. It all goes back to letting go, and not overthinking every worst-case scenario. 

Do you feel more creatively inspired when feeling heartbroken or are happy moments in relationships that lead to inspired music?

I feel most creatively inspired by my growth from both of those moments. Whether it be happy moments or being heartbroken, each moment is accompanied by reflection and I feel inspired to share how I got to that place because honestly those moments can be so far apart at times and the journey of getting to those places is always something I want to cover in my music. 

How do you keep yourself inspired day to day? Any routines, or practices that help you stay focused?

I’ve been journaling a lot more recently. This helps me get a lot of my feelings out and keeps me free to transfer those ideas into songs more effortlessly. 

You mentioned falling in love means letting someone see you behind the mask you put on. What’s that mask you put on?

This is a great question, and for the longest, I put on multiple masks. One for my sexuality and the other for my heart. I’ve grown so much over the past few years that I feel that I don’t have to wear those masks anymore, but I look back at those periods of my life as great lessons to never let myself get back to that place. I do still have my moments of insecurity and being guarded, but now that I know what my lowest looks like, I strive to not let myself get back to a place of unhappiness because I decided not to be my most open and authentic self. 

What was your first experience with music and songwriting?

I got my start in music when I was very little. I was heavily involved in my school and church choir from a young age. I remember going to my aunt at the age of six or seven telling her I wanted to sing a solo in church. She asked me, “Well, can I hear you sing a little bit”? Being the shy little kid that I was, I told her “No, you have to come to church to hear”. She got so mad at me and said, “If you mess up my program, I’m dragging you right off that stage, you hear me”. Luckily, she didn’t have to. I sang my little heart out and from that day forward, I was always asked to sing at each service. From there, around the age of 6 or 7, I started writing songs. My mom actually still has my notebook full of songs I wrote at that age. 

How do you think growing up in Louisiana shaped your creativity and artistry?

I think Louisiana shaped me to be very confident in my individuality as an artist and not afraid to be different. There isn’t any other place like Louisiana. We are one of a kind. From our food to our culture, Louisiana is a special place and I always strive to bring that uniqueness to my artistry. 

What can we expect from your 2023?

One of the reasons I picked “Letting go” to be my first release of this year is because I wanted it to set the tone of where I am at mentally. Although I wrote the song in 2020, a lot of those themes have been resurfacing back into my life and I have found myself having to relearn to “let go” once again. So I’m allowing myself to be free this year by releasing more music and preparing to hit the stage for my debut performance.