Friday, September 23, 2011

Singer at Compass Church releases first album - Naperville Sun


Shuree Rivera, a worship leader at Compass Church in Naperville, will be sharing her message with a larger audience when she releases her album "Broken is Beautiful." Photo by Sarah Barlow Photography
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Updated: September 23, 2011 2:55PM

Shuree Rivera believes that one girl can change the world, and she just might be the person for the job.
Rivera, a music leader at Compass Church in Naperville, is taking her message beyond the house of worship with the release of her first album, “Broken is Beautiful.”
“Through my music, I want to reach people at a place that encourages them to live with a purpose,” Rivera said. “I want to write lyrics you can live by and not just sing to.”
The singer-songwriter speaks from experience. Rivera said that, while growing up, drug and alcohol abuse was prevalent in her home. Domestic violence was a common occurrence.
She said many of the stories she tells through songs such as “One Girl (Can Change the World)” and “Broken is Beautiful” come from her childhood experiences.
“My mom is a recovering crack addict, and I lost my 21-year-old sister to a drug overdose,” Rivera said. “I grew up in a home where I loved to sing, and it was my escape from the realities that were happening. I would write lyrics and sing to soothe my soul.”
It wasn’t until she left home and got involved in urban ministry that she found her true calling.
“I was first exposed to urban ministry — a nonprofit outreach to young people — while a student at College of New York,” Rivera said. “That is where I realized that a lot of young people shared my story, and I found a place where I was able to relate to the world.”
She went on to graduate with a degree in music business in 2001, and began pursuing her dream as a recording artist. Her first album, “Broken is Beautiful,” will be released in November.
“I wanted to become a recording artist and write some of the things that were on my heart,” Rivera said. “My hope is that in this album, the lyrics will be alternative anthems people can sing when they are feeling down, that will give them hope and courage.”
Shelley Bacote would say she is succeeding. She first heard Rivera’s music while attending a service at Compass Church, and said Rivera’s “soulful voice” makes her “songs and their messages stick in your mind.”
“Shuree’s songs minister to young and mature women alike, particularly those who may have gone through difficult times or personal struggles,” Bacote said. “Her music has a way of offering the hope that their future will be better than their past.”
Bacote said Rivera’s personal struggles serve as inspiration for all who hear her music.
“To a person who is currently going through something that is causing them stress or worry, her story can remind them that, even if their situation doesn’t immediately change, they should not give up on life.”

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Singer at Compass Church releases first album - Naperville Sun

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