"Break the chains of old beliefs / I'm the flame that you can't unsee," singer Shea Diamond belts out, backed only by a single guitar, on the acoustic release of her single "American Pie."
"I find that music has to be personal," Diamond told BuzzFeed News. Diamond, who was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, pours all of her herself into her music and her debut EP, Seen It All. Her experiences growing up black and trans in the Deep South, running away from home in Flint, Michigan, at the age of 14, and spending time in a men's prison facility can all be traced through her brazenly honest lyrics. Yet her message, particularly on "American Pie," remains a universal one — everyone deserves to be happy, to be themselves, to be free. And that piece of the pie? It's worth fighting for.
It was Diamond's soulful a cappella performance of “I Am Her” at a Black Trans Lives Matter event that snagged the attention of Justin Tranter, a songwriter who has worked with artists such as Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and Gwen Stefani. Now, with Tranter as her producer, Diamond is focused on lending her voice to those who have none.
BuzzFeed News spoke with the singer about her latest video premiere, her hopes for the future of trans representation, and why she won't stop singing until she is heard. Read more via Buzzfeed