Sherita Perez will return to Houston on Sunday, January 30 for a special performance with DEM at La Grange and to promote her new EP, Emerald.Photo By Phil Emerson
Sherita Perez left Houston just shy of two years ago. After a long tour that took her all the way to New Zealand, she decided to try her luck in Humboldt County, California just as the pandemic began in 2020. There she has found a home, complete with an in-house studio where she has found the new freedom to record her songs.
Hot off her latest release Emerald, a fantastic three track EP, Perez will be returning to Houston this weekend to join DEM at their weekly Reggae Brunch at La Grange. “I think it'll be a happy reunion show and I'm really excited to be playing with DEM,” says the singer-songwriter from her new home in Humboldt County.
“I just think it's going to be a beautiful experience after the crazy stuff we've all been through the past couple of years. It's just the right time for this type of thing,” she says of the popular, weekly outdoor event.
Perez is a perfect addition to the Reggae Brunch lineup as she shares a similar high vibe mentality and sound as DEM focusing her song writing on uplifting stories and empowerment. Her recent release Emerald is entirely dedicated to cannabis activism.
The title is inspired from “The Emerald Triangle” an area in California which encompasses Humboldt County and where cannabis farming has a long rich history. Perez herself has spent a lot of her time there learning about the ways of the farmers and the land.
“I knew I wanted to write a cannabis album because I've spent so much time here and I've learned from a lot of people from New Zealand to here and even Texas. I write what I do. It's just the love of people, loving people and wanting to help people feel better. That's the main thing I find about cannabis and something that I outline in this EP,” she says.
Raised in Texas City, Perez saw firsthand how pollution and other environmental factors could lead to poor health which when combined with a lack of access to healthcare creates a Molotov cocktail of pain and suffering.
It’s been through her education in cannabis and all of its uses that she has seen the benefits of the plant. She herself suffers from chronic Fibromyalgia and has found relief from cannabis salves and butters.
“Cannabis itself is a plant and just like any other plant, it can be used for good or it can be used for bad. I don't know that there's any plant that can be used for so many things,” she says, describing the many medicinal and nutritional uses for cannabis. Emerald begins with the lighthearted and instantly catchy “Cannabis Cowboy” which Perez wrote after encountering some cannabis growing cowboys. She admits she had never thought of traditional cowboys being into cannabis and when she encountered them, it blew her mind.
“I was just so mystified by the idea that I actually asked them,” she says of approaching the surprising group. “My mind wouldn't stop milling over that idea and I just wrote the song. The main message is, follow your wanderlust if you don't know where it'll lead. It's going to be really interesting and the other thing is the power of cannabis medicine.”
Emerald serves to celebrate and educate while providing a beautiful soundtrack to activism with each song carrying a different feel while being connected by Perez’s sweet yet powerful voice.
“Hide The Evidence” is the most political song on the EP and shows off Perez’s range as a guitarist and vocalist with its reggae-influenced rhythm. “It’s a song that talks about how small farmers become criminals when they are active participants in society and following the rules but made to become criminals when corporations are given everything,” says Perez.
Though the EP is obviously rooted in all things cannabis, the message for a better quality of life goes beyond the plant. “All of our farm foods market has been under attack,” explains Perez about the connection between cannabis and sustainable farming. “For me this isn't just about cannabis.”
“It is a form of activism but all of our farm food systems have been under attack for a long time. People don't understand the nutritional value of the food they are eating. For me this isn't just about cannabis, it's about health, wellness and access to food.”
Though Perez is knowledgeable in cannabis farming all way from the soil to the legislation that propelled and at times attempts to destroy “The Green Rush” she understands that not everyone will welcome her message and that some may want to judge her or write her off for her connection to cannabis.
“At the heart of all of this is connectivity and healthy systems and that's what really drove me to make this EP,” she says. “It’s the promotion of things that are good for our community and good for our families and that's what I want people to see when they talk to me or hear this music. For me there's nothing shady about it because I've been spending so much time with these plants and the community. They're just farmers.”
Emerald is available for streaming and purchase now. Sherita Perez will be performing with DEM on Sunday, January 30 at La Grange, 2517 Ralph, 1 p.m. Free.
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Gladys Fuentes is a first generation Houstonian whose obsession with music began with being glued to KLDE oldies on the radio as a young girl. She is a freelance music writer for the Houston Press, contributing articles since early 2017.