Alumna singer-songwriter transcends genre to convey lived experience

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Teira Lockhart Church was only 14 when she stood on stage and belted out “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” in front of more than 1,000 people.

The 2016 UCLA alumna began performing gospel music at family gatherings when she was five years old, and now works in Los Angeles as a professional singer-songwriter. Though she has sung jazz and gospel music for most of her life, Church said she no longer defines herself as a jazz musician. Instead, she considers herself an interdisciplinary artist who experiments with combining jazz, R&B, soul and indie in order to create music inspired by her experiences as a woman of color. Church has four songs set to be released this year and is working on an EP for release in early 2018.

“For as long as I can remember, music has been in the house, and I’ve been singing,” Church said. “I don’t think I’ve ever stopped singing.”

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