From Bad Seed to the Big Apple

Local Artist, Reesa Renee, Makes Her Loud Return to McNamara

Taylor Parker ‘12 | Style & Culture Editor

Photo by Taylor Parker '12/STAMPEDE

I was doing my homework while the news was on in the background. Although I was focusing intensely on my math homework, my ears perked up when I heard one of the news anchors say something about a former Bishop McNamara student. I grabbed the remote and hit the rewind button and on my screen appeared a woman with a bright smile and funky Afro. It was Reesa Renee.

Reesa Renee, 24, whose real name is Theresa Beale, graduated from McNamara in 2005. Her return to McNamara brought back many memories for Theresa herself. She performed at the 2012 Black Culture Alliance assembly and many of the faculty and staff were amazed to see her again. “I was blown away. I had no idea she could sing and it was absolutely fabulous,” said Joanann Walther, attendance coordinator.

During her performance she paused the music to discuss her times at McNamara. She began with telling the school that she was not the easiest student to handle. She went in further detail and explained that she caused a lot of problems for herself, her teachers and the administration. “She reached out to the crowd more with her story of how she was at McNamara and the students were able to relate to her,” said Vina Concepcion ‘13, a student present during her performance.

After her momentary pause she signaled the band to continue and their music filled the gym getting many students and some teachers up out of their seats. What many may not know is that her older brother, Tom, was actually the keyboard player in the band and was also the one who convinced Theresa to begin her music career.

When I sat down and interviewed the two, they were the typical brother and sister, rolling their eyes and making funny faces at each other. They both told the story of how they came to the decision of starting the band and Theresa started with how writing became her outlet. She said, “I was not a singer. I played basketball and was really into sports.” She explained that she knew she had issues and she decided to use writing as a more creative means to express herself.

Her brother, who was already into music, had a band put together that was not associated with Theresa. One day they were all at the studio and Theresa decided to sing one of her songs over top of a beat her brother had produced. “Everybody liked it and it was kind of an unsaid thing, so we decided to pursue this band idea,” said Theresa.

Since then music has been Theresa’s way of telling the world her story. One of her biggest inspirations is Jill Scott. You could put Reesa Renee’s music in the category with Chrisette Michele, India Arie and Jill Scott. Many may also recognize Theresa from her appearance on Apollo in New York on October 5, 2011 where she won first place. Her voice filled the room and filled people’s hearts and she really took her singing career to another level. Reesa Renee also performs at concerts and coffee houses in and outside of the metropolitan area and her music is seen as very uplifting. She ended the interview on an emotional note saying that she is honored that Mr. Clark asked her to come back and that the best place she could ever perform is right here at McNamara.

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