INTRODUCING SERIA If pressure is all it takes to form a diamond, then Seria is a sparkling jewel on the horizon of success. After a lifetime of triumph and heartbreak, the gifted singer/songwriter has found her rhythm and groove both as a solo artist on her first CD release Something Different. A musician from birth, Seria grew up singing. An introverted and shy child, who at the tender age four began expressing herself through performing arts by organizing, rehearsing and producing plays and musicals for her parents and relatives using her siblings and friends as cast members. I didn't have very many friends as a child, so I honed my creativity instead. Born with Albinism, an inherited condition that inhibits pigment in the eyes, skin and hair, Seria had a rough time as a child and was frequently a victim of both bullying and cruelty. I was the tallest, skinniest girl in the class with the thickest glasses ever. And I had scoliosis, so I had a back brace. They used to call me Skippy because my hair was the color of peanut butter. Childhood was torture for Seria, and from that pain she wrote some of her best music. Featured on her first CD, Hold Your Head Up, is one of the songs that came from an agonizing school experience. One day in 9th grade, a classmate threw a baseball that hit Seria so hard in the head that she almost passed out. I wouldn't even turn around to see who did it and I refused to cry. Although the pain was excruciating, Seria just kept on walking. I kept my head up. I knew if I turned around I would cry, so I just kept on walking. Later that day, I got a pass to the bathroom andwent and balled my eyes out but I kept my head up that day. Even when I think of that now, it makes me want to cry. Having Albinism would become a lifelong challenge for Seria, and her sometimes singing partner and brother, Lawrence (XL) who also was born with the same affliction. Having all the symptoms of Albinism such as being legally blind, and unable to bear being in the sun, they do not have the extreme physical pigmentation characteristics of white skin, redeyes and white hair. Black people questioned our race; we weren't white and Albinos thought we were too dark. So, we just hung around each other and our music kept us from the pain. The turning point in Seria's music career came while she was attending Midland Lutheran College. Flat broke and needing a new pair of tennis shoes, Seria and Lawrence decided to enter the student talent show which had a prize of $100. We didn't even have an act. At the last minute, Seria turned to her brother and said, I'm going to sing. You follow me. That night, she belted out a haunting accapella rendition of Toni Braxtons Love Should Have Brought You Home, and Lawrence b-boxed along. Suddenly the crowd of 300-400 students began clapping and singing along and cheering their names! It took the judges several times of calling out their names before they realized that they had won! We were amazed. That was Seria's first taste of performing in front of an audience. I felt different. I felt in control. People liked me and I felt accepted like I belonged. I knew from then on that performing was what I wanted to do. There's nothing better than being in front of an audience of fans. Seria soon began performing on a regular basis at shows around the Tampa Bay area. My uncle Tony produces Hip Hop shows, and he let me get as much stage experience as I could. In 2000, she began to take her songwriting more seriously. Freak, a dance tune featured on her first CD, was the first song I ever wrote. In 2001, Seria auditioned for Tampa Bay Idol and was chosen third place out of 3000 contestants. After that, I knew I had something to say musically.Her final push into the business came at the 2004 Winter Music Conference in Miami. During a panel discussion featuring Wayne Williams of Jive Records, Seria asked, What if you are a good singer, but you don't have anyone to produce you? Someone from the audience yelled, If you're such a good singer, then sing a song for us now! Without missing a beat, Seria began to sing through the thunderous laughter. As she hit the high notes in You Mean the World to Me, the room went silent. Whe n the song was finished, I was rushed by producers. These days Seria is living out her dreams. During college, she blossomed into a stunningly beautiful woman; got married and had her son, Adonis. She graduated from Midland Lutheran College with a Bachelors Degree in Marketing. She also has a Masters Degree in School and Mental Health Counseling from University of South Florida and she is currently pursuing her Doct orate in Counseling Psychology. Seria is a role model and an inspiration to any youngster who is challenged whether it is mentally, physically, emotionally or socially. I know that there is light on the other side of pain and loneliness. I am a living testament to having faith in oneself and your abilities; to not giving in when life seems the darkest. I am really having a wonderful life and I want to show others how that can be done. With her second CD Body Heat in production, Seria's musical future is on the rise. But, experience has taught her that life is a balancing act. No matter what happens in my life, no matter who or what I become, music will always be a part of it. I couldn't live without my music.