Her name is Shareese Ballard, but she's known simply as Res, and the music world is starting to take notice. She performed June 1 at The Saturday Early Show Second Cup Café.
Often compared to artists like Macy Gray and Erykah Badu, she's part of the surging "neo-soul" movement -- combining elements of R&B, soul, hip-hop, rock and jazz. She's currently touring with Alanis Morrisette, and her debut album, "How I do," has gone to No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseeking Chart.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Res listened to her parents' Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Teddy Pendergrass albums at home. She also developed an appreciation for groups like the Eurythmics and Pearl Jam while attending the Academy of Notre Dame, an all-girls Catholic college prep school, from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Res, who is 23, started voice lessons when she was 7 years old. She went to New York City during her second year at Temple University, and ultimately signed with MCA in August 1999. Her first CD, "How I Do," is a collection of original songs that incorporate elements of soul, hip-hop, alternative rock, roots reggae, acid jazz, folk, drum 'n' bass and psychedelic influences.
Among the songs on "How I Do" are "They Say Vision," which is designed to encourage listeners to question what they read or hear in the media and search for the deeper truths and hidden meanings; "Sittin' Back," social commentary with Res's lyrics painting the picture of an apathetic, disengaged young adult; and "I've Known the Garden," is a catchy, guitar-driven cut about love and loss.