BALTIMORE Baltimore native Talia “Shire” Burgess is among the talented team of songwriters for Fox Network’s “Shots Fired.” The soundtrack for the hit drama series, featuring Sanaa Lathan, Stephen James, Mack Wilds and Academy Award winners Richard Dreyfuss and Helen Hunt, has received rave reviews for its unique sounds and ability to reach several generations of music lovers.
According to Hype magazine, the project has already received award buzz from music industry insiders.
Of the seven original songs created for the show’s first season, Shire’s name appears in the credits under five cuts,
including “Speak to my Heart,” “Losing Control,” “Called Home,” and “Broke Down,” and “Where Do We Go from Here,” the title track, with BJ The Chicago Kid.
“I learned about ‘Shots Fired’ through my manager, Charles King, who kept a great business relationship with music supervisor Jabari Ali of Paragon Film Music who worked on previous projects with [show creators] Reggie and Gina Prince Bythewood,” Shiré said.
As an artist, the energy resonates at an all-time high working on “Shots Fired,” said Shiré, who grew up splitting her time in East and West Baltimore.
The show, a 10-part series, exposes the depths of police shootings in a racially charged North Carolina town. Show producers have said the music is integral to the storyline with a blend of hip-hop, blues, gospel, R&B and alternative sounds.
Most of Shiré’s family still live in the city and she says she is proud of her hometown.
Her first break came after completing a year at Morgan State University, when she signed a recording contract with Def Jam Records. Shiré began her professional career as a member of the short-lived girl group, LovHer, which was the first female group to ever sign with Def Jam.
The group’s “How's It Gonna Be” landed on the Rush Hour 2 soundtrack, was certified Gold and the single reached as high as No. 60 on the Billboard Top 100 R&B Charts.
Shiré later enjoyed a guest acting appearance on the television series “Soul Food,” before performing on BET, MTV, TRL, Soul Train, BET Black College Tour and the Lady of Soul Awards.
In 2014 Shiré released the anthem song to the BET original movie, Gun Hill, starring Larenz Tate.
“I started my journey in the entertainment business by being involved in cultural arts programs that helped underprivileged kids like myself as early as elementary school,” Shiré said. “Those programs helped plant the first seeds that pushed me to develop my gifts. By my late teenage years, I became the lead singer of SisQo from DruHill’s girl group called ‘LovHer.’
“My next deal was as a solo artist under Steve Rifkind under SRC/Universal Motown. Unfortunately, after years of sitting on the label that deal had ended but I still chose not to give up,” she said.
Shiré says she never stopped recording and writing, all of which has paid off with her recent success and inclusion on the “Shots Fired” team.
Shiré says she also found inspiration from her mother, Karen Doreen Jackson, who died of congestive heart failure in June 2012 at the age of 53. She says the death came as a complete shock and has showed her how quickly life can pass by.
“My mother watched me through the years of my journey, questioning why I wasn’t going outside of my comfort zone to make it happen,” Shiré said. She mentioned to my sister why haven’t I gone back to Los Angeles to pursue my dreams. I promised myself within a year after her passing that I would leave Baltimore to pursue my dreams.”
“I drove to Los Angeles on June 1, 2013 and, like my mom said, it happened for me.”
“Shots Fired” airs on Fox at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays.