Gig Seeker Pro


Ames, Iowa, United States | SELF

Ames, Iowa, United States | SELF
Band Rock Soul




"ladysoal - lyric x press"

Soulful grooves and soothing vocals; Ames-based Lady Soal is a fusion of Pop, Soul and R&B that is sure to capture just about anyone. Developed in the Summer of 2008, Lady Soal is making huge waves in the local scene and for the obvious reasons. With the release of their EP in January of 2011 Lady Soal has caught the attention of the national spotlight- from bloggers to major publications. Lady Soal plans to release their much anticipated album in late May and their music video to follow soon therafter. Album release party and video viewing dates and locations will be posted on LXP's Gig Calendar, so stay tuned. With so much attention, it won't be long before Lady Soal is on the road- so catch them while you can!

- lyric x press

"ames out loud - ladysoal"

Description: Ladysoal is an energetic band from Ames that is a vocal explosion from start to finish. The band is built around the voice and intense physical presence of singer and guitarist Sharika Sawer.

Backing her up is lead guitarist Mike Meiers, who also played in the late Ames band The Neverends. During live shows, they are often accompanied by a rotating cast of musicians on bass, drums and backup vocals.

Ladysoal has an upcoming EP and, as in their live show, the vocals are front and center. Sharika is truly a soul singer and her voice is loaded with emotions that range from tender to agressive. In the song "Sunshine" she lets her voice dance around the lovely melody, finding new trills and falls for each line. For the EP's final song (and my personal favorite) "Mommie," Sharika's voice is in aggressive mode: she brings a full-throated, growling and intense vocal performance through the whole song.

Mike's guitar playing is well-suited to Sharika's voice. On "Poison" he lays down a gentle counter-melody in the background and it adds a nice flow to the song. Especially on the more rocking numbers, Mike adds a psychedelic blues-y flavor to the songs.

The EP has a lot of dynamic range, from a chill slow jam like "Low" to the fierce rocking of "Mommie." You have to see this band like, too. The vocal intensity on display in the recordings is matched by the physical intensity of Sharika's performance. -

"the soul of ladysoal"

sunshine 2.0 by ladysoal

By John Lonsdale
Ames247 writer

Sharika Sawer has been up all night.

She wasn’t with her 19-month-old son making a hilarious YouTube video or writing a song like she usually does.

She was celebrating her friend Trey’s birthday until 6:30 in the morning and took him to Thumbs to buy him a lot of PBR and drinks she only knew as “Snake Bites.”

It’s noon on a Saturday. Sharika “Soal” Sawer, 26, short and sweet with an afro, nose ring and a green cardigan, appears through a doorway in the recording studio she and her band just arrived at.

“What’s the name of the first song?” asks Bryon Dudley, owner and operator of the Spacement.

Soal’s raspy voice is interrupted with her own coughing before she says the title of one of her toughest songs to sing vocally, “For My Sister.”

Located in the spacious confines of a north Ames basement, Ladysoal has been waiting three years for this day.

Today, the band is finishing up its debut album, “We Are Here,” which is tentatively scheduled for release March 5 — a day after the band plays at DG’s Tap House for the first time.

Soal and her bandmates — Mike Meier, 23, who just entered the room with his guitar in hand, bassist Malory Craine, 22, and drummer James Doxon, 23 — have been sporadically recording for six months with other producers and in three separate studios, and today, with Dudley, who has been recording in his basement for 10 years.

“’K, [we’re] rollin’,” Dudley says after checking the band’s levels.

“Oh, I never meant to hurt you,” Soal passionately sings into the microphone. “I never meant to make you cry.”

As soon as “For My Sister” is recorded the first time, the band and Dudley, a member of Strong Like Bear that will play with Ladysoal at DG’s, go back about three times to fix and add parts to the track, and the band moves on to the next song.

Sitting in the dark studio surrounded by Christmas lights, glow-in-the-dark stars and a psychedelic poster, Soal is surrounded by her bandmates and Dudley. Ladysoal’s inception came from a potluck Soal attended at Meier’s apartment three years ago when Soal needed a guitarist and the two started jamming.

Doxon, who is also a member of Mumford’s, is godfather to Soal’s 19-month-old son, Jacob. He met Soal and became the band’s drummer the same year she met Meier.

“He’s my best friend, but I only call him when I’m really mad at someone,” Soal said.

Soal stopped playing shows when she was six months pregnant, which ended the band for months.

“I didn’t feel like I had enough of anything to give to anything but my child,” Soal said.

When her son was 5 months old, Meier would visit Soal each day to write songs, including one of the band’s catchiest about Soal’s son, “Sunshine.” Soal made a comeback at an Ames Progressive show, but the band still experienced problems keeping a bassist until Soal found Craine.

Craine met Soal at a party back in August while she was “all hopped up on whiskey.” Soal told Craine she was going to steal her dress and as soon as she found out she could play bass, Craine was in.

Craine, who is Ladysoal’s fifth bassist, played her first show weeks after joining the band at Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines with the flu. Instantly the rest of the group knew she was the right person for the job.

In the last six months, Ladysoal has signed with Music Supervisor, a licensing agency that will keep its music in the company’s catalog and has recorded six of the nine songs that will be featured on its debut album, three of them coming from today’s session.

“Mommie” is a song about how Soal was molested, “Insecure” is about being in an abusive relationship and “That Girl” is “for the girls that like girls that like girls.”

An Ames girl since she was adopted at 4 years old, Soal was born in Chicago where she and her siblings wore “clothes that smelled like pee” while living with their 16-year-old birth-mother.

“I’ve had so many ups and downs,” Soal said. “I know it’s not all for nothing.”

Soal moved to Los Angeles, Calif., when she was 18 and ended up landing a gig doing background vocals for Angie Stone and later worked at a record label.

She returned to Iowa at 21 because the label fell through.

Now five years later, Soal is trying to provide a better life for her son.

A day earlier, she taught him how to sing into a microphone.

Aside from being a full-time mother, Soal is focusing all of her extra time and attention on her band.

Ladysoal is real R&B music that has soul which is something the world doesn’t see anymore, Soal said.

“[I] just want people to know that we’re here,” Soal said. “[Everyone's] really, really talented on so many different levels. [Meier] kicks ass obviously, James plays drums in four bands and Mal is patient and a great bass player.”

Soal says it’s hard to find people who believe in the same things they all believe in.

“[It’s] why we’re doing so well,” Soal said. “We’re on the same page.”

Everyone in the room puts headphones on to hear the nearly-completed tracks while Soal sings.

She sways and closes her eyes, feeling the weight of her own lyrics in each breath she takes.

As the final vocals of “For My Sister” are about to be recorded, Dudley’s wife, Rachel, opens the closet doors serving as a barrier from the studio and the outside world to tell Dudley their car has been fixed.

It’s abrupt and the reality that Ladysoal is recording in a basement is brought back to everyone’s attention. The interruption doesn’t stop the intense focus of the group, though.

Soal leans back and wails on her final vocals of the day — an edgy, India Arie kind of sound.

“We’re not just doing it because we want to be popular,” she said. “We really love the music. Ladysoal is me.”

Soal wants us to know many things about Ladysoal, but she really just wants us to know one thing: The band that couldn’t book a show at DG’s, the band that has gone through five bassists, the band that stopped for a second, has finally arrived.

Ladysoal is here. - iowa state daily /

"Ladysoal "Sunshine" video"

Last week the Ames band Ladysoal had a party celebrating the release of its new video "Sunshine," and now that it's out there I figured I would pass it along.

Ladysoal will next be performing June 11 at Summerfest in Campustown in Ames. I know Matt Woods & The Thunderbolts are also playing, but I'm not sure who else is on the bill. - metromix desmoines

"Album Review: Ladysoal EP"

In the summer of 2008, RAGBRAI came through Ames and the influx of bicyclists was not only a boost for the local economy; it gave a boost to Ames music as well. In addition to all the bars hosting live music for the evening, there was an explosion of street performances. All through the afternoon and evening, impromptu musical performances around took place around Campustown. Buskers lined Welch and perched at street corners collecting tips. Small groups of people jammed in front lawns. In the T-Galaxy parking lot, a drum circle’s improvised performance drew an enormous crowd that spilled out into the street.

I was busking on Welch that evening, taking my acoustic guitar from one jam to the next, running into other musicians and friends everywhere I turned. I walked up Welch to a large house where my friend Virginia was in the midst of a fire dance performance. As I watched the fire dancing and strummed on my guitar, a woman walked right up to me and asked me if she could play a song. I handed her the instrument and then listened, amazed, while she belted out her soul songs.

The woman was the local singer-songwriter Sharika Soal and meeting her was a fateful moment in both of our lives. After that initial jam, we started playing more music together and I joined her newly formed band Ladysoal, which was the first rock band I’d ever played in. The band has come a long way since I last played in it and now they have released their first full-length album.

The album, like their live show, has great dynamic range. From chill R&B jams like the soulful “Sunshine (acoustic)” to a rowdy blues rock song like “That Girl” (my personal favorite on the record), Ladysoal is master of many moods.

No one in Ames sings quite like Sharika. She brings a raw, no-holds barred, full-throated vocal power that is uncompromising. She also has the soul singer’s instinct for finding blue notes and playing with the melodies, as on “Low” and “Insecure”. Sharika’s presence during live shows emphasizes the fierceness of her voice and her persona.

And then there’s the band. The drummer James Doxon (who is also my close friend and musical collaborator) and the bassist Malory Crain lay down a tight groove that really propels the songs. There’s a reason Sharika dances so hard during Ladysoal shows: her band makes an irresistible beat.

The ensemble is filled out by Mike Meier, whose guitar licks brilliantly echo the heartache in the vocals and whose solid blues riffs provide the band with a crunchy rock sound. Mike’s playing really reverberates with Sharika’s style; she calls him “the twinkle.”

One of the album’s fiercest and catchiest songs, “Mommy,” is also the most heart-rending in subject matter. The lyrics tell a story of tragic neglect, but the intense power that Ladysoal brings to the song’s performance tells a larger story: not only does the band have the audacity to make a song about such a sensitive subject, they have the strength to make that song rock. And that ability transforms “Mommy” from a lament into a triumph.

Sharika is a mother herself now and the album is dedicated to her son, Jacob. He was also the inspiration for the song “Sunshine.” Ladysoal released the video for that song Thursday night at Project 20/20 in Campustown.

Ladysoal has come a long way since that summer night when Sharika first played me her songs. Our music has been on parallel paths for these past few years and I’m excited for the future of our collaboration in Ames, a town where small musical connections grow into lasting friendships and mutual respect.
- the ames

"ladysoal films second music video"

By Vincent Geerts
Ames247 Staff Writer

Ladysoal‘s new music video, “Sunshine,” has earned more than 3,000 views on YouTube and airtime on public access stations in Texas, Alabama and Pennsylvania. But that’s only a start, according to frontwoman Sharika Soal. Her goal is to reach 20,000 YouTube views of the band’s next video, which finished filming on Sunday.

The video is set to the song “That Girl”, which Soal said is about a sexual encounter between two women. She hopes that the video will be a comfort to the entire LGBT community, and its give members the courage to stand out.

“I think they can get lost in the crowd,” Soal said. “It’s really for anyone who’s ever struggled with their identity.”

More than 20 of Soal’s friends served as extras in the video. They dressed in flamboyantly colored drag and appeared in a dance sequence with the singer.

All filming took place at Project 20/20, which video director Douglas Choi transformed into a custom set. He was thankful for the business’ cooperation, and said the space was exactly what he had been looking for.

“All of the walls are black, which makes it perfect for us,” Choi said. “We have a lot of control over light, which would bounce all over the place in a white room.”

He was impressed with Ladysoal’s friends, too.

“When I worked on the East Coast filming, maybe three or four people would show up when you expect twenty,” Choi said. “Everybody loves Sharika, and they all showed up on the spot, ready to go.”

Soal expressed high hopes for her new video. She wants it to draw attention to the Iowa music community as well as supporting the LGBT community.

“There’s so many talented people in Iowa that haven’t been heard of,” she said. “Let’s bust some doors open and raise a flag. Iowa is here!”

Though Ladysoal doesn’t yet have the fame it seeks, Soal is not discouraged. She thanked everyone who helped to make the video a reality, including Project 20/20, Studio X and the many friends who influenced her vision for the new video.

“Creatively, we’re millionaires already,” she said.

Soal predicted the new video would take about a month to edit. After it’s been completed, she plans to release it on her YouTube channel as soon as possible. The band isn’t through making videos yet, and the members plan to make even more dreams come to life in the future. -

"ladysoal on vimeo"

Think magazine interviews Ames-based artist Sharika Sawer about the history and future of her band Ladysoal. Check out, follow the magazine at or like Think at Find Ladysoal at - think magazine

"ladysoal's single sunshine"

Here is the new video for the LadySoal single, Sunshine. LadySoal is a great band out of Ames, Iowa. - quarter after five


I was having an unbearably shitty day last week, when like clockwork a singer and Facebook friend by the name of Sharika dropped a song on my profile with the tag “hope it brings a smile to your face”. Well by damn, it sure did. Turns out Sharika is a vocalist for Ladysoal — a band out of Iowa that consists of soul, pop, rock and tons of earthy funkiness that makes me feel good.

The song Sharika posted is one of the group’s very own records called “Sunshine” and I just thought I would share it with y’all. You can find out more about Ladysoal at their Facebook page. - kid fury


Still working on that hot first release.



The story of Ladysoal is complex with a simple idea. From a very young age Sharika knew she wanted to be a performer -- she played any and every instrument her parents would put in front of her. She eventually realized her passion was playing the guitar and singing, so she moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue her dreams. After 3 years she was performing as a background singer in California for Chione (a london based group), Angie Stone, and other artists on MIG records, a Los Angeles based record label. From there, Sharika decided she was tired of standing in the background and was ready to start her own project and moved back to Iowa where she eventually met Mike Meier.

Mike Meier went to school at Colo-Nesco High School in Iowa. Before going into hish school Mike got his first guitar as a birthday gift from his parents. From there it sat around for about 5 months before Mike really tried to learn how to play. Once Mike was in high school he began doing such things as playing with his youth group worship band. He then started his first band with some friend from church.. Mike spent most of his time jamming with any body who would play with him. After a year of living away from his parents, he started a band called The Never End.

The Never End played some small shows periodically. This was around the same time that Mike first met Sharika. Their first encounter was by chance, where Mike was playing music at his apartment with a friend and Sharika stopped in. It was this meeting that sparked a new found interest in Mike and Sharika playing together. After only a few jam sessions, Sharika asked Mike to fill in for her guitar player that was unable to make it to one of her shows. Mike did so, and has been a part of Ladysoal since then.

The making of mallory Mallory started playing bass when she was 13 when her middle school band instructor needed a new bassist for the jazz band. Before that, she was just a nerdy clarinet player! Growing up in central Iowa, she is a self-taught bass player whose main interest lies in jazz but she also loves the rock/blues/soul vibe! she met sharika at a party and the rest is history!!!

Ladysoal's permanent members consist of 4 members, in order to create a fresh, new sound with every song they write. This makes their sound hard to pin down to any one genre. But with Sharika's soulful voice and Mike's pop-rock guitar riffs, this group continues awing listeners every day. With the current self-released "I AM HERE EP" they are currently label shopping and just released a music video for their song sunshine and an album titled " we are here"