Sheena Grobb
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Sheena Grobb

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | SELF | AFM

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2006
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter




"The Seekers - Sheena Grobb - Finding Resilience"

Sheena Grobb [BSc/05, BEd/07] knew something was wrong the second she woke up. The left side of her body was numb, but she felt defiant. Grobb was 23, a second-year U of M education student, and wanted to go about her morning routine. Reality set in when she couldn’t wash the shampoo out of her hair.

The tears came slowly as Grobb recognized what she was facing: her second major relapse from multiple sclerosis since her diagnosis at 16 (it was Christmas Eve when she learned her symptoms weren’t from a pinched nerve after an intense track meet, as she had hoped.)

With no control over part of her body, how would she do her teaching practicum now? And what about her music? Grobb was a budding singer-songwriter, who didn’t yet know one of her future albums would be mastered at Abbey Road Studios, the prestigious London-based recording house of the Beatles. (When her Winnipeg producer reached out on a whim, they immediately said yes.)

“I see it now as something that allowed me to course-correct how I was living my life.”
Standing in her kitchen, she questioned whether she could play the piano or her guitar again if she couldn’t even hold a tea cup. With a voice that’s been compared to that of Sarah McLachlan and Norah Jones, Grobb knew at any time MS could also affect her speech. At one point, her vision diminished so much it felt as though she was looking through a screened door with half the holes filled in.

The paralysis-like symptoms endured a month and proved to be a major turning point for Grobb.

“It was definitely one of those moments I will never forget,” she says. “But also, I see it now as something that allowed me to course-correct how I was living my life.”

She grew up on a farm in Treherne, Man., in a loving homestead that also included her grandmother, who would repurpose old clothing into sweeping patchwork quilts that were the perfect canopy for making forts.

When her grandma lost her battle with breast cancer, Grobb wrote her first song. She was only 10 but the lyrics still feel profound and, she says, like a message to her older self: She smiles at me so beautifully but you can’t hear her scream.

“I think I was imagining what her experience was,” Grobb says.

She set her own journey to lyrics years later in the song Get Out Alive, written immediately following her MS relapse, which she says pushed her to live for herself, not to please anyone else, and to put her health first.

Grobb later got a call out of the blue from a So You Think You Can Dance choreographer asking if the TV show’s top dancers could use the song for a video. “It was surreal, like Oprah calling to borrow a sweater,” she says.

With three albums to date, Grobb is set for another release this fall—this time, a collaboration with Nashville producer David Kalmusky, who’s worked with John Oates of famed Hall & Oates and with Journey. Teaching-wise, she’s shifted her focus from high school chemistry teacher to health coach for others living with chronic disease. It was her experience as a student volunteer in a U of M peer advisory program that made her realize she wanted to help others.

The lessons learned in her journey have informed a new philosophy that has her and husband Dan Legrand adopting a more minimalist lifestyle. The couple is building a tiny house, only eight feet wide.

“We’re both musicians and enjoy living life in the wild, being out in nature, having fewer things. We’ve been giving away most of our possessions over the last year and have come to a place of true peace,” she says. “Everything feels light. I still want to build a big future for myself but in a different way, through giving back, contributing something real and honest, not through acquiring items I don’t really need, or keeping up with the next big thing.”

She’s even gifted the huge digital piano she’s dragged with her from place to place over the years, in search of one that’s a better fit. - U of M Today the Magazine


Asking You featuring Maria Aragon (2018)


The Breakless Heart (2014)
Grow (2010)

Safe Guarded Space EP (2006)




(for the dedicated and entranced :)

Every once in a while, the universe gives birth to a songbird... a certain kind of songbird. The kind who sings a song unknown to most, but resonant with everyone in some way. It’s a familiar song because the notes are like a code to the soul, and the voice its precious carrier.Sheena’s voice has been compared to greats like Sarah McLachlan, Eva Cassidy, and Norah Jones, although the delicacy with which she almost whispers at times... quivering on gently sustained phrases unique and sweet... creates a sound that is unmistakably hers.

Right from the age of two, the gift Sheena Grobb possessed was beginning to show. A voice so pure, it pierced through crowds and rose above conversations. Sheena could silence a room, even as a child. Her mother’s passion for music was so strong, that singing and playing became as natural as breathing to Sheena. But her skills alone were not what created the songwriter in her. It was the loss of her greatest influence at 8 years old – the passing of her grandmother – that produced emotion so big, that only song could penetrate its depths. And so at 10 years old, Sheena began to write the first of her songs.

Though Sheena sensed her destiny – as did others around her – debuting her first EP Safe Guarded Space on the main stage of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, followed by a nomination for a Western Canadian Music Award in 2007, there was also a dark cloud looming on her horizon. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at 16, Sheena learned early that even the most precious of gifts can be lost so quickly. The delicate nuances of her classical piano training and self taught guitar skills vanished for one life-altering month after her first album was released. She struggled for many years to overcome the fears of her own deterioration, and thanks in part to the undying efforts of close friend Kim Nozick, she spent much of her creative energy delving into the inner world of her emotional, physical and spiritual health.

Even still, Sheena released MFM supported album Grow in 2010, produced by 11 time Juno nominee Dan Donahue. Recovering her health remained her primary focus, and despite minimal touring, she attracted the attention of Lindsay Nelko (previous choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance) who produced a music video for song Get Out Alive, in which two of the show’s star dancers Kathryn McCormick and Robert Roldan appeared.

In 2011, Sheena was approached by a couple, Les and Terry Weins, who were deeply impacted by her performance at the Winnipeg Folk Festival in 2006 – so much so, that it prompted them to organize an event to fund another album. It became the gift that would keep Sheena anchored to her music, despite her own reluctance to continue. Three years later, Sheena is releasing The Breakless Heart (Sept 2014). She chose to work with Ervin Bartha at ClearLightSound - an independent home studio with a Kawai 6’1” grand piano and a “creative vortex” as Sheena calls it. Believing in her music and her message so much, after a laboursome three years in the making, Ervin boldly emailed the engineers at Abbey Roads Studios in London to see if they would master the project. They took one listen to the title track and agreed.

“It is without a doubt a masterpiece of songwriting and soundscape.  Really incredible, soulful music.  She will definitely get a huge audience in time, trust me."  - Alex Wharton, Abbey Road Studios

As her music continues to pick up steam, working with Nashville Multi Platinum Producer David Kalmusky (Journey, Emerson Drive, Vince Gill) as well and Winnipeg's own Murray Pulver and Roman Clarke, Sheena is busy writing new material for her fourth album.  Check out Sheena’s latest collaboration written and performed with YouTube sensation Maria Aragon called “Asking You”.

Currently Sheena is busy launching a Health Coaching practice that supports others - newly diagnosed with MS - through the transformation that helped her overcome her most significant challenges, build deeply connected relationships, and allow her to pursue her purpose with music without fear.  Health Coach by day... Illuminated Musician by night.  Healer and artist.  Perhaps they are one in the same.

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