Hey Shayna, welcome! To start off, tell our readers where you grew up?
I grew up in Denver, Colorado, The sunshine state! That surprises a lot of people, but Colorado has over 300 days of sunshine a year.
You have had quite a career – tell us about your journey. Where you started and where you are now.
Truly, it all started at 8 years old doing local and regional musical theater. All I wanted to do was sing. It’s all I thought about, all I talked about. Since you won’t find a lot of 8 year olds singing at bars and clubs, theater was pretty much the only way I could get in front of an audience and perform. I performed in over a dozen professional productions until I turned 18. The absolute very first second I could, I packed up and moved to LA to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter. Now, after starring in multiple TV series, licensing songs to some of the most recognizable brands in the world, and receiving my first Billboard #1 Gold Record, I am really coming into my own as a music producer and artist. You know, we watch these young, fairly inexperienced artists being catapulted into fame. Because that’s the sales model of the mainstream music industry, we begin to believe that the older we get the less capable we are of having meaningful music careers, but that’s simply not the case. My mission is to create great art and music, whether it’s for myself or if I’m developing another artist. I actually think with more experience and wisdom comes greater understanding of the self, human experience, and the struggles of life. So, mature artists tend to have better, deeper lyrics, more complex productions, and a more authentic ability to connect with their audience.
Music can be a great healer for many people. What is one song that never fails to move you?
Heart Of The Matter by Don Henley is one of the more profound songs I lean on in my life. What a great example of how real life experiences and writing about your personal struggles can help others feel less alone in their time of need. It’s about divorce, something I’ve been through personally, and how learning about your ex’s new relationship can feel almost unbearable. But it’s not just a song about loss, it’s a song about forgiveness. He teaches the listener a lesson about how he understands and is processing what he’s been through:
“The trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness
They’re the very things we kill I guess
Oh pride and competition
Cannot fill these empty arms
And the work I put between us
You know it doesn’t keep me warm”
This a profound self reflection on priorities and the ways we find ourselves living our lives that doesn’t necessarily allow us to be truly fulfilled. I miss songwriting like this. It really does make singles like “Watermelon Sugar,” or the majority of today’s pop songs seem especially hollow.
Was there anyone or anything in particular that pushed you to pursue music?
It sounds cliche, but it really was kind of always just this unexplainable innate part of my being. My parents had no idea what to do with it. Yet, ironically, everyone in my family genuinely loved music and they all gravitated towards something different. My dad loved Classic Rock, that’s why I’m a Stones fan. My mom loved Country, that’s how I became a Reba McEntire fan. And, my sister loved Alternative Rock, so I became a Stone Temple Pilots fan.
Name one of your biggest inspirations in music?
It’s a very very close tie between Alanis Morisette and Tori Amos. Those two artists inspire me because they were women who were truly unafraid to speak their minds. If you dig into their lyrics and hold that up against the time period they were debuting in, it was really quite remarkable. They spoke so candidly about relationships, sexual encounters, and female empowerment, but not in this way like we see today that’s salacious for the sake of click bait. They were actually speaking up and speaking out against the ongoing injustices against women. I’m still aspiring to be like them.
The US music scene differs from city to city, what’s the music scene like in your town?
I’m currently living in Nashville after 18 years in Los Angeles. I have to tell you, hands down, there is no better place for music or songwriters. And it’s no longer just country music either, it’s EVERYTHING. Rock, Pop, Indie, Electronic, you name it, we have it. Nashville truly is “music city.” You can go see quality live music any night of the week, it’s easy to get to, and most times it’s free admission or super affordable. Creators are collaborating everyday all around you. It’s built into the fabric and pulse of the city. If you love music, I recommend visiting here. If you create music, I recommend scheduling sessions here. It’s a magical place.
Tell us what you have planned for the rest of 2020? Any surprises?
Seems like everytime I make plans or schedule surprises for 2020 it drops surprises on me! Lol! Isn’t that how we’ve all been feeling? Oh my. My “plan” is to release at least one new original single, an originally produced cover, and a few music videos. But, a lot of my time right now is being spent connecting with fans via social media and supporting social causes. I’ve released quite a number of impromptu original songs and videos this year via Instagram when it felt like “the time is now” to speak up or say something about the state of the world. So if you’re looking for surprises, that’s where you’re gonna find them from me.
Where can we find you online?
You can follow me on Instagram @theshaynarose
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/theshaynarose
Spotify – SHAYNA