We’ve seen a lot of child actors make their way from the screen to the stage. Hilary Duff being a favorite because let’s face it, “So Yesterday” is forever a JAM. Well, she’s not the only one of course. There is also Shayna Leigh. A singer-songwriter who found her way to music through the theater who now resides in New York, who is almost ready to release her new album. We talked about all of that, Nickelodeon, Carole King, candles and a whole lote more so get to it!
Kendra: Child acting in Orlando. I have to know, were you ever on any of my fave Nick shows? From All That to Victorious. I am a ’90s kid who was a weird ass adult and still watched the channel in her 20’s.
Shayna Leigh: I was also a pretty huge fan of Nickelodeon back in the day! I don’t think I was on any of the shows but I actually did do a bunch of commercials for them! I think one of them was for the Big Help (I have no idea how I remember this!) and maybe for one of their award shows?! This is the best question ever!
Kendra: Acting has to do with how you got into music. The dramatic arts pulled you into performing, but what made you head towards straight up music?
Shayna: Honestly, I just felt like I had something to say as an artist. When I started making music, I wasn’t even sure what it was that I wanted to say, but I had a nagging feeling that there was something there. I also wanted to be somewhat in control of my career. I like that as a musician I can guarantee that I am always doing something to move my career forward, even, at times, in very small ways (yes, this can be both a blessing and curse!). And of course, there’s the singing. I don’t know that I could live a life where I didn’t spend most days singing.
Kendra: Your debut dropped a couple of years ago, and your new album will be out sometime later this year. How do you feel you’ve grown from Drive to now?
Shayna: I think the biggest difference is that I am more willing to take risks than I used to be. My new music is, as a whole, more personal and autobiographical. I think my point of view is stronger and I am more confident indirectly putting my heart and soul, my thoughts and opinions, out there.
Kendra: If your single, “Candle,” had a scent what would it be and why?
Shayna: I feel like it’s spicy vanilla bean. It’s vanilla because it’s smooth, relatable and about a universal experience (coming to the realization that you’re in a relationship that just isn’t taking off for whatever reason), but it’s a little spicy. It’s not passive. It doesn’t wallow. It’s about having the strength to move on to something better.
Kendra: Now time for a little game of Cover, Duet, Tour. Out of The Beatles, Carole King and Laura Nyro which would you want to cover, duet and tour with?
Shayna: This is so hard! I’m going to say duet with The Beatles (because I’d love to see them in a studio), cover Carole King (because I want to sing all of her songs) and tour with Laura Nyro (because I would give anything to watch her play live)!
Kendra: That’s a dream tour of course, but in reality, you’re not doing too shabby. You spent time on the road with American Idol Lee DeWyze. Did you ever have those reality show competition dreams?
Shayna: The reality shows are great in that they give singers an opportunity to showcase their skills to a huge audience which can be life changing, but I also think there is something to be said for consistently building your own career. I’ve always tried to stay open to whatever opportunities present themselves to me, but I’ve never pursued the reality singing shows in full force. That being said, we all have dreams and any means of pursuing them is valid as far as I’m concerned!
Kendra: Say you’re in charge of setting the mood for a candlelight dinner. What five songs would have to be on that mixtape?
“Something in the Way She Moves” – the Beatles
“Your Song” – Elton John
“Make You Feel My Love” – Adele
“Skinny Love” – Bon Iver
“Love Song” – Sara Bareilles (Don’t know who’s at the candlelight dinner but I need to make sure I manage their expectations haha!)