Artist Spotlight: Shyla Day - By Volume

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Artist Spotlight: Shyla Day

"I want to change the world, whether a penny is earned or not!" Author: on February 18, 2014
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In our first edition of By Volume’s Artist Spotlight we sit down with singer/songwriter Shyla Day, an up-and-coming musician whose luscious voice and penchant for writing sky-bound hooks should attentively tune plenty of folks  into her deceptively catchy music. Get to know Shyla the musician a little better below and treat yourself to a handful of her live-recorded performances.

By Volume: Hey Shyla. Thanks for sitting down and taking some time to answer a few questions for us. Mind giving us some basic personal information?

Shyla Day: Hi! Of Course, it is always my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me. My name is Shyla Day. I am eighteen years old. I am from the United States, located right in the heart of San Diego, California. I have been on a So Cal Tour since early October in 2013. That was supposed to end February 22nd, but I have extended it to end late March this year.

BV: How would you describe your music? In one word, in many, not words, in any fashion you’d like.

SD: Imagine pop-rock. Now imagine pop-rock with just one woman and her guitar. I have been having surprise dates with my full-band along my tour, which has been really fun. With my band, you see more rock in Shyla Day and a tad less of the pop feel! It’s really fun to rock out every once in a while.

BV: As a young woman trying to etch her place out amongst a crowd of many, do you feel any societal pressures you must live up to? Be that setting an example for your peers, combating the male-dominated music industry, simply trying to forge a career creating art – or anything else?

SD: Of course. Starting out at fourteen years old there has always been ongoing pressure. Any normal teenage girl would say so, but atop that I have always been in the public eye. I throw myself out to people, constantly bucketing my emotions out on a table for everyone’s judgement … and of course there’s the tension of “perfection” that has been tainted for quite some time now, that is forced day in and day out (no pun intended), especially when put into a situation like mine. I talk more about this concept in my newest single, “Hollywood”.

Every woman in society has been through what I am and have gone through to be successful. I am not saying it is right, nor am I pleased with the fact, but I believe to overcome these situations is powerful and is more of a reason to be respected. Success by that point is very well deserved. I applaud every woman who has achieved or is on their way to what they are dreaming or what they believe in because it really does take courage.

BV: At this point in the evolution of your talent, what would you like people to notice first about your music? Or is there any aesthetic or personal touch you make a point to pervade throughout your music?

SD: I like people to realize that it’s real. So much in music today is copy and paste, with absolutely no emotion. I’d like people to notice that I write straight from the heart, and that I really have gone through what I am singing about. What’s even better is when somebody tells me he or she has gone through the same thing. Right then and there, we have an instant connection, and someone to talk to! It really is the best reward for a musician!

BV: Out of everything you’ve written, is there anything in particular that’s speaking to you right now?

SDRight now what stands out to me most, like I mentioned earlier, is my newest single “Hollywood”. Hollywood portrays the strive for perfection, although it really technically doesn’t exist. Its about the absence of being what society portrays as the “perfect” human being. Never there. Everybody has this view of beauty that is all so identical and senseless, so everybody ends up basically looking … the same. “Hollywood” is about finding myself trying to adjust to the world of perfection (going back to the pressure of society) and overcoming it.  The chorus of the song is me avoiding the relapse of striving to be anything that’s not myself. I strongly feel unique is what’s best, and each one of us are a one-and-only!

BV: You’ve spoken in interviews about your parents being folk musicians – would you say their music has effected your approach to songwriting? If so, care to elaborate how?

SD: Definitely, but I would say they shaped my view of music more than anything. I want to change the world, whether a penny is earned or not! They made me believe that music is not created for what its commonly perceived, but it is for passion, love, and making a difference in peoples lives. I want to let my fans believe that anyone — even you — can overcome any limitations and go for what you believe in! I overcame living without my father because of his early passing, my childhood of social anxiety, bullying, and terrible financial limitations at home, and I am still working my hardest, regardless, because I will accept nothing less than success. I feel like I am a great example for any person who feels like they can’t, because they can.

BV: Personally, I hear quite a bit of folk influence in your music, as well as a heavy pop tinge. You seem to categorize yourself as a singer/songwriter – would you say this is something you wish to portray?

SD: I portray myself as a singer/songwriter because I do write and perform the music myself, but most people think of the stereotypical coffee shop singer when they think of what I might be. Not even close! I cannot stress enough that I am not your typical Coffee-House singer; the definition of myself would be power, which happens to be the complete opposite of what most people would enjoy hearing at a coffee bar! Great story, actually: I was invited to play a Comic-Con after party summer of 2013 and because of my “category”, which happens to be singer/songwriter, they placed me in a coffee house. Boy, was that a bad idea. As usual I totally rocked the place out, and apparently they didn’t have a sound permit. Well, the city police heard me from a distance and waited until I finished because they enjoyed my music, but the owners eventually changed their talent castings to “coffee shop singers” instead of singer/songwriters. We might surprise you!

BV: How do you feel about the idea of musical aesthetics in general? Is it something you feel a need to purvey – stay “true” to the sound if you will – or are you more apt to enjoy branching out?

SD: All I want to do is play music. I love everything from Beethoven to Metallica. I can sing anything from classical to yodeling to what I would sing in my own music. It’s just a matter of passion for what I do; I just love music and am always open to explore and feel new feelings and express them with different styles of music.

BV: Any artist (of whichever form you’d like) or art in general you love and feel like influence your personal work heavily?

SD: I’d say every person I am surrounded by. Even strangers. Everybody is an artist in my eyes, and everybody is just as influential. I’ve been influenced by the littlest things that people say or do. If I had to relate to somebody well known that I look up to as a professional artist (musically), it would be Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran. Ed Sheeran has this gorgeous, humble mentality; everything is so emotional and raw in his music, and that’s definitely what I would like to be known for. Katy Perry is so fun and always seems to have uplifting songs that make you want to fight your limitations and anything that’s stopping you. They are huge influences when it comes to my music!

BV: In our initial correspondence you had mentioned a fixation with dragonflies adorning the heads of your guitars – care to elaborate?

SD: Glad you mentioned this! Each of my guitars (and my ukelele) have dragonflies on them, and all in the same spot. It’s a very personal thing and sentimental to my family. My father passed of bone cancer shortly after my first birthday, and he was a musician himself. Before my fathers passing my sister Farren and I gifted a dragonfly sticker and a string which he took straight to his guitar. After his passing I grew older, his guitar caught my attention and ever since I’ve been playing. Now, on every instrument I own, I put a dragonfly on it to remind me that even though he isn’t here on Earth, he definitely is with me in heart — every time I play music.

BV: Any news for 2014 we can look forward to?

SD: Oh, my! So much I wish I could tell my fans, friends, and family. I can’t release the full details until May, but ill give you a hint. These are some things that all women (and sometimes men) wear to look fabulous everywhere they go, and on the Red Carpet. My fans are sneaky; don’t want to give out too much information!

I am also looking forward to starting up a band and getting together an album! Since I recently spilled the prospect name of the band in a recent interview at an event … it looks like the name of my band will be Shyla Day and Noir. We thought great contrast as “Noir” means black in French and “Day” implies light.

BV:  Also it looks like you’re involved with Tunes For Tots Worldwide – mind telling us what exactly this is and what your involvement entails?

SD:  Tunes For Tots Worldwide is a community of musicians that have come together as a team, in cities all around the world to produce events that benefit children’s charities. I’m one of hundreds, almost a thousand artists that participate. I love being a part of Tunes For Tots because I know we really are making a difference.

BV: Particular books/music/movies/games you cannot get enough of right now?

SD: I’ve always been a more modern rock girl, but I find myself diving into the earliest of rock & roll right now. I think it might stick with me for a while!

BV: Anything you feel we’ve missed Shyla? Feel free! Otherwise we appreciate the input and we wish you the best here at BV. Thanks a ton.

SD: You can enjoy the ride with me by staying updated at www.ShylaDay.com, on Twitter, or at Reverbnation, and Facebook. Thank You so much for having me today. Speak with you again soon!

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