Musician Shayna Leigh Talks About Her Debut LP Drive -- Part II

Shayna Leigh's debut LP Drive is available now.
Twitter: @heyshaynaleigh , Shayna Leigh's Website

In Part I of my interview with musical artist Shayna Leigh, she told us some serious stuff about her life. I couldn't get enough -- so had to do a Part II!

Shayna Leigh's LP Drive is available for download! Get out your headphones and be ready to fall into another world.

What's the best and worst feeling when you're on stage performing?

There is just nothing I love more than playing live. I love the energy and the connection you can have with the audience. There's this moment right before you go on stage where you have to sort of give over control. You're on the edge of a cliff (a dramatic analogy) and you don't know what's going to happen when you step out there, no matter how prepared you are. For me personally, this is both the most exhilarating feeling and the most terrifying. Sometimes you feel totally in a zone and other times you can feel a little bit out of control. Sometimes you feel totally connected to the audience and other times you aren't feeling the connection in the same way that you usually do, or your voice or body feels just a little bit different than it did the day before. The key is to just ride the wave, bring your best and literally never give up. Pour all your energy into every show, the good ones and the not so good ones. Surprisingly, some of the shows I thought were less than amazing were the ones that I've gotten the most positive feedback from. You just never know!

Who chooses the recording studio? Who puts everything together for your music videos?

This is a very interesting question. In terms of studios, I have found that different producers like to use different studios, so in my experience, as an artist, you don't really choose the studio, you choose the producer. I think you find someone you trust to produce the record or song and then let them do their job. That doesn't mean you don't have a voice in the process; but if they're in a studio they are familiar with, using musicians they are familiar with, communication is just easier and flows better. My music videos have all been produced and directed by one of my closest friends from childhood, Virginia Crawford, who is an LA based writer and director. I like to be really hands on in this part of the process because I want the visual stories to echo the musical stories. Virginia does a lot of the logistics but I make all of the decisions with her. Making music videos is one of my favorite parts of making music for sure.

Do you have a significant other?

I love this question. Here's what I have to say. For most of my life I have been the somewhat single person amongst a group of people in relationships. (I dated but not seriously) It used to bother me a lot because I felt like it was somehow representative of who I was -- that if I was always the one without a boyfriend it meant that I was uglier than my friends or less interesting or less lovable. But the thing is, that is just not the case. And the second I stopped believing that silly story about myself, the more the world of romantic relationships opened up to me. But more than that, I feel I learned how much this world has to offer me as an individual without a significant other. Do I want to find my partner? Of course. Have I been in love and do I want to be in love again? Yes, I do. But is my life full and complete and am I full and complete without it? Absolutely also yes. I do feel like I never had anyone tell me it's okay to be on your own. So for anyone who needs to hear it, it's more than okay to be on your own.

What was one of the most challenging moments in your life? Did that have an impact on your music?

You know, trying to be an artist is in itself incredibly challenging. I have had a number of personal struggles (with my health, with loss), probably more than most people my age, but the single hardest thing I have had to go through overall is finding a way to try to pursue my dreams with my sense of self and self worth intact. I think that is what my music is all about -- learning how to be okay with myself and with where I am in my life. I guess that's the moral of the story -- It's okay to keep searching for what makes you happy. The pursuit of happiness is a noble pursuit. It is everything.

Anything else you'd like to say?

Well, I am hoping to tour soon. Nothing on the books yet, but in the new year the plan is to be out and about, so I will keep you posted!

I think it's important for all of us to give back or pay if forward, even in small acts of kindness, trying to be a nice person every day. I have worked specifically with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention here in New York. This is a cause that is incredibly close to my heart for personal reasons and because I think suicide and mental health as well as issues of self esteem are often overlooked and not openly discussed. I think we need to take these topics out of the realm of taboo and give them a voice so we can make more progress in preventing suicide and saving lives.

My eternal shout out goes to my family. I am stupidly lucky to be surrounded and supported by the three best humans in the world. The people I love get me through the day every day without a doubt.

Be sure to check out Part I of my interview with Shayna Leigh!