Q&A: Shyann Bailey - Your questions answered

>> Thursday, November 26, 2009

Who the heck is Shyann Bailey?  I'm sure I wasn't alone in asking that question around this time last year when I first heard the lyrics, "Squeeze me like a fruit, in the palm of your hands".  Trinidad Carnival 2009 was beginning to warm up, and a familiar, but unidentified female voice was steadily blasting out of my stereo speaker nearly every day.  I have to admit my surprise to tune into Soca 919 FM one morning to hear Shyann's in-studio interview where she expressed that she has been living an working here in Canada for years.  She was the voice behind "Leggo Mi Man"on Byron Lee and the Dragonaire's 2001 Soca Vibes album, and for 2009 Trinidad Carnival, she would be the female lead in Caribbean Traffik Jam.

I realized that I really didn't know enough about Shyann, and figured it might be a good idea to share what I learn with you.  Here's what I found out: 

Nurse Karen)  Soca music can be very thankless, what is your motivation for doing what you do?

Soca, just like any other genre of music has its own set of challenges but its an important part of my culture as well as my life. My love, my hopes and my aspirations for my culture is all the fuel I need for motivation.

Nurse Karen)  What is one thing your fans don’t know about you, but probably should?

My name is actually Shyann Bailey. Shayne has been marketed & promoted for some time now, but I will be using the correct spelling from now on.

Nurse Karen) What is the greatest moment of your career so far?

They’re two things that stand out. Having the legendary Byron Lee record "Leggo Mi Man" because he only chose those songs which deemed to be outstanding. ... The other was having the distinct opportunity to work with one of the greatest bands in the Caribbean Traffik for the entire 2009 Carnival Season.

Nurse Karen) Of all the songs you’ve worked on, which is your favourite?

There was an epiphany with Pure Sweetness, during the process of writing and voicing that song, I realize I really love what I'm doing, that’s writing songs to make people happy.

Nurse Karen) Who would you say is your greatest mentor in the business?

 My biggest mentor in this business would be The Mighty Shadow himself Winston Bailey as well as my sister Jasmine Bailey (a Jazz singer). It is truly a blessing to have such talent in the family.
I also have great admiration for always entertaining Mighty Sparrow, and Machel Mantano, his work ethic and dedication to perfection is living proof that Soca is ready for the world stage. I can’t find the words to describe the affect that Calypso Rose & Alison Hinds have had on me, from a entertainer as well as from a fellow woman’s perspective. They continue to be my models of what I should be as I continue to make my mark alongside my young, dynamic and powerful musical sisters like the lovely Patrice and the fantastic Fay Ann Lyons to name a few.

Nurse Karen)  Name an emerging artist you rate, and why?

Kees. He has all the tools needed to become one of the elite male Soca artistes.

Nurse Karen)  When you were small what did you want to do with your life?

As a child I always loved the attention I received for my out right personality, so I would say an actress maybe a comedian even a dancer or a writer , but never in my wildest  dreams would I have guessed I’d become a singer.

Nurse Karen)  Name one goal you have for yourself that you have not achieved yet.

I just want to have a happy life with a beautiful family, working hard to perfect my craft while stopping to smell the roses along the path that The Lord has paved for me.

Nurse Karen) Apart from the country you represent, what other Caribbean heritage is in your background?

Although known as Trinidadian, I was actually born in Tobago parented by a Barbadian father Ralph Beckles and a Grenadian mother Maureen Bailey.

Nurse Karen) Tell us a quote or word of advice that helps you through the rough times.

What help me through the rough times Is closing my eyes and telling The Lord Jesus Christ “I'm scared, you promise to take care of me, you told me you will never leave me in want & that you will always provide, well Lord its month-end and I got bills to paid so that big check you got for me needs to be western union before the first” Ha! Ha!, I'm just Joking, but the prayer part is true. My quote would be:”He’s never failed me yet. I know I'm going to make it.”

Nurse Karen) Do you listen to Soca from various islands? If so, which ones & what do you enjoy about it?

Yes, I do. Zoelah and Skinny Fabulous from St.Vincent, Berbice from Grenada, Ricky T from St. Lucia, Claudette and; Tizzy from Antigua. They really have some good music.

Nurse Karen) I hear you have a new tune coming out called "Daddy, I'm a bad girl".  What's that one about?

What can I tell you about that song girl, it speaks for itself when I did "Sweetness" with co writer Shaft (wicked writer - I love and respect him big up every time. You're one of the best. I thank you for blessing me with your writing I wish you all the best the sky is the limit for that brother), my dad turn to me and say gal you too nice nice, when you come to Trinidad you have to be wassy and dirty. Trinidadian like them thing, and besides you're too goody goody. So I would say it's a song to really tell the fathers out there is not that we goody goody is just that we respect them and what there eyes don't see, their heart don't grieve.

Nurse Karen) In Toronto we consider you one of our own, how do you feel about representing Canada in the soca world?  

To just be considered is very overwhelming, and I am proud to represent Canada wherever I go. I live here, and people sometimes forget we got talent too.

Nurse Karen) Is there anything I missed that you would like to add?

Well, I just want to say thanks for the interview. You're always welcome to call or anything pertaining to me. I love you and I thank you for your love and encouragement throughout my career and giving me the opportunity to let people know that everything I do is for everyone, that ever had a dream to make it just like I did. 

~ Shyann Bailey

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