By CA Marshall
It has been a little over a year since we’ve featured Canadian independent pop/electronic Singer/Songwriter Shay Esposito on our Starlight Music Chronicles platform. Her first appearance was on our website where we launched her feature as our October 2015 Artist of the Month. We also wrote a follow-up feature in the fall 2015 Starlight Music Chronicles Magazine. Shay recently performed live at the ‘Youth 4 Youth’ concert in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta alongside fellow Artists’ Paul Woida, Mackenzie Dayle, Olivia Rose, and Robb Nash. In fact, Shay has always been an advocate for youth in bringing awareness to mental health, PTSD, teen suicide, and depression by way of public speaking, performances. Even her song writing focuses on bringing awareness to the stigma that often accompanies this.
Today, December 13th, 2016, the young activist has launched her new single ‘How Does It Feel’ with a music video that is stunning! The song focuses on overcoming addictions and the struggles therein. I can honestly say that although Shay remains loyal in bringing a strong message to her loyal fans, her lyrical ability has matured into a lilting, sweet and sincere tone that is carried out perfectly in the production of this single. The video is a beautiful kaleidoscope of imagination genuinely reflecting the darkness and light that accompanies addictions. She walks barefoot, scantily clad through a wintery cold forest searching for something, when she comes across a mirror and the search is for herself. This video And song perfectly reflects the struggle many people with addictions face and it is very well executed.
Shay will always be an intentional writer with cleverly written lyrics that reflect her own truths, tragedies, and triumphs she has also overcome. If you have a moment, I encourage you to check out her social media platforms and follow her journey. This young woman is a sweet and powerful force to be reckoned with as she continues to fight for youth to find their voice (that in some cases, never seem to be heard.) She does this while touring and public speaking with fellow Musician Robb Nash at schools across the country about her own experiences, She brings messages of hope to youth who are struggling through her affirmation of: ‘if I can do it, you can too’. This isn’t an Artist who creates simply to have her sound heard, she is an Artist who is bringing a serious message that reaches the hearts of everyone she meets during live performances. It Is a message which alters these individuals in the most positive way: they seek help!
Here is the exclusive interview we had with the lovely songbird below:
Spotlight Interview | Shay Esposito December 11, 2016
SMC – Hello Shay! So much has happened with your Career since we first met in 2015 as our October Artist of the Month! There’s so much to talk about…. but let’s begin with your experience with Starlight Music Chronicles. Can you tell us what the experience was like for you as our Artist of the Month as well as the Artist of the Year competition?
Shay – It was an incredibly rewarding experience to be a part of these two competitions, I had a lot of fun and it was such an honor to win artist of the month.
SMC – So let’s get into more of your progress with Artist Robb Nash…. we know you were recently involved with the Morgan’s Mission concert in September this year with him. What was that experience like?
Shay – It was amazing, we had such a great turnout and I’m so glad I could get Robb out to the show. The concert turned out great.
SMC – Do you have any future projects that you are working on with Robb?
Shay – I’m continuing to join him at schools whenever I have the Chance, and hopefully I’ll be joining him for a bigger show in the new year.
SMC – We are going to get a little more personal here because it relates to the kind of lyrics and music you have been producing as of late. Can you tell us of a time in your life where these experiences were vivid and how they relate to the execution of your music?
Shay – For me, the hardest times were junior high and early high school. I struggled with depression and anxiety, and although I’m doing better now, I still struggle with these issues every day. I use my music as a means to tell my stories without having to actually SAY them.
SMC – What are the things you find most important when choosing to collaborate or work with others in the music industry such as Robb Nash?
Shay – The most important thing to me is honesty and a good cause. A lot of people in this industry will just tell you what you want to hear, so I’m lucky that I’ve come across the honest and sincere people that I have with me.
SMC – What is a deal breaker for you as an Artist? We don’t often ask that question but we can see that you are an Artist with amazing integrity!
Shay – The biggest deal breaker for me would probably be compromising in what I must say in my writing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than willing to hear constructive criticism, but when it comes right down to it, I write because I have something to say, and to me, that’s the whole point. I won’t have my creative freedom be compromised by anyone.
SMC – Can you give a shout out to the team behind the making of your new single ‘How Does It Feel’? (song and video)
Shay – HUGE shout out to Trey Mills, the producer that brought this song to life, Chris Daellenbach for helping me out with the lyrics, Justin Weisinger (and his team) at Intrinsic Media Group for directing the beautiful music video, Gina Cicero of Lady Venom Cosmetics for making me look fantastic (and keeping my feet warm) and last but not least, by mom for helping me pull all of this together.
SMC – Fans got a sneak peek of your new video (launched today) for the video on December 8th and at the time of this interview there were already over 11 thousand views and still climbing! Shay, what are you feeling right now? I mean, you must be ecstatic!
Shay – I’m so excited! I’m so grateful to everyone liking and sharing the video, helping me get out there, and I can’t wait for everyone to see the finished product!
SMC- Can you tell us about your connection to the song and how you feel it will impact society?
Shay – This song means a lot to me because it says a lot about struggling with and overcoming addiction. I think it’s the kind of song you’ll come to understand more and more every time you hear it.
SMC – What has the family support been like? I know your mom has been a huge support. What about the rest of your family? Friends?
Shay – My family is amazing, they have always backed me 100% and done everything they can to help me pursue my dreams. My wonderful friends and boyfriend have also been a huge help pushing me to reach my goals.
SMC – Have you ever encountered anyone opposed to the values you campaign about (mental health issues, depression, PTSD, teen suicide awareness)? If so, how did you handle it?
Shay – There will always be people that don’t believe that this is a real issue. People will say we’re just looking for attention or we’re exaggerating. But those people are the ones that have never seen what mental illness looks like, never experienced it, and therefore could never fully understand it. And I hope they never do. But to say that this isn’t an important issue is just flat out wrong. And that’s why I do what I do, so that our youth can see and believe that they’re not alone in this, and that their struggles do matter and they can overcome them.
SMC – What are your views on teen society today and the subject of teen bullying? Do you feel there is proper support for teens today?
Shay – I believe that the support for teens is getting better, albeit slowly. But it’s not enough. Teens are still bullying and being bullied, and the answer to solving how they treat each other is wrapped up in first teaching them that they themselves matter, and teaching them to love and appreciate themselves. Once we have that figured out, we can learn how to respect and appreciate each other.
SMC – You have always been a huge advocate of Morgan’s Mission. Can you tell us if there are any future collaborations with the organization?
Shay – I certainly hope so! I’ve loved working with them, they are an incredible organization and although there’s nothing planned yet, I’m sure there will be?
SMC – What do the next three months’ look like for you in terms of your career? Do you have any live performances or projects you are working on in that time you would like to share with us?
Shay – Well the biggest and most important project of all will be my album release concert! We’re planning it for February so I’ll be sure to keep everyone up to date!
SMC – How do you think that people in our society can help support the kind of change you would like to see for teens today?
Shay – I think that the most important thing is believing them. Teens will say something when they’re struggling. It might not be direct, or all at once, or even said with words. But they will say it when they need help. We just need to listen and believe them when they say it.
SMC – Since our last interview in September 2015, can you tell us how much has changed for you personally and professionally in terms of growth?
Shay – Since 2015, my biggest achievement is recording my second album, Sunday. In terms of growth, it was a huge year for me. I’ve come to know myself as an artist far better, and come to know what I want and what it’s going to take to get it. It was an adventure but definitely the kickstart of the rest of my career.
SMC – What does it feel like knowing that your music can impact the lives of so many people who struggle with depression, mental health, and PTSD in a positive way?
Shay – It’s so humbling and so rewarding. Music was always what got me through the worst of times, and all I want is to share that with everyone else struggling with mental illness
SMC – Where will we be able to purchase ‘How Does It Feel’? On what media platforms can people find the song for download and how soon?
Shay – How Does It Feel will be available on iTunes, Spotify, and countless other media platforms including YouTube for the music video. It will all be available December 13th!
SMC – Well, Shay, I would like to thank you for taking the time to chat with SMC and we want to personally congratulate you on your accomplishments. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Shay – I just want to say thank you so much for doing this interview with me and for all of the support you have shown me. Also, a huge thank you to all my friends and family, and I hope everyone likes the song!!!
Shay Esposito Social Media Links (click to view)