Brian Ziff

Shaylen Talks “Highs and Lows” Since Going Solo

And yes, her ex has heard her songs.

LA-based pop singer-songwriter Shaylen may have just dropped her debut EP in June, but the bubbly pop starlet is no stranger to the music industry.

"I basically came out of the womb singing," Shaylen told Popdust. As part of the pop group Savvy, the singer was thrust into the spotlight when she was just 10-years-old. The group was a breakout success and were eventually signed to Cash Money before disbanding due to creative differences.

Now, as a solo artist, she says she's learned a lot since then. "I've really learned how to have my own voice," Shaylen said. "Being in a group was very safe and squeaky clean, but I've really come to realize who I am and how to say what I need to say." Highs and Lows, Shaylen's debut EP, is a brief but colorful collection of songs that each depict a different stage of Shaylen's career thus far. We sat down with the singer to talk more about her new EP and how she plans to take over pop music.

You're not a rookie to the music industry by any stretch, but what have you learned since you've been solo?

I really learned how to have my own voice in my music and say what I want to say and how to say it. It definitely was tricky at first getting back into the headspace of being a solo artist. I was trying to figure out who I was in that time period and what to say.

What was the creative process like for Highs and Lows?

It feels like having a baby to finally have this EP out, but it really has been a lot of “highs and lows." It's really been about finding myself in this body of work. I went through addiction and family struggles, I went through breakups, and this EP is mostly about me just coming into my own. I've probably written 300+ songs, but these ones I chose are the perfect example of what I wanted to say. But it's been a friggin' awesome journey.

You said you started your career around 10, but that you've been singing since you were a baby. I'm curious if your parents were musical at all growing up?

I was always exposed to music. It was in my blood; when I was four I would sing along to Cher and would make my parents listen to me sing the Titanic theme song. My mom is in the Cardiology field and my dad is an FBI agent, so when I was young they knew [that I] was a little different.

Your dad was in the FBI? What was that like growing up?

It's been interesting. He's retired now, but when I was growing up he always traveled and was always somewhere I didn't know. So maybe that's where I got the theatrical side from, 'cause he's had to play like 20,000 different people for his job. It was a little scary.

A lot of these singles seem to focus on relationships. I'm curious: Now that you've come into your own, what you've learned about relationships?

I've found out that it's okay to have high expectations for yourself, and it's okay not to settle. As I've gotten older, I've learned it's totally okay to walk out if something isn't working for you and draining your energy. I'm really protective of my energy now, and men can be trash, but I can make a great song out of it. I feel really bad for my exes.

Any chance you've run into your ex since the songs came out?

After three years I actually finally ran into him this week, and I said everything I needed to say, and at the very end [he asked me] if the song was about [him,] and I said, "Yes, it is."

Was he cool with it?

No! He asked if I said he had a small penis, and I was like, "Yup! That's what I'm saying."

Shaylen - BTW (Official Video) www.youtube.com

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