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Conversations with Peyton Shay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Peyton Shay.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I’m a 19-year-old artist from Los Angeles. I grew up in a small town, which inevitably led me to boredom and discovering my passion for music and storytelling. At the age of nine, my parents put me in a local musical theater program where I spent months training for Les Misérables, the play. At that moment, I truly realized what my purpose in life was, which was an incredible feeling being able to discover something so impactful about yourself at such a young age. I spent most of my childhood drowning in anything that would help me learn and understand the world of music. I’ve always been a creative, and anytime I was learning about music, writing, or playing the piano, I just felt safe. I taught myself how to write and play the piano in the guest house of my childhood home, where I also wrote my first song. It was multiple pages long and had zero song structure to it, yet it was the “easiest” song I have ever written. I jumped into as many studio sessions as I could possibly have gotten myself into and started building a catalog of songs, along with who was as an artist, my social media presence, and my supporters. After charting in both the U.S. Billboards and the U.K. charts, I embarked on my first three-week international tour! It’s truly something I will never forget. Since then, I have released my first E.P. and multiple singles, including my new song “Badder Than The Bad Boys.”

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
With all things in life, challenges are always a part of the journey, and the music industry is no exception. Jumping into music at such a young age was scary because I felt like I really had to prove myself to get people to take me seriously; I still feel that way. It’s interesting because our society correlates knowledge with age, and while there is truth in that, we are seeing a huge influx of young, hungry, and innovative artists emerging. With the internet at our fingertips, the accessibility of information and learning has drastically increased. It took me several years to really figure out who I was, as that line can get blurred when you feel like you have so many people telling you who to be, what to write about, what to sound like, etc… I lost myself for a bit because I was so focused on being the person everyone else wanted me to be. However, at the end of the day, the impact that music has on society greatly outways any negatives.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
As an artist, life is always moving at a million miles per hour, but I love it. Because I’ve been making music for as long as I can remember, I can’t imagine my life without all the craziness. While the past few years were tough for everyone in general, it allowed me to grow in ways I would have never imagined. At the beginning of 2022, I released my single “Aftertaste.” Honestly, it was one of the most eye-opening experiences for me as a creative. The song encompasses my following thought: The silent ones are the ones who hurt the most. Those who simply vanish one day and never come back. In my view, they walk out once you either feel too much or not enough, bordering on not caring at all. When someone listens to my songs, I want them to create and build their vision and world around it.

For me, “Aftertaste” really connects to past friendships that have come and gone, but for someone else, it might resemble heartbreak in a relationship. As soon as I finished recording, I really felt like that was the beginning of authentically leaning into my sound and creative endeavors. It was a moment of finding who I truly am and the message I want to share with the world. I was fortunate enough that “Aftertaste” started gaining momentum on TikTok, exposing my song to really cool people and brands! Every night I would look forward to sitting on my bed just scrolling through the videos made, in awe of the support and talent that TikTok users have! My music is all about building a connection and sharing the struggles we all silently face. I never want someone to feel alone. I think that’s what allows people to feel connected to not only me as a person but also my music, I’m young, and I’m learning to navigate life and adulthood, just like we all are or already have. As the industry rebounds from the pandemic, I am feeling even more grateful and excited for live shows! Keep an eye out for details on my shows and, of course, new music!

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Surrounding yourself with people who are more ‘succesful’ than you or people who share greater knowledge is, in my opinion, one of the most impactful things you can do for yourself. You truly are a product of your environment, and the people you choose to surround yourself with can either lift you up or tear you down. Luckily, the music industry is filled with so many creatives who value community, helping others and working together. There are great resources such as social media, Clubhouse, online groups, mutual friends, and more that are filled with possible mentors.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photo 1: Jordan Margolin Photo 2 & 3: Smile For My Friends Photo 4: Beth Saravo

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