The new glam rock and roll sweetheart of Spectra Music Group, Shayne Leighton has recently released her debut single, a reboot of the Pat Benatar classic, “Invincible”, which is already getting rave reviews from college radio stations and it lighting up the airwaves. Shayne will release her debut rock EP with Spectra in 2015. EP produced by Rob Roy, protege of the legendary Tony Bongiovi of Power Station Studios and Bongiovi Acoustics.
On October 7th 2014, Shayne will release a collaborative music project called REMEMBER, which is an anthem to unite against bullying. Not only does the song and video feature Shayne, but also several artists from the popular music competition show, THE VOICE, Grammy-nominated artists like Wendy Moten, and students from the Stax Academy of Memphis. The REMEMBER anti-bullying project will also feature Quinton Aaron, star of the Academy Award Winning film, The Blind Side as the spokes person. The song and video will tie into his Quinton Aaron Foundation. Shayne will perform live among these fabulous artists, in front of a packed audience in Boca Raton on October 7th, as well as CNN News.
In Shayne’s first year out of high school she penned, co-directed, and starred in a feature film, which obtained distribution and screened in theaters across South Florida among major theater chains such as Regal, AMC, and Cinemark. The film obtained a passionate fanbase of over 100,000 girls online and has garnered the attention of reporters from the Miami Herald, CBS News, and NPR Radio. Leighton also starred alongside Scream Queen, Tara Cardinal, in the fantasy action, film ‘Legend of the Red Reaper’.
A natural redhead, Shayne Leighton’s message is one of power, positivity, and celebrating ones own uniqueness. She has been invited to perform the opening concert for the official Redhead Days event in Europe next year. Shayne is also an advocate for standing up against bullying and marriage equality…
Also a bestselling author, Shayne is working to release her third book in her fantasy series of seven novels, which has recently been optioned to become a feature film starring Michael Welch (Twilight Saga) and Cassie Scerbo (Sharknado, Make It Or Break It) Shayne was featured in Boca Magazine as one of their top 100 IT PEOPLE for 2010.
Rock and roll, specifically glam rock like Meatloaf, Heart, and Pat Benatar, were always playing around my house growing up. My dad played keyboards in a cover-band called “Flashpoint”. My uncles were obsessed with The Beatles. There was always rock and roll of some facet in the house. I love that it’s a little dark. I love that it’s powerful. Electric guitars are sexy. It’s big and it means business and I feel like I do to. I just identify with rock and roll, and I really want to be one of the artists who successfully delivers it back to the mainstream. I’m so sick of hearing “rock and roll is dead”, and hearing the same five pop divas on the radio over and over again. It’s time to shake things up. Our youth needs their rock back. They need that rebellion, but the good kind of rebellion. The kind that inspires them to think for themselves and speak their minds and stand up for who they are and what they believe in.
Evolution of the initial musical and thematic elements:
When I was first picked up by Spectra Music Group, I’ll admit that I was pretty lost musically and emotionally. There was lot going on (there always is), and I was in desperate need of some direction, especially in music. I had dabbled in all sorts of different genres in the past and had so many mixed ideas and messages. So many ups and downs. I’d always loved rock and roll. I grew up on it. And my family always told me that they thought I was best suited for rock. But it really wasn’t until Bobby Collins, CEO of Spectra Music Group, took a serious listen to my old stuff and told me about the things he heard hiding in my voice. He originally brought up the idea about doing a cover of a Pat Benatar track as the debut single from the six-song EP. We decided on “Invincible” because of the song’s themes and lyrics. And we went from there.
Ideas about the album:
We set out with a few goals in mind. A big one was to deliver a power-house sound with messages of empowerment and substance. Another one was to resurrect the classic 80’s rock vibe, but at the same time maintain something that is fresh, new, and exciting. I think we all nailed those aspects. I am SO happy with out the project is turning out. (We’re still mixing). There’s always ways to improve and get better. Right now, I’ve got stars in my eyes. I’m excited. I’m brand new, and all I can focus on now is all of the great things we’ve accomplished together.
Every professional and listener who has heard my rendition of “Invincible” has really liked it, and I’m very humbled and honored to say that because accomplishing a Pat Benatar track to the point of people accepting it is a difficult thing to do. She’s a classic, a legend, and she’s tailored some very big shoes to fill. I am so thankful to my producer Rob Roy of Power Station Studios, and his team of utter geniuses. They know what rock and roll is supposed to sound like. I owe a lot to them. The reception has been so good thus far, it makes me so excited to share the original stuff with the world!
Next step; live or studio:
I think the very next thing, after completing post production, will be a US tour hopefully followed by a UK tour to promote the EP. My first (pretty much almost ever) live performance and the first time I’m performing “Invincible” live will be October 7th at The Addison in Boca Raton in front of Blind Side star Quinton Aaron, CNN News, and a packed room. I have the jitters, but they are good jitters.
Hmm…in the distance I see a rustic mountain house with a stone foundation and fireplace and the rest done in mahogany. I have gray hair and I’m writing my memoir on my porch swing next to my black cat. Okay, that’s the way distant future. In the near(er) future, I see myself in the studio working on my debut LP (not to be confused with my debut EP), after wrapping up my world tour and being officially named the new sweetheart of rock and roll, and hopefully bring back classic / glam rock to the mainstream.
Lyrics, themes and concepts:
My biggest hope as an artist, is that I come across with empowering ideas. There’s so much out there—so many people who do what I’m trying to do, but so often, I see them trying to fit the mold of the nearly-nude Hollywood pop star. I’m not trying to do that. I’m comfortable in my body, but I’m not necessarily trying to make that the focal point of my career. I really think young girls need more role models. My goal is to be someone with themes and concepts of substance. I want to be in control and show young women it’s okay to maintain that control and be powerful and professional at the same time. That’s one of the reasons myself and my team felt that “Invincible” was the best thing to lead with. It’s a cover, and it easily introduced people to who I am and what I’m planning to achieve with my original body of work.
Preference; live or studio:
As I’m doing this interview, I have not been on the road very much. I flew once to Memphis to complete production on a musical project, but so far, that has been the extent of it. I LOVE being in the studio! Those are my “happy” days. It’s my sanctuary where I just decompress and be who I really am and let it all out on the microphone. It’s so gratifying to see a project come together in the mixing phases too. So far, that’s my favorite part, and only because I don’t know what’s waiting for me around the corner. I love traveling and do so often, so I imagine I’m going to love being a rock and roll road gypsy!
Writing and finding songwriters for this debut project was a process. I started out with concepts in my head—things that spoke to me and messages I wanted to convey to listeners. For a while, it just wasn’t coming together. But then, thanks to my label, a very special writer stumbled into my life and project. Mark Vogel was the music director on the hit TV Sitcom, Full House. He’s kept up with his career in music and is working with some very talented artists. He wrote the majority of the tracks on my EP, along with brothers Mike and Daniel George and Rachel Golding.
My tastes are very eclectic. I draw a lot of inspiration from classic rock goddesses like Pat Benatar (of course), Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, the Wilson Sisters, and Cyndi Lauper. But I also really dig some modern artists like Florence Welch, Lorde, and Christina Perri.
Preference; cater to the audience or music for its own sake:
I think both are important. You have to please your listeners. Your audience is your lifeblood. They are the ones who choose to listen or don’t listen and I like to maintain a very close friend-like relationship with my audience. Their opinion matters a lot to me. But, I also have a lot to say by myself. I have a lot of messages I want to express to the universe and I don’t like anyone telling me what I can and cannot do, so it’s definitely a little of both for me.
My career in music is relatively new, and I am so exciting about all of the things that are on the horizon for me. I really feel very blessed right now. Currently, I consider my largest musical accomplishment to be the “Remember” collaborative music project. So many talented people were involved (Quinton Aaron, Wendy Moten, Sarah Simmons, Kris Thomas, the Stax Academy to name only a few). I got to travel to Memphis, the birthplace of rock and roll to complete the project. But most importantly, “Remember” is a musical project designed to unite against bullying. It brings people together in love to deliver a very powerful and hopefully life-saving message. And that’s what makes it such a huge accomplishment for me.
I want fans to know that they can reach out to me any time! I love talking to you guys. I’m just a person too, and I don’t bite…much…