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Lee DeWyzeFrames / The Walking Dead / 2015Lee DeWyze launched the pivotal stage of what wasalready a high-profile musical careerwith his Vanguard Records debut –Frames, in the summer of 2013. What followed was a high-caliber list of praise from the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Yahoo Music, Rolling Stone, and dozens upon dozens more. “I hunkered down and wrote an album,” the Chicago native explains. “I wanted to take it back to what I’m really about, which is writing emotionally charged, meaningful songs. It wasn’t like I wanted to find a label and then decide what kind of album to make. I knew what kind of album I wanted to make and knew I could make. It’s going back to the kind of music I’ve always loved. I grew up listening to Cat Stevens, Simon & Garfunkel—folk-based acoustic music. Don’t get me wrong—my experience on the show was great. But for someone like me and the kind of music I make, that only takes you so far. It feels really good to get back to the grass roots of what I’m about. The way I see it, everything that’s happened throughout my career has happened so that I can make this record.”The show DeWyze is referring to is American Idol, which he won in 2010. DeWyze played guitar, piano, mandolin, banjo and drums during the recording sessions, during which he collaborated with renowned producer/songwriters Toby Gad, Drew Pearson, Matthew Wilder and Phil Allen, as well as mixer extraordinaire Jim Scott. “I’ve never felt a connection with my music, more than I do right now,” DeWyze says, making no effort to hide his excitement. “It’s a very real thing, and it feels right.”Frames garnered many licenses and syncs and proved that DeWyze was not only a great singer, but an extremely talented song-writer. Shows like Nashville, Reign, and Hart of Dixie all used his music, as did ESPN, and several independent films. Blue Cross Blue Shield recently used the song ‘Don’t Be Afraid” as part of their national 2014/2015 campaign. However, the doorreally kicked open when Lee penned the song ‘Blackbird Song’ for The Walking Dead in March of 2014. An original song that he wrote specifically for the show itself. Blackbird Song has accumulated over 50k single unit sales, 2M collective YouTube views, and has over1.1M Spotify streams. The song is considered oneof the top 10 syncs of the 2014by the Music Guild Association. In 2015, DeWyze will release an onslaught of music and video content, and continue his relentless touring here in the US and overseas. Lee has a #1 song in Ireland called Lullaby that was recorded and performed by Ronan Keating. He also has a #3 song in Italy called Magnetic Heart recorded and performed by Marco Mengoni.“I’m finally in the lane I belong in, and I feel like I can just go.” DeWyze says in anticipation of what he’s preparing to unleash in 2015
“Everything we do, every decision we make, leads us to where we are today.” For Universal Music Group recording artist Shayna Leigh, music tells the story of this journey.
Growing up in Orlando, Shayna originally found music through the dramatic arts. Commercial work as a child actor led to musical theatre, where she first discovered singing. She found it to be the most instinctual form of expression she’d ever experienced, and she was hooked.
Her continued evolution found her influenced not only by contemporary hitmakers, but also ageless greats like The Beatles, Carole King, and Laura Nyro. She spent years writing, recording and performing, all in search of the sound that best defined her own artistry.
On July 28, 2015, Shayna released her debut album “Drive” on S-Curve Records/UMG. The album includes ten tracks produced and co-written by Multi Platinum & Multi Grammy Award Winning Record Producer Michael Mangini (Joss Stone, Diane Birch), and Emmy Award Winning, Multi-Platinum Songwriter and Producer Peter Zizzo (Avril Lavigne, Vanessa Carlton).
“Drive” represents both a musical and emotional milestone for Shayna Leigh. The record is distinguished by its blend of organic roots and pop touches, the songs mixing acoustic and electronic elements to convey timeless emotions in “classic contemporary” musical landscapes. This alchemy showcases an interesting dichotomy at work in some of the material – sad songs in upbeat settings, and vice versa. Yet while the instrumentation is certainly a driving force behind her songs, it’s her vocal style that truly defines them.
Indeed, Shayna’s voice is uniquely her own, but her stories belong to us all. She believes in the universality of the human heart, and she wants her music to reflect that. To Shayna, the greatest power of songs lies in their ability to remind us how truly connected we are.
As co-writer of her record, Shayna loved bringing her input – her life, really – to the table, to see what it sparked into motion. The ensuing creative mingling of hearts and minds is what made the collaboration behind this album so deeply inspiring to her.
Prior to the release of “Drive,” Shayna released two EPs: “The Cold Hard Truth and the Dream”, exclusively through Noisetrade. She also released “Hey Shayna Leigh” in September 2014, which soared to #2 on Amazon’s Singer/Songwriter chart, #3 on their Hottest New Release chart and #118 on iTunes Pop Album chart. Recognized for her undeniable talent, Billboard Magazine featured Shayna as one of “Tomorrow’s Hits”. Following the continued success of her music, Shayna has played shows all over the US, as well as the UK, and has opened for popular acts like Howie Day and Sister Hazel.
When not in the recording studio, Shayna enjoys acting, dancing, and traveling, but her truest “extra curricular” passion is reserved for her family and friends – the “co-dreamers” who march beside her in supportive spirit towards her greatest aspirations. Her own commitment to promoting self-love extends beyond music, to organizations like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, for whom she recently performed at a NYC fundraising event.Shayna holds an increasingly strong conviction that professional and personal growth go hand in hand. “There is a strength that comes from putting yourself out there and standing up for who you are, scary as it seems sometimes,” Shayna says. “We all have a story to share and mine is woven into my music.”
Shayna Leigh currently resides in New York.