Shayla Morag Steeves is an artist at heart. Born in Sackville, New Brunswick, Shayla is a singer & songwriter who has released two previous independent CDs, entitled Private Diary & Secret Castle.
Upon release of her debut CD Private Diary in 2000, Shayla’s music has been featured on CBC Radio Atlantic Airwaves (Radio One) and has received critical acclaim in an array of print media. Her purest approach of mixing voice and piano has been tagged as having Elton John and Paul Simon as influences. In reviews, she has been promoted as having a similar vocal quality to an early Tori Amos and Joan Baez, with a similar entertainment style to Carole King and Joni Mitchell.
Throughout university, Shayla performed at coffee houses and benefit concerts in addition to teaching piano in her own studio. Taking piano lessons since she was five, Shayla recorded some of her original work back in the late 1980s and took vocal training from Patricia Lee at Mount Allison University and Diane Oxner (Sarah McLachlan’s former vocal coach) upon relocating to Halifax from New Brunswick. Private Diary was recorded in the University of Guelph’s Music Department during Shayla’s seven-year stint living in southern Ontario. Her Secret Castle CD was recorded at The Music Room in Halifax in 2008, and co-produced by Tyler Myalls.
As a sociologist, her lyrics reveal social issues and societal problems broaching topics from love and addiction to suicide and war. Water is a therapeutic element evident in her music to signify healing and spiritual renewal. Introduced to traditional folk music at an early age at the Miramichi Folksong Festival, the a cappella style and story-telling approach to song is apparent. Shayla’s love of drama, design, photography, videography, and the visual arts influences her descriptive empathetic lyrics.