Boasting an industry resume as long as your arm, singer/songwriter Shayna Steele has acquired many labels over the course of her 12 year career, from “Broadway crooner” to “disco screamer”, “Chaka Khaner” to “r&b belter”, and “jazz chanteuse” to “electro diva.” But, while each denotes a unique facet, no one term is able to capture the whole. With her latest album, Steele delivers her most confident and cohesively eclectic set to date, answering the question “Who is Shayna Steele?” with a definitive (and defiant) I’ll Be Anything.
Born in Sacramento to a black Air Force dad and a white mother, Steele lived the itinerant childhood of an American Air Force brat. Moving from California to Oklahoma and then to Ramstein, Germany, where she spent seven formative years, she had little chance to contemplate her racial identity until her family landed in Biloxi, MS in 1985. She explains, “[Ramstein] took up quite a bit of my early childhood and had a big influence on how I viewed life, the world and especially racial tension. Living amongst the safety of an Air Force Base in Germany with many other children from bi-racial families gave me a false sense of security and I wasn't quite ready for the criticism and ridicule I would receive when we moved to Mississippi.” Feeling “awkward, out of place and unsure where to fit in” in Biloxi, she dove headfirst into music, entering (and winning) several pageants and talent shows, including an appearance on Ed McMahon’s Star Search at the tender age of 15. While she would eventually come to accept the South, and they her (Shayna’s first show in Biloxi in 15 years occurred this past April), her artistic ambitions would finally pull her to New York in May of 1996.
After just three months in the city, her dynamic voice and fierce delivery were recognized as she landed a role as the first replacement in the history of the Broadway production of Rent. Joining the original cast at its peak, the experience/exposure of this gig quickly parlayed into roles in Jesus Christ Superstar and Hairspray, as well as several TV appearances including spots on The Grammys, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Conan O’Brien, David Letterman and Carson Daly.”
Her move to the East Coast also exposed her to a huge variety of live music, simply unavailable in MS. “I never really felt ‘grounded’ until I moved to NYC. It was then that I really opened up to different genres of music other than R&B.” Schooled in jazz by her Godfather and gospel by her choir director, the Grammy-nominated Michael McElroy, Steele began to develop her sound, blending new influences, from Karen Clark Sheard (The Clark Sisters) to Rachelle Farrell, with her childhood icons Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and the Temptations. A completely unexpected call in 2005 would drop her squarely in the middle of genre she had absolutely no experience with: Electronica. Hearing that Moby “needed a screamer” for a track off his new album Hotel, a mutual friend recommended Steele, resulting in the disc’s second single “Raining Again”. Two years later, she was back, laying down vocals for “Extreme Ways (2007)” - Moby’s theme song to The Bourne Ultimatum - and in early 2008, “Disco Lies”, The first single off Moby’s 2008 release Last Night. The song reached #1 on the US Billboard Dance charts and went on to be featured in J.J. Abram’s summer blockbuster Cloverfield. Her voice has remained in high demand with recent features on the Grammy-nominated album Great Joy with The Broadway Inspirational Voices, and the soundtracks of Legally Blonde 2, Bambi 2, the 2007 re-remake of Hairspray starring John Travolta, and a singing feature on HBO’s The Sopranos during the show’s final season.
Inspired by a new musical awareness and the endlessly creative and supportive environment of Broadway, Steele started writing in earnest in 2002. It was during this period that she met David Cook. A pianist, composer and industry veteran, Cook has recorded or performed with
David Cook - Wurlitzer Piano, Acoustic Piano, Hammond B3 Organ, and Keyboard
Brian Cockerham - Electric Bass
Marion Felder - Drums (USA)
Jeremy Most - Electric Guitar
2012-"Brand New World" single. Kazuo Zaitsu project, Japan
2012-Shayna Steele "I'll Be Anything" Japan-Sweet Soul Records
2012-Smash Season 1
2010- Sex and the City 2 soundtrack (Bewitched)
2010- The Backup Plan soundtrack (Disco Lies)
2010-Sunny Jain Collective: Taboo (2 Ladies)
2009- Shayna Steele: I'll Be Anything
2008- MOBY: Last Night (Disco Lies)
2008- Cloverfield Sountrack
2008- Shanghai Restoration Project (Love and Warlords)
2007- Dreaming Wide Awake (If I Own Today)
2007- The Bourne Ultimatum Soundtrack (Extreme Ways w/Moby)
2006-Shanghai Restoration Project (The Bund)
2006-BIV Christmas Album: Grammy nomination
2005 - Moby: Hotel (Guest soloist "Raining Again")
2005 - Hair "White Boys" with Ledisi and Brandi Chavonne-Massey "The Bund" with David Liang. All available on itunes
2004 - Shayna Steele EP
Shayna Steele in L.A. Times
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"For all of the night's guitar worship, the most memorable moments happened away from the Marshall a..."For all of the night's guitar worship, the most memorable moments happened away from the Marshall amps. R&B belter and former "Rent" star Shayna Steele showed Journey's Neil Schon that the voice is mightier than the ax"
Shayna Steele in the San Francisco Chronicle
..." soul drenched vocals and powerful R&B sensibility."
DJ and Producer Moby on Shayna:
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" What an amazing voice; sounds like she should have been making disco records in 1978, which to me ..." What an amazing voice; sounds like she should have been making disco records in 1978, which to me is like the highest compliment I can pay a singer." Moby; Album: Last Night, Disco Lies
Shayna Steele in the San Francisco Bay Guardian
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"Jazzy, sultry, soulful and smooth--Shayna Steele." " Shayna should be considered one of the most p..."Jazzy, sultry, soulful and smooth--Shayna Steele."
" Shayna should be considered one of the most promising and versatile up and coming singers, right up there with Rachelle Ferrell and Ledisi."
Shayna Steele in The Village Voice
"Tasteful, P-funkish;.. Retro R&B Singer flows with rhythm...."
Shayna Steele in Time Out New York
Shayna Steele in Los Angeles City Beat
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"Schon redeemed himself a measure by having his axe howled down by the deliciously cooz-o-licious wa..."Schon redeemed himself a measure by having his axe howled down by the deliciously cooz-o-licious wail of R&B diva Shayna Steele"
Shayna Steele from Neal Schon of JOURNEY
"She's simply amazing."
Shayna Steele in Sonicsoul.de, Germany
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“…like a modern Joan of Arc who uses her voice to lead a new direction. Everything is good as long...
“…like a modern Joan of Arc who uses her voice to lead a new direction. Everything is good as long as she sings it.”
Shayna Steele on NewsOK.com
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"They didn't just cheer for the stars, giving standing ovations after a number featuring American In..."They didn't just cheer for the stars, giving standing ovations after a number featuring American Indian dancers, drum groups and singer Shayna Steele."
Shayna Steele in Good Times Magazine
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Shayna Steele's debut leaves little doubt that this is a woman blessed with the chops to turn heads ...Shayna Steele's debut leaves little doubt that this is a woman blessed with the chops to turn heads and make the music world take notice. The full spectrum of Steele's chords can be felt on the opener "You Are My Soul," a jazz/soul piece complete with a horn section, a funk beat and an acoustic guitar riff woven through. The track builds to a full-band crescendo with Steele rising to the top, jumping from mid-tone to the high end of her range. Two cuts later, "Dying" finds Steele kicking her pipes into overdrive once again as her Aretha-esque vocal runs head-on into a mix pulled from the book of Sly Stone.
The heartbreak comes across loud and clear on the disc's lone ballad "Whatever You Do," and the record closes out with a pair of irresistible dance cuts - "Highyella" and "Moving On."
This artist certainly has the potential for maintstream success.
Shayna Steele's disc is well worth the ride, and hopefully only the first effort in what should be a long and successful career.
Shayna Steele in San Francisco Bay Times
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"Steele’s vocal style and original songs combine R&B, soul, and jazz, inspired by diverse talents su..."Steele’s vocal style and original songs combine R&B, soul, and jazz, inspired by diverse talents such as Ella Fitzgerald, The Temptations, and Aretha Franklin".
Shayna Steele on KUNV 91.5 FM
"A breath of fresh air"
Soulchoonz Y2K, UK
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"24 hours" is one of the best female soul tracks that I have heard thus far in 2010 and the real, li..."24 hours" is one of the best female soul tracks that I have heard thus far in 2010 and the real, live instruments take us right back to the early 80s...the Tower Of Power styled horns, the Eric Gale stylised guitar and summertime gait really is superb.
Grammy nominated and platinum selling singer/songwriter Freddie Jackson says
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"When I first heard her, I couldn't believe my ears. It is a very rare occassion when the world is b..."When I first heard her, I couldn't believe my ears. It is a very rare occassion when the world is blessed with a voice like this. Shayna is destined to become a major fixture in the music industry."
Shayna Steele in Musicsavesmysoul, FR
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“…une véritable et entêtante réussite de soul-funk moderne et urbaine, mâtinée de jazz et parfois mê...“…une véritable et entêtante réussite de soul-funk moderne et urbaine, mâtinée de jazz et parfois même de bossa nova, un album sincère à la production efficace, à des millions d’années lumières des tentatives ultra-formatées des fausses icônes du R & B actuel.”
Original songs from Shayna Steele's EP and Shayna Steele I'll Be Anything album as well as newly penned songs by Shayna Steele and collaborators. Also will include covers that have been arranged and orchestrated in the style of Shayna Steele's sound and music. Can and will also include contemporary jazz and jazz standards.
Set List ranges anywhere from (1) 1 hour, 15 minute set or (2) 30-1hr sets.
If interested please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for Gig agreement letter and Rider.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.