Shayna Steele

It’s not necessary to exaggerate her accomplishments, as they speak for themselves. Her colleagues praise her talent, dedication, and drive to perfection as a professional singer. Shayna, a New York City-based singer and songwriter, is a force to reckon with on stage and in studio. Steele was born in Sacramento, California to a black mother and a father. She grew up with the nomadic life of an American Air Force brat. She moved from California to Oklahoma, then to Ramstein in Germany where she spent seven years of her formative years. It was not until 1985 that she could contemplate her racial identity. She says that Ramstein influenced her early childhood, and shaped how she views life, the world, and especially racial tension. My childhood in Germany, where I lived with children from bi-racial families, gave me a false sense security. I was not prepared for the ridicule and criticism I would face when I moved to Mississippi. She felt “awkward”, out of place, and uneasy about her new surroundings in Biloxi. She entered (and won) many talent shows and pageants, and even appeared on Ed McMahon’s Star Search at the tender ages of 15. Star Search was her first time performing in front a national television audience. Shayna lost by 1/2 star and returned to Mississippi to finish her high school education. She then went on to pursue a music degree, before she was exposed to the “reality” of the business. “I felt embarrassed and defeated. I just wanted to crawl in a hole and go home. “I didn’t feel grounded until I moved to NYC. After moving to NYC, I was able to explore other genres of music.

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