Shayla Armstrong [lala4410]
What do you do? What is your musical specialty?
I'm an acoustic singer/songwriter, I also manage and mentor a few musicians and bands around the area I live. Performing in general is my favourite part :)
Do you work alone or in a group? If in a group, who are the others you work with?
I prefer to work on my own. But I have a session drummer that plays gigs with me.
Is there a web address where one can listen, see, or read some of your work?
Please list any awards, competitions, or other acknowledgments you would like to mention.
I've gotten in to the Smokefreee Rockquest Regional Finals 2 out of 3 years. I regularly participate and win awards/competitions at high school. And I organised a variety concert to raise funds for an earthquake relief project for Christchurch, NZ.
How did you begin making music? Who introduced you?
I got in to music from just mucking around on an old piano then playing these pathetic pieces to people. Then started teaching myself multiple instruments.
When did you realise that making music could be a way of life for you?
The day I woke up and all I wanted to do was perform for the rest of my life. I started looking more in to the industry, and found a few paths I could take.
What is your creative process?
Its different every song, sometimes I come up with an idea and tell a story, but sometimes you can't develop much with that. Other times I have something I need to say or express through music. Sometimes i'm writing for a purpose. Generally its music then lyrics. But I may start with a line or a theme and start playing music that feels like what I want to write about.
When do you have your most lucid moments, in the morning or night?
Definitely late at night and in the early ours of the morning.
Have you ever awoken with a melody created from your dreams?
I have had that a few times, it's a bit inconvenient because I don't normally have time to roughly record something so I don't forget. So I usually end up forgetting the idea. But I have had ideas for what I want to write about come from dreams.
How do you know when a song is finished or needs no more changes?
It just feels right. There are always changes that could be made to my music, I generally just produce something i'm proud of. Once i'm proud of it I know its finished.
How often do you practice?
Every chance I get.
How do you feel right before going out on stage?
I remind myself that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life, so I feel a sense of relief before I walk on stage.
Which musicians or groups have been inspiring to your career?
Definitely Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, Paramore, Boyce Avenue, John Mayer and New Empire.
List three songs that are key to your life.
Number one will always be 'When it Rains' by Paramore (the live Final Riot version.'
Gravity' By John Mayer and 'Missed Calls' by Mac Miller.
What should be done to stop piracy?
I think in the generation we are in, there isn't really all that much that we can do to prevent it. People will always do it anyway, if they aren't downloading, they're getting albums off their friends.
I think the only thing we can really do is to continue advertising, releasing songs only on itunes and the likes of that and in stores. Because once its on the net on a non secure site, anyone can get the song.
What time did you get up this morning?
Haha I got up at 8:10am! I slept in today!
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
Just get yourself and your music out there, take chances. Put YOURSELF out there. Build up your contacts and just always be ready and willing to perform on cue. BE PROACTIVE!
Palmerston North - New Zealand