For Shay Leonia an infatuation with music started long before she could
carry a tune or write a lyric. A trained dancer, Leonia was immersed in
the world of music as a child growing up in a family full of musicians.
Inspired by greats like Michael and Janet Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Led
Zeppelin and Barbra Streisand, Shay’s taste in music is eclectic to say
A student of the Golden Era
of Hip Hop, studying the culture made Shay realize that not only could
her music be catchy and relatable, but it could also incorporate poetic
lyricism. It was also from Hip Hop that Shay learned how to create a
buzz as an emerging artist. Whether performing at dive bars or
performing in cyphers in and around NYC, Shay has made a name for
herself on the underground Hip Hop circuit by doing what she loves to
do, write and perform.
With Leonia each song comes from a
personal experience that she herself has gone through. From singing in
New York City subways to earn money for her next meal to performing at
prestigious venues like BB Kings, Santos Party House and Sullivan Hall,
Shay connects with her core fan base with her honesty and heartfelt
anthems about love and life. “I make music with the hopes that one
person will hear a story in my songs and feel comforted in knowing that
they aren't alone,” explains Shay.
When it comes to classic
R&B music infused with the raw edginess of Rap and Rock, Shay Leonia
is in a class of her own. From performing alongside a beat boxer to
covering an Alice In Chains classic at one of her live shows, the
appreciation and respect that Shay has for all genres of music is
displayed in her work and her live performances.
currently working on her debut album, “The Perfection Of Faith”,
inspired by George Michael’s “Faith” album. “I've always been a huge
George Michael fan, but studying that album upped the ante for me,”
explains Shay. To date the R&B songstress has worked with legends
like Treach of Naughty By Nature and DJ Marly Marl, and has opened shows
for Keith Murray and Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan. Shay has also
recently partnered with “Friends of the Congo” to raise awareness about
the injustices that are currently taking place there.
Written by David Nazario