They say the best singers are those who sing from the heart and become one with the music. But being able to connect with the audience and tug at their heartstrings does not come naturally to many. However, one artist has instinctively mastered the art of touching the souls of her listeners—Shayla Winn, professionally known as Shayy.
The talented singer rose to fame after her audition tape for season 17 of American Idol went viral. Her version of “Rise Up” by Andra Day was overflowing with emotion and soul; it made music icon Lionel Richie cry. Since then, the video of her rendition was uploaded on various social media platforms and has been viewed by millions of viewers across the country and the world. People were left in awe not only by the young woman’s extraordinary talent but also by her inspirational story.
In 2017, approximately a year before appearing on the famous TV show, Shayy received the devastating news that she had a tumor in her brain. Eventually, this caused her to lose her sight, and she has since been declared legally blind.
However, the incredibly strong student did not lose heart. Instead, she persevered and pursued her passion as a musician. The singer continued to participate in show choir, and she even earned the award for best soloist twice. She also joined high school performances, the most notable one being her role Aida.
On top of that, the young performer is a revolutionary in her own right, being the first person with a disability to lead a play at Thomas Dale High School. This was made possible by modifying the set, such as using floor textures and bright contrast colors to accommodate Shayy’s needs and signal her next moves.
Her impressive accomplishment is a momentous breakthrough for fellow disabled individuals across the world. Shayy is a testament that they can achieve anything they want to as long as they believe in themselves and let the people around them know how to help them best.
When asked about her motivation, the inspiring artist shared, “I feel like I bring the power to move an audience while also letting people know that no matter the circumstances you can still overcome the obstacles in front of you, you may have to do it a little differently than others.”
Her fierce determination and innate ability to make the listeners feel what she is singing sets her apart from the competition. Knowing this, Shayy created her brand to share her music with others who may be going through similar struggles as she did in the past. She hopes that no one would feel they are alone in their situation ever again through her music.
In the near future, the talented young woman plans to become a well-known performer; Shayy sees herself on a stage dancing, singing, and putting on a show. But most importantly, she wishes to continue her advocacy, starting by building a company with a great team that supports one another.
Learn more about Shayy and her music by visiting her official website.