For as long as she can remember, music has been an integral part of Shaina’s life. Born in Rochester, New York and of Puerto Rican descent, 18 year old Shaina has been singing since she could speak. Realizing that her musical talents went beyond a hobby, Shaina decided entertainment was a life goal worth pursing. Underlying any great accomplishment is the story of struggle, drive and a passion strong enough to persevere, this sentiment rings true for Shaina.
Without any formal training Shaina leveraged her musical talents by performing on LiveMe, the live streaming video app that allows users to show the world what they are up to at any given moment. Specializing in Pop and R&B the immersive visual and audio experience led Shaina to amassing 138K followers and averaging 10k viewers.
Bilingual in English and Spanish, Shaina fell in love with Korean culture and self-taught herself the Korean alphabet. From there she branched out learning other languages and now sings in 9 different languages; English, Spanish, Korean, French Italian, German, Hindi, Celtic and Latin.
Millennial Magazine sat down with the tenacious 18 year old to discuss her rise, social media’s impact on her career and what is next for the Shaina brand.
Who inspired you to make music?
There was not one particular driving force. Music has always been a constant in my life from a very young age. I started writing because it served an escape and a way for me to grapple with my feelings.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
My music comes from life experiences. Whether it is a happy or sad situation both serve as a driving force to create. It’s a therapeutic process to create and although it can be tough to relive certain moments it serves as a cathartic artist experience.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face being a relatively new independent artist?
It’s a two way street with challenges. The competition in the music industry is intense but also at the same time being an independent artist I can have the ability to create my own lane and sound at this early stage in my career. Being an independent artist also means I am undefined which I like. There isn’t a genre or sound that I am tied down to.
How do you feel social media has impacted both the music business and your career?
It allows me to put out my content for new audiences to see and hear. Especially TikTok because it’s the current platform that enables users to reach everyone and that can be through a trend, cover or my own original music.
Describe your process of being able to sing in 9 different languages (English, Spanish, Korean, French Italian, German, Hindi, Celtic and Latin). Do you have a favorite?
I would learn the proper pronunciation of each language and then start learning the lyrics and break down the words and learn the singing style of each culture and language.
Korean is my favorite language to sing. I learned Korean within a span of four hours one day several years ago. I put on the Korean station on Pandora and began looking up the Korean alphabet, sounds and pronunciation and learned how to put the characters together. My favorite Korean song to sing is ‘Time and Fallen Leaves,’ by Akdong Musician.
How are you able to distinguish yourself among other artists?
I truly want people to find purpose in themselves through my music and serve as an outlet. Also understanding that I can sing in many different languages allows me to be a chameleon in this space.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
Ariana Grande!! ALL THE WAY!!
What’s next for you?
My next single ‘Bet on Me’ is coming out soon that is both in English and Spanish that I am beyond excited about that I think audiences will really gravitate towards. Beyond that I am continuing to write and create and hopefully when the pandemic ends I can perform live because that is truly what I am most eager to do.