Chicago native and R&B songstress Shaylin B has leveraged the sum of her life experience and the power of manifestation to get her to where she is today. The 20-year-old songstress has performed as young Nala in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical The Lion King. Shaylin is currently the voice of Gloria in the DreamWorks production Madagascar: A Little Wind and she has recently been booked to perform at the Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza. Rolling out spoke with Shaylin about her Broadway experience and what she has learned in the industry so far.
Talk about how your experience on Broadway informed your artistry.
My experience on Broadway has prepared me for the industry better than anything else could have. At nine years old, I had a big job to fill: learning all of my lines, remembering cues, and being able to hold my own as one of only two child members of an all-adult ensemble.
What would you say is the responsibility of the artist?
I believe an artist’s responsibility is to simply contribute to culture. For me particularly, it is important to stand out and be different because there are so many girls that are trying to accomplish the same goal who look like me.
What is one thing you’ve learned about the music industry that has surprised you?
I think the biggest thing that has shocked me about this industry is the adversities I’d have to face as a young, dark skinned black woman. No matter if I was the most talented person in the room, I always had to work harder than everyone else there. It’s a lot to deal with, and I had to learn how to make my voice heard in the best way possible.
Talk about what it feels to be booked for the Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza.
Being booked for the Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza is such a surreal and special moment for me. I haven’t been to the Taste since I was a little girl, so to be performing there and alongside Nelly is a dream come true. I’ve had both Lollapalooza and the Taste written in my vision book in my list of gigs to book in 2022 since December of 2021. I literally manifested this moment, and I am so excited to share my gift with the world.
What words do you have for those following their dreams?
One, I would tell them to make the best out of what they have. Second, get comfortable performing in front of audiences by finding as many open mics as you can. Never despise small beginnings; you never know who can be in those open mic crowds. Third, stay consistent and committed. You get the best results when you put in nothing but the best work.
Check out this amazing talent in the video shared below.