Sheyda Debuts an Eclectic Sound in 2021

Sheyda may live in Nashville, but her sound is eclectic. After a delay in 2020, Sheyda has spent 2021 releasing three singles and, most recently, a stripped-down EP. Music has been a part of Sheyda’s life from a young age. However, upon moving to Nashville, the California native began having problems with her voice. Please keep reading to learn more about Sheyda, her Nashville experience, songwriting development, and music.

The Early Years

Sheyda spent her childhood in California surrounded by music, much like many future singers and songwriters. Sheyda said, “I couldn’t tell you when I started singing and dancing. My grandfather was a musician; he played a twelve-string guitar. My mother loves to sing, and my biological father played the drums. So, I grew up around music. It’s ingrained in me. At eight or nine years old, I began taking singing lessons. Also, I took guitar lessons, but I wasn’t any good. At that point, I loved to think I was the next Britney Spears.”

Sheyda and Nashville

You might wonder how someone with a pop/rock sound might end up in Nashville, but Belmont University brought Sheyda to Nashville. The singer-songwriter said, “I was ecstatic when I got accepted to Belmont. I had gotten into Berklee in Boston, but the city was not for me. I grew up on a ranch surrounded by horses and animals. So, my mom suggested we check out Belmont, and I fell in love with the city on the first night I was here. I thought, how did I not know this was where I was supposed to be.”

A fantastic thing about Nashville is you will find every genre represented in town if you look hard enough. However, it can be challenging for someone who does not play country music. Sheyda said, “One thing I found at Belmont is many students are not country. There are a lot more pop artists and labels coming to Nashville. I feel like I am part of a wave of pop coming to Music City, but you have to seek it out. When I do a writer’s round, I may be the only pop artist there, playing on my anxiety. You wonder if the audience who may be there to see country music will like you.”

Sheyda
What’s on your mind Sheyda? Photo by: Jen Rosenstein

Every Singer’s Greatest Fear

Shortly after starting school at Belmont University, Sheyda began having problems with her voice. Voice problems are a singer’s worst nightmare, and the fear of losing the ability to sing is horrifying. Sheyda said, “When I left California to come to Belmont, I had been playing in a cover band. Our guitar player always played very loud, and everyone would say they couldn’t hear me. I am a loud singer, but I was constantly pushing and straining so the audience could hear me. That caused the nodes on my vocal cords, but I didn’t find out until I moved to Nashville.” 

The discovery of nodes is terrifying for any singer, especially if you require surgery. I can only imagine what not being able to sing was like for Sheyda. The singer-songwriter said, “It was horrible! I went from singing every day to not singing at all. Singing is how I express emotion, and I couldn’t do it. Yet, here I was at Belmont as a vocal performance major taking classes with all these kids, who were artistic and singing. Singing was how my grades were based, but I was unable to do it. They told me before the surgery to remove the nodes that I may not have the same voice as before or any voice at all. Thankfully, I am back and maybe even better than before, so I am very grateful.”

The Moment Sheyda Knew Music was her Career

Every singer-songwriter can usually point to the moment they decided to chase what many would say is an improbable dream. Sheyda is still living in that moment. The singer-songwriter said, “I am still in a place where I think I will be able to make music at the level I want. But, at some point, you think, am I going to do something boring, or am I going to chase my dream?”

Sheyda began her studies at Belmont pursuing a major in vocal performance, but due to the nodes on her vocal cords and being unable to sing, she would change her major. So, Sheyda said, “I double majored in songwriting and business. I was in a songwriting class one day, and I sang for the first time in two years. So, I sang my song to the class, and my teacher told me, you have to sing. Before that, I thought I would write songs for other people and work on the business side. However, my professor made me believe I had to be an artist too. So, I will never give up and keep going until something happens.”

Sheyda on Developing as a Songwriter

People begin writing songs for many reasons, but one common thread is the first songs we write are not usually very good. However, songwriting is a skill that can be developed through practice. Sheyda said, “When I was little, we had these workshops we could choose. So I decided on a poetry class, and I fell in love with it. Poetry is so beautiful and emotional. In 4th or 5th grade, I tried as well as I could to write my own. At the same time, I was taking guitar lessons. One day, I decided to sing a poem above the two chords I knew. However, it didn’t work out well, but I was determined to figure it out.”

A few years later, Sheyda would begin to put it all together. The singer-songwriter said, “Once I wrote my first song when I was fifteen, I realized I might have something. After that, I knew writing songs was something I needed to do all the time. From that point, any time I was sad or happy, I picked up the guitar. I would sing and write down everything I sang. Then, I got a recorder to record what I was singing so I could piece things together. At Belmont, they kicked my butt into gear. I was in the room with writers ten times better than me. I was lucky to be in the room with Jodi Marr, who introduced me to Stephony Smith, with whom I wrote “The Dragon.” To be in the writing room with those two women was daunting, but who wouldn’t want the chance to write with them and learn from them.”

Sheyda
Photo Credit: Jen Rosenstein

About Sheyda’s Sound

If you ask yourself if I were a recording artist, what would my sound be? It might be challenging to answer. But, if you are anything like Sheyda, your musical influences and tastes cross genres. The singer-songwriter said, “My favorite artist changes from day to day. My mom was a fan of Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, and Lynard Skynard, who was always my mark for big stars and badass musicians. As I developed my musical taste, I listened to a lot of No Doubt, Nirvana, and that grunge scene. So my sound is eclectic. I am trying to do what sounds good to me.” 

Sheyda’s music reflects her influences and cannot be put into any single genre, which is precisely what she wants. The singer-songwriter said, “When people ask me who I am as an artist or what genre is my music, it’s a difficult question. I want to do it all, and that is what I am doing at this point. I don’t want to feel boxed into a genre, and with Spotify and iTunes, I don’t think you have to. Some people will be fans of different genres and listen to those songs that mean something to them. So, I prefer to say I am genreless, and I will do whatever I think gives the song the most power.”

Sheyda’s 2021 Debut Releases

This year has been the musical debut for Sheyda. Earlier this year, she released “Get the Guns (GTG)” and “The Dragon.” She described how those songs reflect the different influences on her music. Sheyda said, “When you listen to “Get the Guns,” you will hear a country twang in the guitar, but heavy 808 that is very pop. “The Dragon” is old-school rock & roll with a lot of live instrumentation, but it still lives in a pop world and has a countryish swag. But that’s me! I am from California and love pop music, but I live in Nashville and love country music. So, why not have all those things be a part of who I am musically.”

Sheyda Releases latest single, “Wish I Could Want You”

“Wish I Could Want You” was released on July 16th. Sheyda co-wrote the song with Jodi Marr and John Perkins. Perkins also produced the single. The song has a more traditional pop sound than her previously released songs of 2021. The singer-songwriter said, “I was dating someone about the time we wrote the song. The guy seemingly was everything that I wanted. He checked out the boxes. But, after three or four weeks with him, it just wasn’t clicking. I was telling Jodi and Jonathan about this. I said I wish I could’ve wanted him, but it just wasn’t there. Then, Jodi said, that’s a song, and Jonathan already had a beat. So, we wrote it.”

Sheyda Releases her “End of Summer Love” EP

As a follow-up to Sheyda’s three singles earlier this year, on September 3rd, Sheyda released a stripped-down five-song EP called “End of Summer Love.” The EP includes a stripped-down version of her single, “Wish I Could Want You.” The remainder of the EP features four covers, including a unique version of TLC’s smash hit, “No Scrubs.” I think you will find that Sheyda once again delivers on her eclectic sound. You can listen to the EP on Apple Music, Spotify, and other streaming platforms. 

Fun Facts with Sheyda

We have learned about Sheyda’s background, her development as a songwriter, and her music. But, who is Sheyda outside of the music? The singer-songwriter said, “As I said earlier, I grew up on a ranch. So, I love animals. I can ride a unicycle. I love trucks, and I have always driven one. So, when I pull up to co-writes, people think a big guy will get out, but out hops little Sheyda. I also love spending time with my friends. Reading is also a passion of mine. I have read eighty books this year. I love Harry Potter, so much that I named my truck Sirius Black.”  

My Thoughts

If you asked me to name an artist of who Sheyda reminds me, I would be stumped. However, I think it is safe to say Sheyda is a unique person and artist. How many of you know someone who has read eighty books in the first eight months of 2021? I know I am impressed. Sheyda’s music has also impressed me in 2021. Undiscovered Nashville hopes you have enjoyed learning more about the singer-songwriter, and you also will enjoy her music as much as we do. Please follow Sheyda on Spotify and social media to keep up with her musical journey. 

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