By Jordan Yeager
VANCOUVER – Junglepussy knows what she wants, and she won’t let anybody stand in her way. Born Shayna McHayle, the multi-talented creative grew up painting, drawing, and writing, but never imagined her penchant for self-expression would turn into a music career that’s spawned a mixtape, two studio albums, and even a transition into acting – she’s recently had roles in film Support the Girls and HBO series Random Acts of Flyness.
“Writing has always been a huge part of my life,” says McHayle. “Growing up I loved to write stories, loved to write letters, loved to write in my journal. And I love to paint, I love to draw… I just love art. But music was never something that I’ve always wanted to do. It just came about in recent years and I really connected with it. Acting helps with my music, too. When I was doing the movie, I was finishing up Jp3, and it was so cool to spend my day being Danielle, my role in the movie, and then go back to the hotel and be able to forget about that and just tap back into me. I loved that.”
The most recent Junglepussy release, Jp3, is a natural evolution from the sound she cultivated on Satisfaction Guaranteed and Pregnant with Success. The self-assured lyrics and powerful voice that delivers them are unmistakably McHayle. But the topics explored are somewhat of a departure, focusing more heavily on themes of positivity and love.
“[Making music] really has purpose, you know?” she says. “I just need to let it go and share it – it’s bigger than me. I just need to be here contributing, giving people something to believe in, giving them inspiration, because that’s all I fill myself with. All day long, I’m just constantly on an everlasting search for great music, great articles, great YouTube videos, just people who inspire me. So I’m happy to be one of those people for other people, because that’s really all it takes sometimes.”
The artist-turned-rapper-turned-actress is unabashedly herself, regardless of which medium she’s pursuing. McHayle hopes to use her success to provide a platform for others whose voices deserve to be heard.
“I’m proud to be in a position where I could help other women express themselves,” says McHayle. “I love that. It’s like paying it forward. I would hate to be an artist who just reaps her own benefits for herself, but being able to share the stage and work with other women is so cool to me.”
Junglepussy plays Fortune Sound Club on October 7.