Name: Shayna McHayle
Date of Birth: October 31,1991
Distinctive sign: She writes a lot. From novels to rap to poetry, she gathers her compositions in different books. She also writes long lists and is apparently known for her overuse of voice memos.
Background: Born to a Jamaican father and Trinidad mother, Shayna grew up in a Christian family in Brooklyn, New York. She stayed in this context until high school, where she discovered a diversity of horizons. That’s where she started rapping.
Together with her friends, they formed a group named Primp and she took the name of Shay Hammer. One day, the crew decided to skip class to freestyle. Spotted by their supervisor, their punishment was to perform in front of their high school. While the whole band performed on stage, Shyana, also known at the time for her shyness, decided to participate from the pit.
After finishing high school at the age of 16, she decided to become a designer. Through her four-year internship at Sweat Equity Enterprises, Marc Ecko’s company, she has worked with major brands such as New Era and Timex. Her portfolio opened the doors to the Fashion Institute of Technology but she ended up bored with this school. She left after the first year and found herself a small job as a saleswoman in a clothing shop.
In 2008, she registered on Twitter as Junglepussy in reference to her love for the animal prints she often wears. It’s the beginning of her real career in music. Thanks to Twitter and her jobs, she started to get known and create connections. In 2011, she appeared on “Titty Attack” on Dai Burger’s Raw Burger mixtape, but it was the following year that Junglepussy released her first song. “Cream Team” that won her a shout out from Erykah Badu on social media, at the release of the clip. At the beginning of 2013, in response to the demand, she shared her second song, “Stiches“, which she finds too violent and prefers not to play live in order to preserve the Feel Good atmosphere of her concerts. A few months later, she opened for Lil’ Kim, then collaborated with Le1f on the song “Oils” from the mixtape Tree House, in September of the same year. She finally released her first project, Satisfaction Guaranteed in June 2014 as an independent, which premiered on Vice. Along with her musical ally and producer, Shy Guy, we can notably find Tink on this project.
Black, proud and free, Junglepussy does not chew her words. While her name may be intimidating or shocking to some, the effect is certainly reinforced by the way she dresses. In September 2015, she walked the DKNY Spring 2015 fashion show. However, she does not only talk about her “goddess spirit”, she also talks about different subjects, ranging from the importance of quality human relationships to food quality. Healthy mind in a healthy body, it is with this conviction that she opens the TasteTheJungle instagram, where she shares her ideas of healthy recipes.
Exactly one year after the release of her first mixtape, Junglepussy returned with the track “You Don’t Know” and announced the release of her first album. Still in collaboration with Shy Guy, Pregnant with Success was released in November 2015. The album is a tribute to all mothers and especially to her mother, whom she admires and loves. Until then, all her releases were digital, but she offered an original physical support for this album. Composed of a memory stick on a key ring in the image of the album, and she assembled her stock herself by hand. Pregnant with Success is listed among the 40 best rap albums of 2015 by Rolling Stones magazine, and it also sparked the curiosity of major media outlets such as Vogue, Elle and New York Magazine.
At the end of 2015, she was invited to speak at the prestigious universities of Yale and Colombia. June 2016, she was one of the featuring of Lion Babe’s mixtape Sun Joint with the song “Still in Love“. For Valentine’s Day 2017, she released “Breathe Slow” with Nadia Rose, and played at the Museum Of Modern Art the following month. The same year, she was chosen to play Danyelle in the independent film Support the Girls alongside Regina Hall, scheduled for release this year at SXSW. A few days ago, Junglepussy walked the Gyspy Sport Fall 2018 fashion show, then released “State of the Union” which also serves as an introduction to her third upcoming project.
Quote: “Embrace what “you hate” about yourself the most.” to Missguided