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#MusicExchange: Cailyn Shelby releases debut single

Cailyn Shelby, a 19-year-old Cape Town-based singer/songwriter, has just released her upbeat debut pop single My Four Friends across all digital platforms.
Image by Danie Nel - Image: Supplied
Image by Danie Nel - Image: Supplied

"I feel so lucky that I am able to express my emotions and ideas in such a way that people would want to listen and hopefully relate to," says Shelby.

"The single was inspired by my bedroom walls. During the Covid-19 lockdown, I spent a lot of my time writing songs, therefore spent a lot of my time in my room. I think the message behind the song is just finding security in your own space and in your own company."

I chatted to the singer last week.

BizcommunityFame is about?

Success. The more people who know you, the more people will hear your music. Then you can change paradigms.

BizcommunityI don't do?

I don’t cook.

BizcommunityWhat does music mean to you?

Music has always been what my life has revolved around. It means everything to me. It means expression and release.

BizcommunityMy music is about?

My music is about my personal life experiences, every song I write has a personal touch.

Image by Danie Nel - Image: Supplied
Image by Danie Nel - Image: Supplied

BizcommunityI would love to co-write with:

Taylor Swift; I think her choice of words, her attention to detail, her vulnerability and honesty in her lyrics, is why she has had such a long career.

BizcommunityWhere do you go for inspiration to create?

My bedroom. Either sitting in front of my keyboard or on my bed with my guitar and the shower.

BizcommunityWhat is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

The production, seeing a song come to life is so exciting.

BizcommunityAny funny moments on stage?

I did a duet with a guy who wore glasses. He did not know his words and taped them to the floor which he could not see from his standing height.

BizcommunityMy style icon:

I just like anything striped, checked, floral or yellow.

BizcommunityWhat is your most treasured possession?

My dog, Captain Jack Sparrow.

BizcommunityIts your round what are you drinking?

A strawberry daiquiri.

BizcommunityDream gig to do?

O2 Arena in London sold out supporting Taylor Swift.

BizcommunityWhat makes you stand out?

My laugh.


My friends call me “Cai”.

BizcommunityIf you were not a musician what would you do?

I hope something that is still creative and expressive.

BizcommunityWho would play you in a Hollywood blockbuster and why?

Millie Bobby Brown. So many people think I look like her, so I guess it can’t really be anyone else.

Image by Danie Nel - Image: Supplied
Image by Danie Nel - Image: Supplied

BizcommunityPick five words to describe yourself?

Loud, bubbly, caring, compulsive, egalitarian.


Favourite South African albums:

- Matthew Mole - Run
- Shortstraw - Good Morning, Sunshine
- Al Bairre - Experience the Al Bairre show with Al Bairre Experience
- Cutting Jade - Between Two Lives


What song changed your life?

House of Gold by Twenty One Pilots. It made me want to get my ukulele, which I wrote my first full song on.

BizcommunityWhat is your favourite word?

Catharsis (ummm).

BizcommunityFavourite fashion garment:

My yellow summer dresses.

BizcommunityYour greatest achievement?

Releasing my debut single My four friends.

BizcommunityWhat do you complain about most often?

My brother’s gnocchi.

BizcommunityWhat is your fear?

The dark.

BizcommunityHappiness is:

Being around people with who you can be vulnerable.

BizcommunityOn stage I tend to?

Settle into my 'space'. It feels like I just belong there.

BizcommunityWhere would you like to be right now?

On a stage.

BizcommunityDo you do charity work and if you do – what do you do?

I am involved with creating awareness of the state of the Cape Waterways, which all are contaminated with sewage.

BizcommunityWishes and dreams?

To go on tour.

Social media links:

Facebook | TikTok | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

About Martin Myers

Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse

Let's do Biz