Shaylen Reveals How Creating Her Temporary Feelings EP Was 'The Best Form of Therapy'

When L.A. singer-songwriter Shaylen sat down to write the songs on her new Temporary Feelings EP, she had a lot to get off her chest.

While reeling from the end of a long-term relationship and dealing with addiction, she wrote four incredible tracks that helped her get through the most difficult part of her life. The songs on Temporary Feelings, which released on Sep. 25, are as emotionally raw as they are powerful, and we had to know more about them.

Lucky for us, Shaylen graced us with the chance to dig deep into these tough moments and tell us all about it—including how the song "Goodbye" features an iconic Macy Gray chorus inspired by a serendipitous visit by the singer. Keep reading, because Shaylen reveals it all.

Sweety High: What was the songwriting process behind the songs on Temporary Feelings?

Shaylen: This EP as a whole came after one of the darkest points of my life. I really took a step back in November 2019 to re-evaluate who I was as a person and the decisions I was making. That was a very broken version of myself, but looking back on it, if it didn't happen, I wouldn't have had such a period of growth and written some of my favorite music I've ever written without that period of my life.

I finally was ready to start talking about it in January 2020, and that's when "Forgive Myself" came about. It really set the mood for this entire project. I realized that my struggle with addiction and substance abuse, which lead to "Goodbye," the vulnerability of getting back into dating after a 5-year relationship, which inspired "Roll The Dice," and the memories and photos and voicemails we are often left with when we lose a loved one or chapters closing and all we have are the "Voicemails" from those people to hold onto, really described that no matter what we are going through in life, all feelings are temporary. Cherish the good, the bad and the ugly and grow from each lesson given to you.

Nikko LaMere: Shaylen sitting on a stool with leg up

(Photo credit: Nikko LaMere)


SH: Would you say there's a theme or through-line for the songs on the EP?

Shaylen: Absolutely! It's a rollercoaster of emotions, but they are all temporary. I really wanted the listener to be able to feel what I was feeling in that chapter of my life. I also wanted to give the listener different moods on the whole EP so that whenever they are feeling sad, happy, vulnerable or sassy, there's something for all of those moods and feelings.


SH: Is there one song on the EP that's your favorite? Why?

Shaylen: Ooof! This is always a tricky one! To be honest, the story that's behind "Goodbye" is just epic and hard not to make it my favorite, but as far as being proud of myself and looking back on this body of work, "Forgive Myself" takes the win. November 2, 2019, I really contemplated for the first time in my life, suicide. And even typing that out brings me to tears. To know how broken and damaged and how much I hated who I was—and fast forward to almost a year later, I never thought I was gonna make it out of that point of my life. So, the day we made "Forgive Myself," all I could do was break down and cry because it was the best form of therapy and truly the start of my journey towards healing.

Nikko LaMere: Shaylen sitting down

(Photo credit: Nikko LaMere)


SH: What would you say makes these tracks different from what you've done in the past?

Shaylen: It's definitely the most vulnerable I've ever let myself get in my music. I decided to take a different approach on this project and really bare all my feelings and emotions. A whole lot of crying happened during the making of this EP.


SH: What was it like to have Macy Gray be such an influence on "Goodbye"? How did you decide to sample "I Try" for the track?

Shaylen: Umm, are you ready for my favorite story ever? Growing up, all I did was listen to "I Try" by Macy Gray, and I covered it any chance I could over the years. But the day we were writing this song, we were working at Tommy Brown's studio, and my co-writer Chelsea Lena and I were so hype with the verse and what we had written so far, but we were really stuck on the hook (which never happens). So we took a break, and we hear a knock on the door—and the beauty of working at studios is you never know who you'll run into—but are you ready… Macy Gray pops her head in and asks if she can come kick it for a few. What?!?! So obviously I said yes!

She hangs for about 30 minutes, and we play her what we have so far, and she messes with it and we chop it up. I'm pretty sure I asked her if she would adopt me in the middle of all this. Then she says, "You're dope, keep doing your thing, mama," and then leaves and I about poop my pants from excitement.

So a few hours later we are still stuck on this dang hook, and it hits me out of nowhere—is the universe telling me to try and sample "I Try" over this song? So we try it out and lyrically and melodically it fits freaking perfect! We send it off to our teams, and she gave it the green light a couple days later! Still the most epic day of my life, and I will never forget it.


SH: Has it been a challenge to continue making music during these unsure times?

Shaylen: To be honest, yes. I have kinda taken a break from making music during this time. I wasn't feeling super inspired for the first few months of quarantine because I get a lot of my inspiration for songwriting when I'm out and going through real-life situations from day to day. But now that things are starting to get a little bit more normal again, I'm ready to hit the ground running more than ever.


SH: Have there been any artists in particular that have gotten you through tough moments recently?

Shaylen: Yes! H.E.R., hands down!

Nikko LaMere: Shaylen with butterflies

(Photo credit: Nikko LaMere)


SH: What do you think sets you apart from the other musical artists out there today?

Shaylen: As an artist, I really view my music as a chance to provide healing or a sense of escape for my listener, so in my writing, I really try to be as honest and open as if I was talking one-on-one as a friend. I take all my experiences and share them through my songs so it reaches someone that needs to hear it. I hope it resonates with them in the way they need it to.


SH: Is there anything else about you that you wish your fans would know?

Shaylen:  I may or may not have another project coming very soon that you should be on the lookout for!


If you can't get enough of great new music like Shaylen's, click HERE to discover our favorite big things to happen in music last week.