Social Media Stars Making a Social Impact: Why & How Author Shyla Day Is Helping To Change Our World

An Interview With Edward Sylvan


The kind of energy you put in your work comes right back to you so I tend to spread the good kind. I’ve been an advocate for many and am open about the various causes I support through my platform. For example, body positivity, education, clean water, homelessness, encouraging youth to speak up about social issues that are important to them, a safety audit that protected over 2.1 million students in the state of California, among other very important causes near to my heart.

As a part of my series about leaders who are using their social media platform to make a significant social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shyla Day.

Shyla Day is an accomplished award-winning music artist, best-selling author, TEDx speaker, mega influencer, and activist. By the time she was 19, Claes Nobel of the Nobel peace prize family stated Shyla “represents our very best hope for the future”. Followed by and impacting millions on and off-line, you’ve seen her books, videos, and music in 189 countries, in the largest retailers, libraries, and airports around the world.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Thank you for having me! First, it began as an outlet for music and grew into a way I could use my talent to raise money for those in need. Eventually, the movement became so much bigger than I could have ever imagined. I grew up in front of the cameras at red carpet events in LA while pursuing my music, and when COVID hit, and I couldn’t perform live anymore so I turned to social media. Fast forward to now, I have the ability to share wholesome, encouraging, and positive content across my social channels!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?

There is no one experience that comes to mind because my life seems to be really crazy. Meeting, performing, and being nominated alongside Sheldon Reynolds of Earth, Wind, and Fire is an experience I’ll never forget! Being on TV with mega-pop stars like Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga — I could have fainted! It’s a dream come true to be rubbing elbows with the same people who inspired me to pursue a career in entertainment and that I’ve looked up to all of my life.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I’d have to open with there really is never a dull moment. 50% of my life is on camera and there are so many bloopers floating around the internet that come around every so often. One time I accidentally said my phone number on Tiktok Live, while ordering my coffee. They ask for your subscription number and mine happened to be my phone number! I quickly realized what had happened and made the necessary changes. I think our mistakes are really great because we’re human and can learn from them! I'm a perfectionist, so I like to take note of what worked, and what didn’t work — and then try again. And try again and again, until finally, you can never make that mistake!

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

Create your own path. No one person, experience, or gig is going to make or break your ultimate success. Not one million no’s or fails can stop you from achieving your goals, as long as you work hard, stay honest in your work, and take consistent action. I don’t love the idea of being daunted by failure, because failure is what catapulted me to my successes. Limitations are what catapulted me to my successes. For example, I am dyslexic, and I became a best-selling author. I have a skin condition called vitiligo, and I became a print and runway model. I am English as a Second Language but I also gave an English TED talk. There are more, and along the way, I failed over and over again! I had many limitations and failures, and its exactly those lessons that catapulted me to where I am today.

Ok super. Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?

The kind of energy you put in your work comes right back to you so I tend to spread the good kind. I’ve been an advocate for many and am open about the various causes I support through my platform. For example, body positivity, education, clean water, homelessness, encouraging youth to speak up about social issues that are important to them, a safety audit that protected over 2.1 million students in the state of California, among other very important causes near to my heart. I released a book encouraging women, did a TED talk encouraging artists to use their own platforms for good, and recently during COVID-19 released a rendition of “We Are the World” by USA for Africa. Nothing is more important to me that I use what talent and skill was given to me for good. Also, I am a content creator on TikTok, where I'm known for encouraging acts of kindness!

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?

I think about the 10 classes of women that have graduated from Destinys Orphanage in Uganda, Africa. Each is individually unique with their different talents and passions, and each so capable of making their own mark on the world. All because a few groups of kids called Tunes for Tots got together over a couple of summers, performing in malls for donations! It truly blows my mind, every single time I think about it. Chills.

Was there a tipping point that made you decide to focus on this particular area? Can you share a story about that?

When I was young I came across an organization called “Tunes for Tots”, which I toured with playing music over a period of many years as a teen. They opened my eyes to the impact an individual has as a performing music artist. In high school, I was inducted into an honors society called NSHSS founded by Claes of the Nobel Peace Prize Family, where he recognized me for Academic Achievement and the Pursuit of Excellence. From there, I have been on fire for world betterment in all of the work I pursue.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

I am not necessarily trying to solve any specific problem single-handedly. My mission is to spread a wave of positive change, and encourage us all to continue gifting our passions and talents with intention. If my words were to make an impact today, I would say that the community/society/politicians should address Homelessness, Clean Water, and Equal Opportunity at the root. If those 3 problems were to be solved, the world would be more peaceful.

What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause? Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for a social good?

Right now is a really pivotal point in our society and the world as we recover from the effects of having lived through a pandemic in our lifetime. This is something that has never happened in any of our lifetimes before, so navigating it is going to be a rollercoaster. I think encouraging kindness at the root of our communities would make a big difference right now — we’ve been locked down, separated from the people we love, and what we really need right now is some (social-distanced) kindness. I partnered with PureVPN earlier in the year for a campaign thanking and highlighting our first-responders and healthcare workers for all of the hard work they have put in during the pandemic. I took on brand partnerships encouraging social distancing and mask-wearing. I was involved in a music project where we recorded a version of “We Are the World” by USA for Africa

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. You can say no! There have been so many instances where I said yes to work because I thought I’d be missing out on something. I wasn’t.
  2. Speak out. I think it’s important to be open about how you feel. To be human, and vulnerable, even in business. Especially in the public eye. You are human, and emotion is there for a reason.
  3. If someone outright bullies you, defend yourself. If someone outright bullies others, defend them. I shouldn’t have to explain this one, but so many times I was mistreated in front of someone I thought was my friend, or associate in some way and they said nothing about it. I’d really hate to make anyone feel that way, so I make it a point to defend others because there was a point where I felt I couldn’t speak up for myself, and a little help would have gone so far.
  4. This leads me straight to, ask for help if you need it! There is no 1 person who can do every tiny thing yourself. I'm still learning that one.
  5. Finally, please take some time to care for yourself. Being in the public eye most of my life I felt this enormous pressure to be present for everyone else that I sometimes forget to be there for myself.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

If everyone were to follow their passion and attach a ‘why’ behind it that is meaningful to them, the world would run so much smoother. As humans are so over-stimulated by the internet and crazy outside world, on top of our personal lives that we forget what our passions are, and why we are pursuing them in the first place. We can become so consumed with being pulled in so many directions outside of ourselves, and our hearts that we often forget our purpose and the feeling of fulfillment in our hearts when we’re pursuing our passion, paired with our why as our life’s work.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My mom always used to tell me to “find a way to find a way”. This is what I wrote about in my book, 1 Habit for Women Action Takers! It’s important to know and actively remind ourselves that while there is 1 goal, there are a million different solutions. There is no 1 right way to do or achieve anything! I personally find it so empowering to know that we can create our own path to whatever that goal is, specific to who you are as a person and what feels right in your own heart.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

I truly believe that Ashley Graham, Jada Smith, and Rhianna are sincere and heart-led world changers. It would be a dream come true to talk ‘changing the world’ with them!

How can our readers further follow your work online ?

My official website is, my Twitter and Instagram handles are @shyla_day. I do my absolute best to reply to each comment and mention!

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

Thank you for having me, and for creating a platform for spreading positive content like this across the internet. The world needs more publishers like you!



Edward Sylvan CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group
Authority Magazine

Edward Sylvan is the Founder and CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group Inc. He is committed to telling stories that speak to equity, diversity, and inclusion.