ST. PETERSBURG – The diary exchange between then first grader Shyann Roberts and her mother told the story of a young girl standing in front of an audience of people with a microphone in her hand while singing and dancing.
The diary goes on to say how the people loved to hear her and would ignite into a thunderous applause when she performed. She makes note that her family stood in support and was always seen in the crowd. Everyone was a having a good time.
In the first grade, Shyann’s diary is a collection of thoughts, hopes and dreams. But, dreams do sometimes come true. What does a parent do with such a diary and the conversations that ensued?
“I knew that Shyann would be a singer before she was born,” said Qiana Horsley, mother of Shyann, member of the newly formed group “June’s Diary.”
The group is the brainchild of Kelly Roland, formerly of R&B group “Destiny’s Child.” “Her father and I met while singing in a community choir. Shy started singing at two years old and performing at four. It was a 99.9 percent that she would sing. That was our belief,” said Horsley.
When you are the mother of a national recording artist, going to the grocery store takes on a new adventure and interesting conversations. Such is the life of Horsley.
“It has been very interesting,” said Horsley. “When people recognize that I’m Shyann’s mother, they may want to take a picture or something. It’s surreal. People are very nice and encouraging. After all, Shyanne is the one that’s in the group.”
So, how different is life for Horsley as a mother and now manager of a star recording artist?
“It’s no different being a mother to her because I’ve been her mother all of her life,” stated Horsley. “I’m her personal manager although the group does have their own manager. My role has always been the same for Shyann, I’m her mother first and her manager second. I’ve been her manager all of her life.”
Horsley said their family work together as team with Shyann’s uncle, Cory Outlaw, being her marketing director.
Through pushing Shyann and the grace of God, Horsley feels that is the only reason why her daughter has gotten this far.
“We took this road that she’s on by faith. We believed in her and believe that it was for her. There were many days and nights of praying and trusting God by faith that we were doing the right things for her.”
With Kelly Roland being the common thread, Shyann and “June’s Diary” will always be compared to “Destiny’s Child.” Horsley thinks that it is possible for “June’s Diary” to surpass what many others have done.
“If the girls work hard, they can do some real special things,” she said. “They have a genuine love and friendship for each other. These things are key to them reaching their potential.”
Horsley suggests a formula to parents that seems to be serving well for her child.
“Plant the seed that they are great. Figure out what your kids are good at,” said Horsley. “It doesn’t have to be singing or sports. As a parent, whatever you find to be your child’s gift, invest in it because you are investing in them. I knew from Shyann’s first grade diary that we wrote to each other what road we needed to be on and we never strayed away from that path.”