Buzz with Danu: Shey

Jun 09 2021.

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Full Name –  Shehara Liyanage (Shey)
Status - Available?
Birthday -  28th June (the calendar glows bright on that day)
Passions- Travel, music, food, reading, sleeping!
Favourite Colour - A particular shade of red, when I’m mad. Brings out the cheekbones

I hope everyone is safe and at home. Today on the Buzz I have a very special person, she is a bag of talent with an amazing heart and our friendship goes back to the year 2000. She is the voice that woke us up for years on YES FM as Shey and now she is driving us home safe, and me insane sometimes. I’m sure you would have seen her singing and giving life to so many songs with Soul Sounds. Her talents are limitless. Today she speaks beyond all of that, she speaks about life.

What made you take up radio? By accident! I was under the impression the interview was for news reading. I distinctly remember holding a blue file and being asked the usual interview questions and then suddenly my boss at that time says “I think you’re at the wrong interview” *faint* Fortunately everything worked out great.

I first saw you on stage, what was your first performance and tell me about your experience? My first big performance was when I was 10, I played The Little Princess. (The only time I behaved like one) But singing on stage, since 5 or 6. It’s the most exhilarating and nerve-wracking thing you’ll ever do. But you have to try it at least once to know what I mean.

What would you say is your biggest challenge in the local music industry today? Since I love so many genres, finding which one I really want to settle into is quite the challenge.

What inspires you every day? The little things. People who go out of their way to make you feel better, friends who love you unconditionally and FAMILY that will always be there for you no matter what. Oh! And pets. The little miracles in life.

Your radio life, tell me about your journey? There’s never a dull moment in radio, when the faders go up you never know what to expect. I did the morning show for about 7 years. I currently do the evening drive from 4-7pm with Brian (he’s a sweetheart). In this career, I’ve had some amazing highs and some incredible lows. But without radio I wouldn’t be the person I am today. It’s a journey that continues to inspire me. I’m grateful for the people I work with and grateful for the loyal listeners that tune in every day to be with us.

How is the market for local entertainment? Especially English? The talent is there in abundance. Opportunity is what we lack. We need more internationally recognised platforms to showcase what we have.

What would you say to someone who wants to join the media/radio business? Join radio/media because it’s truly a passion and something you’ve always wanted to do, NOT because you think it’s an ‘in-between’ option. Many people are under the misconception that radio is easy, that all you’re required to do is say something and press a button. Not the case my friend! Not one bit!

How do you react to your negative/positive comments? You take the negative and build on it. Negative is good sometimes, it helps you go back to the drawing board, see where you went wrong and hopefully correct it or continue working on it. Positives are a booster, a reminder that you’re in radio for the right reasons and your hard work is paying off.

Who has been your biggest support? Family, friends. They’re always so proud. Even the little things are enough to get them excited. Love them to bits. Lucky me. 

How has your family supported you in this process? Once I left school, I struggled to find my true calling. Some people know exactly what they want to do with their lives at an early age, but I was more of a free spirit and wanted to try many things. When I told my family I was starting radio, it was nothing but support and excitement. They’re still my biggest supporters.

How was school life? And what did you want to be when you were growing up? School was a blast, maybe not focus on the grades too much. But it was fabulous. Shakespeare, singing, the memorable staff, occasional visits to the principal's office (TO SING THE SCHOOL ANTHEM OF COURSE ), your set of faithfully chaotic school friends. It’s a chapter I would love to revisit. I wanted to be a singer.

What do you think Sri Lankan Youth Are missing today? A life! Also, the pandemic really doesn’t help the situation.

What has been your favourite travel destination and why? Too many to mention. Maybe South Africa... no wait Norway. No! Alaska... sigh! Too many.

Your time on soul sounds, what’s your favourite memory? The girls and Soundarie are family. So every memory, every experience we’ve shared together has something memorable to cherish. Okay one example:- Singing for the world choir games in Austria, we had something called the ‘Pacha Games’ where we dressed up in ‘costume’ and acted out our characters. I think Jerome De Silva won that one!

What have you planned for the brand “Shey” in future? I have so many, but sitting down and prioritising them is the hardest part. I need help!


What if you could relive any moment in your life whenever you wished to? Which moment would it be and why? I have too many, and some a little too private to mention but wouldn’t mind reliving.

What if you could remember everything that happened to you from the time you were born? Will you take it or leave it? Can I only see the parts that I want to see? Pretty please?

What if you could spend your life never sleeping? What would you do with the extra hours each day? Dream about sleeping. Also, it’s proven clinically that sleep is the most important thing... okay I’m rambling.

What if you were invited to high tea with the Queen of England, what would you be dressed in? Why am I having high tea with the Queen?!

What if you were offered the opportunity to go into space, What would you pack in your bag? My own portable toilet that has a fancy switch, when switched on has a gravitational pull and everything stays where it needs to stay.

On the Spot

Your thoughts on homosexuality? More people should be more accepting.
What do you think about women’s rights in Sri Lanka? We sadly have a long way to go, but the wheels are in motion, thankfully.
How would you describe politics in Sri Lanka? (Long pause...) Sorry I need to go on air for a bit.
Your favourite voice on the radio? Dominic / Mark Ross / Jimmy Deen / Thoshan.



Who do you go out of your way to be nice to? What kind of an opportunistic question is that? Haha

What food is delicious but a pain to eat? Crab. Crab makes me crabby... get it? 

Who was your craziest / most interesting teacher? There’s never really one person, and they’re all stars.

What “old person” things do you do? I’ll tell you, once I get there. My mind's a little too young to process it.

Work roster for the weekend? Should I be concerned? 

What’s the spiciest thing you’ve ever eaten? Nuclear Fire Noodles from Malaysia.  

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve broken? Can’t recollect.

When was the last time you felt you had a new lease on life? Beginning of this year.



Danu Innasithamby

Danu is a Jaffna Boy with a Marketing qualification (only because he needed to study, and not because he wanted it). He has been a part of the team for seven years and is the face behind Buzz with Danu, and WTF.


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