Shauna Healey, a UF student and the creative voice behind the stage name Boyfriend Material, will take the stage for her record-release show Saturday.
The touring singer, ukulele player and dancer will perform at the Atlantic Nightspot, located at 15 N. Main St. Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the door for $8 or in advance for $6 on www.showclix.com.
The solo singer/songwriter has a knack for turning negatives into positives. As a survivor of both sexual abuse and domestic violence, the 21-year-old singer has triumphed through the dark periods in her life and channeled that energy into her music. Healey writes lyrics as an outlet when times get tough in her personal life.
Her latest album, “Far From Home,” is set to release June 9. Part of her goal with the album is not only to help rape and abuse survivors, but to allow others to understand it as well.
“My intention is for it to be a positive thing,” Healey said. “I want people to know that this is an extremely common thing. I just want it to be known that this is a serious issue that is not being handled enough.”
Making music and performing have been therapeutic and continue to help Healey tell the story she is just beginning to open up about.
“My writing process is just me ranting — it’s a huge rant,” Healey said.
Having toured different states with her solo act since August, she is no stranger to the stage. Boyfriend Material was created on a whim when Healey started a musical project that gained interest on the Internet. As a result, she was invited to perform in North Carolina, and that became the first of many shows to follow.
“My first show was on tour, which was pretty nerve-wracking because I’d never played in front of anyone,” Healey said. “That was tough.”
Healey, originally from Coral Springs, Florida, said she was musically inclined from a young age and played a number of different instruments growing up.
Now residing in Gainesville, Healey blends in as just another student working toward a degree. Her choice of study: History. Inspired by an aunt who teaches history, Healey explained that her love for the subject stems from active exposure to historical sites.
Currently in the middle of a packed schedule, Healey is excited for graduation. With a part-time job and a scheduled tour, she said it hasn’t been easy to balance everything, but she manages.
As an activist for safety in the music industry, Healey also works as a member of Florida Scene Safe Space, a group that promotes a secure environment for artists.
“She really is an amazing woman,” Sean Hermann, Healey’s publicist, wrote in an email.
[A version of this story ran on page 9 on 5/21/15]