HHM: How much would say that music has changed your life?
Shannon: Honestly, I can’t say that it’s changed my life because I don’t know what life would be like without it. Music IS my life.
HHM: Was that the single purpose for moving out to Nashville?
Shannon: I’ve moved around a lot in my life and Nashville, TN was definitely the only town I moved to with a specific purpose. I wanted to go where the competition was and see if I could hack it.
HHM: Was it tough going in the beginning?
Shannon: Yes. Anyone who has moved to a new town not knowing anyone but yourself can attest to that. It was ridiculously hard.
HHM: What kind of a support network did you have early in your career?
Shannon: I had my Mom on my side. Thank goodness for cell phones because I probably wouldn’t have survived the first two years without her.
HHM: When did you first find that music could be such a release for you?
Shannon: I specifically experienced music as a deep relief/release when my dad started dying of cancer. I would sit in the dark and play guitar and piano for hours at a time. It was the only way I knew to cope.
HHM: Music is such an avenue to express your inner most feelings, do sometimes find it hard to break the cycle of writing songs more about the darker side of your life?
Shannon: I feel that the darker side of life illuminates the sunny side of life. Every dark song has a bright song in response vice versa.
HHM: When you perform, how much of the original emotion that goes into writing a song comes rushing back?
Shannon: I think it is a luxury to feel the original emotion when performing live. It’s something you earn. I’ve had to practice hours upon hours and play lots of shows to get to the point where I can now feel the true intentions of my songs live. I think that’s what makes a professional musician a professional. You have to pay your dues. It takes hard work to be so good that you can stop thinking about “playing the song,” and just “feel,” the song with the audience.
HHM: What is your association with ZodLounge?
Shannon: They were the first people I met in Nashville, TN that understood my music and appreciated it. They didn’t try to force me into any musical direction but the one that naturally came from inside me. They have been one of the greatest gifts in my life both professional and personal. They would take a bullet for me. Besides that, they are hilarious.
HHM: Knowing that you can play guitar and piano, which one do you enjoy writing to more?
Shannon: I don’t really have a favorite. I’ve definitely written more songs on guitar the past 10 years but, some of my favorite songs are on piano. I love them both!
HHM: Your sound is quite captivating; I must say it is an interesting mix of styles. Where would you say you have gotten most of your musical influence?
Shannon: I grew up on James Taylor and Lauryn Hill. They are all I listened to in my youth and I think my music reflects that.
HHM: Everyone is a little different…can you explain a little bit about how you approach writing new material?
Shannon: When I was young I used music as a coping mechanism. I never thought about it. Every song I wrote when I was little was pure emotion, no logic, completely spontaneous with absolutely no discipline. I’ve come to look at music very differently now. I really do believe that if I want to be a great songwriter I have to put every ounce of my work ethic and discipline into it. That means showing up every day for work. Whether it’s my house or a writing room or on the road, I have to keep writing. If I’m always working on songs it takes off the pressure. If I don’t feel the song I wrote that day is good, no worries, tomorrow I’ll write a better one:).
HHM: You seem to be a producer’s dream, who had the pleasure of working with you on Just Be Honest?
Shannon: Zodlounge Records worked with me on Just Be Honest. To be more specific, Tom Michael (of Zodlounge) was the engineer who I worked one on one with down in the studio. He is an artist’s dream to work with. He is the only producer I’ve ever met who truly lets the artist be the artist. He relaxes me completely and makes me feel confident in what I’m doing. The mark of a great producer is when they create a space for the artist to be their absolute best and Zodlounge has been that space for me.
HHM: How was that experience for you, going from a songwriter to recording an album baring your soul to the world?
Shannon: It feels right. Songs are meant to be heard. Although I feel like I’ve bore my soul to few people, I hope that in the near future I get to bare it all to the world!
HHM: Is there any other artist(s) out there that you would like to get the chance to work with or maybe tour with?
Shannon: I’d love to write with Tom Petty and James Taylor. It would be awesome to work with Jack White someday. I’d also love to write and perform a song with Mumford or Ed Sheeran. Those are just some of the people off the top of my head.
HHM: What are some of your plans for the near future?
Shannon: My only plan is to work my ass off and hopefully make a living by being a musician. A songwriter, touring, hard-working musician!!
HHM: In closing, is there anything you’d like to share, rant, plug or just let the fans know?
Shannon: Everything in life starts small and it’s up to us to make it big. I really do believe that hard work pays off. Just my thoughts at the moment :-).
Interview by DaveHHM
Check Out Shannon’s Album: Just Be Honest on iTunes
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