“I like to play guitar. Musician, producer, arranger, artist”. That’s the understated description Nashville-based Shaun Richardson gives himself on his Soundcloud page.
Independent and self-released as an artist, Shaun reached out to Music Republic Magazine to review his debut single, “Alone”, because he had read some of our reviews and digs that we support new music and showcase up and coming artists, as well as the famous names who have record label, management and PR backing
Shaun, like many, many, many, many bands and artists, does it all himself and out of his own pocket. So every little bit of help and support he and all the others get to spread the word and get their music heard far and wide, is worth its weight in gold. Right?
With that in mind, we guarantee that we will listen to every track on every CD we are sent. Every track on every digital submission too. Always. No exceptions. It takes a wee while as we get so much to listen to from around the world. That’s a positive for us, because everyone who contributes to Music Republic Magazine has the same need to feed an addiction.
It’s all about the music. We bloody love it! Signed. Unsigned. Rolling in it or eating the cat’s food for dinner coz you have spent every last penny on recording your latest tracks. Of no matter to us. Management. No management. Doing gigs. Never been on a stage in you life. Not of interest.
If you make shit hot music, we wanna hear it. So, back to Shaun who has made Music City, Nashville his home for the last three years. We gave the DIY video of his single “Alone” an earholin’ and he definitely had our attention.
Raw talent. Soulful, very chilled and laid back vocal. Phrasing of the song is non conformist and nods heavily to Stevie Wonder.
The whole thing is a melting pot of styles; R&B – modern day and retro versions, soul and jazz inflections galore. Maybe think John Mayer, Shaun’s main influence.
His fingers on that fretboard are uber-skilfull. His runs on an extended solo on the video version between 2.59 and 3.42 are spine tingling. He shines like a shiny thing among other lesser shiny things! Traces of Larry Carlton, George Benson, Ronny Jordan, Cornell Dupree, Eric Gale (not the blues guy, the other one from back in the day and the fabulous band Stuff)….
A really cool cat is our Shaun. His vocal is warm and inviting, his guitar playing is world class. One of those moments where you discover a talent that you know is the tip of the iceberg, and in the words of Bachman, Turner Overdrive’s hit, “You ain’t seen nothing yet”.
So as we do not review singles, and stick to albums and EPs, we couldn’t cover the track on its own. But what we heard was too good to ignore. and his timing was immaculate, as we were about to launch our new “Undiscovered Zone” and could offer Shaun and his music a home right here.
He’s completed our Artist Q&A for this new “Undiscovered Zone” to give an insight into who Shaun Richardson is, what he does, what he has done and even his worst gig; when a blizzard meant his audience numbered two, but he had to do the full show regardless. At least they didn’t end up fighting and being thrown out!
You can check out the track via his YouTube video, Soundcloud page and find him on Spotify too. He’s got social media and a website, of course, so do go over and say hi and tel him what you think of his music, and of course, where you found him. Right here at Music Republic Magazine.
We cannot stand to see talent go to waste. So expect lots more new and up and coming artists and bands we will introduce you to, first; in our new “Undiscovered Zone”. If you know of an artist or a band you think we need to check out and write about, please get in touch via our Contact Zone. The only genres we do not cover are classical, death/thrash metal and easy listening. Just about everything else, we do.
In the meantime, here’s the skinny on Shaun Richardson……………..
- Your name and your age?
My name is Shaun Richardson, and I’m 23 years old!
- Where you were born and where you are based now?
I was born and raised in the small town of Milford, Michigan and currently, I’m living and working in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Instruments you play?
I grew up wanting to learn almost every instrument I could get my hands on, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that my home is on the guitar, both electric and acoustic. Other than that, I still play bass, drums, piano, and build the production on my records.
- Age when you started in music and what was your first public performance?
I first took an interest to music very early on and picked up my first instrument at age four. My first public performance was with my family at a little summer concert series in my hometown of Milford. I was six years old.
- What song or artist lit the flame inside you to want to be a musician/artist.
As a kid, I grew up watching an uncle of mine play music professionally, and that was the spark that started everything. I wanted to do music ever since that moment, and thankfully I have been able to.
- First song you wrote, at what age and what was it called, and what inspired it?
I believe I wrote my first song with lyrics was for my grandma as a birthday gift when I was around nine years old. It was cleverly titled something along the lines of “Grandma’s Song”.
- How many songs have you written (estimate) since you wrote your first one?
I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I’m not one to write a bunch of songs, I always want to make sure the ones I’m working on are worth it! I’ve probably written, or been a part of, 50 songs.
- Do you write alone or with co-writers? If co-writers, who?
I prefer to write alone as I love the experience of putting together a song and a track myself, but I have done some really great co-writes, mostly with friends from Nashville and Los Angeles.
- Do you write lyrics and music? Which comes first?
I write both! Usually, I’ll get an idea musically and hop into my studio and build a framework track. From then, I’ll begin to write a melody and lyrics around that!
- Bullet points of your music career/achievements to-date?
I’ve been honoured to be a part of a lot of incredible experiences in music. Being nominated for a Detroit Music Award when I was 16 was so humbling. I was also once asked to join a band for a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was an incredible experience to play on that historic stage.
- What music has been released so far? And what format and dates?
I’ve actually only released one single thus far under my name. I’m an unsigned artist, so I do all parts of the process which ends up taking some time! My single “Alone” is available digitally on most digital music platforms.
- Name your 3 main influences?
My biggest influence would be John Mayer. Being a guitar player myself, his music and approach over the years has spoken to me the most. Other than him, I’ve been digging the music of artists like Tom Misch, and Mac Ayres. Both in their own right being incredible at what they do and definitely inspire me.
- How do you describe your own music style to a stranger who asks: “what kind of music do you play/sing”?
I would describe my music as having a framework of chill R&B with elements of jazz and pop music. Combines everything I love!
- Who are you listening to right now; bands/artists?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Tom Misch’s music lately. His production and grooves are so great, such an inspiring artist to listen to. I’ve also been listening to some Mutemath recently, they are such an innovative group of musicians!
- What is the most personal song you have written and its background?
It would probably have to be my current single, Alone. I find that writing from personal experience is the most impactful for me, and the lyrics to that song are from the heart.
- Who would be your dream collaboration as a songwriter and as an artist; naming one living and one deceased person to write with and to record or to perform on stage with?
My dream collaboration would definitely be to work on a track with John Mayer, that would be an absolute life highlight for me. If I could go back in time, I would collaborate on a song with Michael Jackson. His music is so iconic, and I’ve always been a fan!
- What do you want your music to say about you?
I want my music to share the love I have for music, and that I put all my hard work and effort into accomplishing something that hopefully will make someone smile or build a memory for someone.
- Best compliment you have read or heard about you and your music so far?
The best compliments that I have received about my music would be that people play it over and over. I feel so honoured to know that people enjoy listening to a song of mine that much! Or that I’ve inspired someone to pick up the guitar, that means the world to me.
- What is the dream for your music?
Music is the way I express myself and my true love. My dream for my music is to continue to give people something they can hold onto and impact them in a positive way. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that as long as I live.
- Who is your biggest fan?
I honestly feel that my parents are. They have given me so much support over the years and enabled me to be involved in music ever since I was a young kid. They’re always sending me messages about how much they love what I’m doing, and that means so much to me.
- Do you want to be famous?
I have no desire for that. I just want to continue to make music for the love of it, wherever that takes me.
- How many gigs have you done and where (countries or towns and cities if only UK).
Over the years, I’ve probably done thousands of gigs with my own band as a kid, and bands that I’ve worked for as I got older, all across the United States. As myself as an artist, I’m getting ready to do my first show with another artist friend of mine in Nashville, where I live. I would absolutely love to visit and do a gig in the UK someday!
- Strangest gig you have done?
It wasn’t necessarily a strange venue, but one time I played this show and a massive blizzard had rolled through which kept attendance from showing up, but they still wanted the show to go on. The audience was two people. That was strange.
- Best moment in music so far?
The best moment for me in music is when I’m on stage having a blast with the people I’m making music with. Seeing the audience react to that and having fun is so fulfilling.
The worst is when the show comes to an end! I always look forward to the next time I can play live!
- A: X Factor?, B: The Voice? C: Britain’s Got Talent? D: Gouge your own eyes out with a rusty pen knife?
I have watched many episodes of The Voice. I’ve had a few friends on that show, and wanted to show my support to them!
- Day jobs you have done…………………?
I actually haven’t worked any day jobs full-time! I did however work on a food delivery truck for all of three days, to help an old neighbour of mine. I actually really enjoyed it!
- Your favourite musician joke (or any joke if not)?
Did you hear about that new restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere.
- Pet hate?
I love pets! I had a cat for 17 years, and he was the best animal I have ever been around.
- Guilty secret?
I could eat pizza for each meal of the day, every day.
- What two recordings could you not live without if you were stuck on a desert island?
Continuum by John Mayer, and Voicenotes by Charlie Puth. Two incredible records.
- If you believed in reincarnation; who or what would you want to come back as?
I would want to come back as a cat, and see what that was like. Must be nice to sleep 18 hours a day.
- Plans for rest of this year and next year?
My biggest plan for this year is to continue to write and record. I hope to have an EP completed as soon as I can.
Yes, absolutely! Working on booking dates currently! I want to also be getting the music out and playing live as much as I can.
- Please provide a personal message to our readers, as to why they should listen to your music and go see you live – in one or two paragraphs (60 words or less).
Thank you to Music Republic Magazine for hosting this super fun questionnaire and also a special thanks to everyone for reading along and for all the support! I would encourage anyone to take a listen to my record or come see a show. My goal is to make music that people can relate to, and listen to while making memories. I hope I can be a part of that. Shaun xx