Meet Shannon Smith: A Multifaceted Music Sensation | Feature and interview
Baltimore, Maryland, is home to the versatile singer, songwriter, and musician, Shannon Smith. Her musical journey traverses a vast landscape, encompassing genres like rock, electronic, classical, and folk. With a distinctive style and a sound that leaves an indelible mark, Shannon Smith is poised to make a significant impact in the music industry.
Shannon’s musical prowess is a rare blend of unbridled energy, unwavering dedication, and innate talent. Her music draws inspiration from the poise and traditionalism of Lorrie Morgan, the showmanship and flair of Shania Twain, and the strength and resilience of Sheryl Crow. This eclectic mix allows Shannon to explore various musical genres, from the driving rhythms of country to the timeless allure of classic rock. Her versatility is evident in her captivating medleys, seamlessly blending the hits of the 80s with modern dance tracks.
A Trailblazing Performer
Shannon’s journey in music has been nothing short of remarkable. She emerged as the Winner of the Country 105/Lammle’s Rising Star Contest, a prestigious accolade held at Ranchman’s in Calgary. In 2022, she clinched the title of “Battle of the Bands Winner,” showcasing her ability to stand out among her musical peers.
Shannon’s star continued to ascend when she had the honor of opening for the renowned artist Lee Brice at the Badlands Festival in 2023. The MainStage of the “Country Thunder Festival” in 2022 witnessed her electrifying performance, marking another milestone in her flourishing career. She has graced several top-notch venues and events throughout Alberta, leaving an indelible mark at the Big Valley Jamboree and the Alberta Pro Rodeo circuit.
The list of accomplished artists she has shared the stage with is impressive, including Canadian country recording artist Chad Brownlee, the supergroup Lonestar, Johnny Reid, Duane Steele, Julian Austin, and Aaron Pritchett. Her ability to shine in the spotlight alongside these musical heavyweights is a testament to her exceptional talent.
Shannon’s musical journey includes the release of her debut album, “Tell Me Something.” This remarkable debut found its way onto the charts, with five singles that garnered significant attention on Canadian radio. The fourth single from the album, “Settle Down,” soared to the impressive position of #2 on the Hot Country 50 chart in Queensland, Australia. It nestled comfortably between Eric Church’s “Drink In My Hand” and Lady Antebellum’s “We Owned The Night,” a remarkable feat that underscored Shannon’s exceptional talent and broad appeal.
The album showcased her versatility, with tracks like “Take Me Drunk# I’m Home” and “Can’t Have My Heart” solidifying the overall strength of her debut offering. These tracks not only resonated with her audience but also solidified her presence in the music industry.
The Exciting New Album: “I Hate Long Goodbyes”
Shannon Smith’s journey continues with the highly-anticipated release of her new album, “I Hate Long Goodbyes.” This album promises to be a musical revelation, featuring collaborations with accomplished artists such as Patricia Conroy, the winner of “Nashville Star,” Angela Hacker, and the acclaimed songwriter Wade Kirby (known for his work on George Strait’s “I Saw God Today”).
Recognition for Shannon’s exceptional talent extends to nominations by the Alberta Country Music Association. She has been acknowledged with nominations for Female Vocalist Of The Year and Fan’s Choice, a testament to her growing impact in the music industry.
The year 2023 holds the promise of being a ground-breaking year for Shannon. With the impending release of her new iPhone artist app and a weekly webisode series, she is set to capture the hearts of music enthusiasts and solidify her presence in the ever-evolving world of music.
A Rising Star with Sincere Charm
Shannon Smith is more than just a talented musician; she exudes a genuine and approachable charm. Her girl-next-door charisma and unwavering sincerity set her apart in the industry. With each musical endeavor, Shannon’s star continues to ascend. Her unmistakable style and distinct sound promise to garner rave reviews and capture the serious attention of the music industry. Shannon Smith is indeed a name to watch, and her musical journey is one that will leave an indelible mark on the hearts of her listeners.
Shannon Smith Interview
An Insight into Shannon Smith’s Debut Single: Dance The Night Away
We delve into the world of acclaimed singer and songwriter, Shannon Smith. Shannon recently released her debut single, “Dance The Night Away,” along with a captivating music video. The creative process behind this infectious tune, her musical influences, and the unique aspects of her upcoming album are some of the exciting topics we explore. So, grab a seat and get ready to discover the essence of Shannon Smith’s music journey.
The Birth of “Dance The Night Away”
Shannon Smith’s journey with “Dance The Night Away” began with a chance encounter with a grand piano in an empty auditorium in Sydney. The piano’s keys called to her, and even though she didn’t consider herself a pianist, she decided to explore the instrument. She stumbled upon the chords of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” and this serendipitous discovery set the stage for the birth of her own song.
Shannon vividly recalls the emotions and happiness she felt during that moment. The descending bass line of “Man in the Mirror” became her muse, and she started playing around with it. This emotional connection led her to create the cheerful and bouncy piano melody that defines “Dance The Night Away.”
After playing around with the piano and scatting, Shannon felt the melody flowing effortlessly from her. To preserve her creation, she quickly grabbed her phone and recorded the musical essence of the song. Over the next few days, she would revisit the auditorium, refining and developing the song’s structure.
It’s interesting to note that Shannon found that her songwriting process on the piano differed significantly from her guitar-based writing. The piano offered her a new avenue for creativity, opening up fresh possibilities in her musical journey.
However, despite the catchy melody, the lyrics eluded Shannon for years. She had a few lines but struggled to complete the song. It wasn’t until she was recording the song that her partner, Helen Townsend, who is also an accomplished songwriter, stepped in to provide the lyrics. The words flowed effortlessly for Helen, and she managed to capture the essence of the song that Shannon had been yearning to express for years. This collaboration between the two artists highlights the advantages of having a talented songwriter as a partner.
The Collaborative Effort in the Studio
The creation of “Dance The Night Away” was a collaborative effort involving several talented individuals. Shannon credits five co-producers for their contributions to the song’s production. Phil Richardson, an exceptional keys player, played a pivotal role during the pre-production phase, offering valuable musical ideas and guidance.
The primary producers during the recording were Elliot Smith, the sound engineer and drummer, and Phil Richardson. These two, along with Shannon herself, were the driving forces behind the song’s production. Ben Franz, a member of The Waifs, and Helen Townsend also played essential roles, offering insights into vocal delivery and arrangement suggestions.
Working with such a team of professionals made the creative process smoother, as Shannon was open to different ideas and suggestions. However, she emphasized the importance of the final product aligning with her artistic vision and message.
Distinguishing “Dance The Night Away”
In a music landscape teeming with diversity, Shannon Smith’s “Dance The Night Away” has a unique charm. She acknowledges the abundance of music readily available at the push of a button in today’s world. Shannon’s music, however, stands out with its pop/rock, pop/soul, and retro influences. The song exudes a cheerful and positive vibe, which she believes is somewhat lacking in today’s musical offerings. In a world filled with challenges, Shannon’s music aims to provide a respite, offering an opportunity to tap your toes and smile along.
A Glimpse into the Debut Album
“Dance The Night Away” is part of Shannon Smith’s debut album, a collection of songs that traverse various musical styles and themes. The album features an eclectic mix, ranging from upbeat pop songs to soul-stirring rock ballads, folk-rock grooves, love songs, and heart-wrenching tracks dedicated to lost loved ones.
What sets this album apart is the intriguing narrative it weaves. The first four singles from Shannon’s album intricately connect with the first four singles from her partner Helen Townsend’s album. It’s like a musical miniseries, complete with corresponding music videos. This storytelling approach takes the audience through the journey of their relationship, from the heady days of new love to the darkest moments that nearly tore them apart, and ultimately to their resurgence as a stronger couple. This unique storytelling approach is a testament to the emotional depth of their collaboration.
Shannon Smith’s musical influences are as diverse as her music itself. Growing up in a household with touring musician parents, she was exposed to a wealth of great music. Her formative years were marked by the influence of artists like The Beatles, Steely Dan, 10CC, Fleetwood Mac, Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, Michael Jackson, John Farnham, and Crowded House.
As a teenager, Shannon delved into the world of guitar-driven music, immersing herself in the sounds of Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Metallica, Megadeth, and Guns’n’Roses. Later on, she ventured into the realms of funk and soul, with inspirations like Earth, Wind & Fire, James Brown, and Stevie Wonder.
More recently, Shannon has been exploring Americana and country music and is an active member of Helen Townsend’s Americana band, “The Wayward Hearts.” This musical diversity has significantly shaped her own songwriting. At the core of her influences are strong melodies, well-crafted arrangements, and captivating harmonies.
Shannon’s love for singing and writing harmonies is particularly notable. She appreciates how harmonies can enhance the message of a song while providing a delightful auditory experience. Her inclination toward harmonies often finds her singing along to songs that don’t include harmonies, much to the amusement (or annoyance) of those around her.
The Creative Process
Shannon Smith’s creative process predominantly begins with a musical idea. This idea might manifest as a catchy melody, a compelling chord progression, or a combination of both. Shannon is diligent about capturing these ideas as soon as they pop into her head, whether it’s in the middle of the night or during the day. She uses her phone to record these musical fragments, ensuring that no inspiration goes to waste. This approach has proven invaluable, given that she has often composed entire songs in her dreams, only to forget them by morning.
Following the development of the music, Shannon moves on to crafting the lyrics, giving voice to the emotions and stories she wants to convey. However, she notes that there are instances where she reverses the process and starts with the lyrics, a method she has been increasingly exploring.
The Influence of Fremantle
Shannon Smith’s roots in Fremantle, Western Australia, have significantly informed her as an artist and as a person. Fremantle is a vibrant, artistic hub known for its supportive and close-knit community of musicians and artists. Shannon likens it to the Montmartre of Western Australia, a place teeming with creativity, alternative lifestyles, and a welcoming, joyful atmosphere.
In Fremantle, music is an integral part of everyday life, with artists constantly performing, busking, and showcasing their talents. The sense of community and encouragement is palpable, and Shannon believes it’s impossible not to be influenced and shaped by such an environment.
The Musical Alchemy of “Dance The Night Away”
Shannon is quick to credit the talented musicians who played a crucial role in bringing “Dance The Night Away” to life. The recording process took place at “Sundown Studios,” just outside Fremantle, and the musicians involved added their unique touch to the song.
Elliot Smith, who played drums and engineered the album, brought subtlety and finesse to his drumming, always knowing when to hold back and when to inject just the right amount of energy into the song. Ben Franz, the bassist, is regarded as a master musician with an impeccable feel for his instrument. The synergy between Ben and Elliot as a rhythm section elevated the song to another level.
Phil Richardson, who graced the song with his piano and Hammond organ skills, captured the essence Shannon had in mind for the song. Shannon expressed that when she first heard the song played outside her own imagination, it brought tears to her eyes because it resonated exactly with her vision.
The guitar parts were written, recorded, and played by Dan Carrol at “Rada Studios” in Fremantle. Shannon admires Dan’s approach to crafting guitar parts that seamlessly fit into the song, and she considers him one of the best guitarists she knows.
Robert Bresland took charge of the brass section, writing and arranging the parts and playing the trumpet on the track. He brought in Marek Sprogowski and Catherine Noblet to play the tenor sax and trombone, respectively. The brass section added the punch and excitement that Shannon envisioned for the song, making it an unforgettable experience.
Shannon took on the vocals and harmonies, with Helen adding her harmonies along the main melody line. Shannon’s admiration for Helen’s voice stems from its presence and beautiful tone, which conveys sincerity and sweetness, making every song she sings highly believable. Given that the song is about their relationship, Shannon felt it was only fitting to have Helen’s vocals on this track.
The Road Ahead
With the recent release of “Dance The Night Away,” fans are naturally eager to catch Shannon Smith live on stage. While there are shows scheduled in Australia, a full-fledged tour is expected after the album’s release in mid-2024. The wheels are already in motion for a UK tour in June 2024, promising a global audience the opportunity to experience Shannon’s music live.
Shannon Smith’s journey is not only about the music but also a testament to the importance of pursuing one’s dreams and finding happiness through creativity and passion. Her pursuit of music has not only brought her joy but has also gifted happiness to those who have had the pleasure of listening to her work. In closing, Shannon emphasizes that it’s never too late to chase your dreams and spread the happiness that comes from doing what you love. Her story serves as an inspiration for all to follow their passions and share their unique gifts with the world.
Shannon Smiths represents the future of new music, and her journey to stardom is only just beginning. MarkMeets is proud to feature this young talent as the Artist of the Month for February 2024, and his remarkable rise is a testament to the platform’s dedication to supporting emerging artists in the music industry.
The MarkMeets Platform: Spotlighting Emerging Artists
The MarkMeets featured artist platform, founded by Mark Boardman, a renowned music and entertainment media mogul who is a Brit and a BAFTA member, has gained immense importance in the music industry. Mark Boardman has been featured in renowned publications such as Newsweek, Hindustan Times, Marie Claire, Daily Express, Gala, Sky News, Daily Star, OK Magazine, Daily Record, The List, Elle, and Daily Mirror.
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