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5 minutes with Shaun Bryant

"I'm a solo singer/songwriter who writes all his own material"

Today we welcome Shaun Bryant into the interview room, welcome Shaun!

Thank you! I really appreciate you having me here.

Firstly, tell us a bit about who you are and what it is you do.

I'm a solo singer/songwriter who writes all his own material. I mainly fit in to the corporate/adult oriented rock (AOR) music genre, but like to try differing styles of music. Listen to the material I have created so far and you will see!

My first EP, Angel & Other Stories, was released in July 2010 and is available on iTunes and various other online sites. Just look up Shaun C Bryant. I am currently working on the album, 3am In The Morning, which I am fan-funding via Sellaband. Sellaband is a great platform for independent artists like me. It allows the fans to invest in the artist and own part of the process. The best bit is they get incentives for doing so, depending on the level of investment, such as personally signed CDs, T-shirts, hoodies etc. Check out the site at www.sellaband.com/shauncbryant. I am a huge believer in independent labels and artists.

How long have you been singing and song writing? Have you always wrote lyrics since a young age?

I first picked up a guitar just over 5 years ago after some difficult life changes. I needed a hobby, an outlet, that took my mind off things and purchased a Hohner Countryman acoustic guitar in a rather fetching blue. You can see it in the pictures I have provided for the interview. I took some lessons and the guy I took those lessons from is now my producer! I started singing and songwriting on a semi-professional level about 2 years ago and, as they say, the rest is history!

When did you first realise that you wanted to make music your profession? Was there a moment where you thought, That's what I want to do?

After I recorded my first song, Angel, I realised that I thoroughly enjoyed the recording process and decided to continue writing and recording and so started work on the other tracks on the Angel & Other Stories EP. They grew organically and when I had the time (I run my own business as the day job). Because of that, the EP took about 18 months from initial songwriting sketches to final production and was released in July 2010. It was then that I realised that I wanted to take this more seriously. So, an album became the next goal and I am working hard on getting it released by the end of 2011.

It appears you have a nice following across the internet with many fans and followers on social networking sites, how have you seen the support grow over the past couple of years? What do you put support growth down too? Do you think the likes of Facebook etc have been a positive factor when it comes down to self promotion?

The internet has been a huge factor in getting my music out there...period. The support for my music has been amazing and there are a number of internet radio stations that have really helped my music career to date. The support I have received has been nothing short of amazing, so thank you to everyone who has hooked up with me! I have made some great friends over the internet, especially with other independent bands and artists. Facebook has been great as has Twitter. I have also found ReverbNation and Sellaband have been excellent as well. The internet is the way forward when it comes to music.....you have a huge audience out there.

I had an interesting conversation with my producer the other day and he really hit the nail on the head. We were discussing me entering a songwriting competition where you pay to enter your songs. He response to this was that I was already in the biggest songwriting competition on the planet...iTunes. I must admit, I do agree with him!

What inspirations do you use when it comes to music? Is it a particular person or moment in your life that inspires you to write?

Life and all its stories inspire me. I write songs from the heart that I hope my fans relate to. There are also special people in my life who inspire me to write. Look at my song, Angel, for example. Heroin of the Soul is a very dark song about addictive love that is bad for you. So, you could say that I am a modern day storyteller through my music.

I often hear a song or see something or someone and it inspires me. I dedicated my song Where Is The Love? to the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this month. The lyrics are all about how society has lost the love and how we should love, not hate. Heroin Of The Soul is all about how love can be bad and addictive. Why? (the latest single) is a heartfelt ballad. I try and cover emotions that we all have and have felt and try to empathise with my listeners and fans.

If you could choose to support ANY artist, past or present, who would it be and why?

Perfect world scenario, it would have to be Bon Jovi. They have been a HUGE inspiration to me over the years. Plus, Jon Bon Jovi has such amazing focus and foresight in this industry, as well as being a very talented songwriter and musician. Teamed with Richie Sambora, they are another Lennon and McCartney as far as I am concerned. Now, Bon Jovi have been on the scene for over 25 years and there are some new independent bands I would love to support as well. The lovely guys in Cherry Suede and The Mars Patrol are two new independent bands I would love to support anytime too.

What is your main goal with music? Is it the money? Fame? Having people hear your music?

I still have the day job and run my own company, so my main goal is to get the music to pay for itself and pay me! Ideally, I would love to be in a position where the music provided a full-time paying career and that is the plan. And that is not just to do with money. I love what I do. I love the music I create and I am very proud of what I have achieved in such a short time, considering how late I started (36 years old to be exact!).

I am not in to the fame thing. The likes of the X-Factor and American Idol drive me crazy. Show me the number of CDs on someone's music shelf that come from competition winners. The music I own is by people who have worked damn hard at their craft to achieve the status they have. Bon Jovi are a prime example. To stay in this business for over 25 years, you have to work damn hard, not just appear on a talent show. It's all about that old saying; 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. You have to graft to get anywhere and I am prepared to do that. Some young kids just expect to happen around them. You have to make it happen.

I love knowing that people listen to my music. That is why I do it. I want people to relate to the stories I tell. The songs are part of me, relating to life's experiences and observations. Modern day story-telling, if you like. I have had some beautiful comments from some of my fans that make all the hard work worthwhile.

In a year's time, where do you hope to see yourself?

I am currently working on the album and the intention is to get it ready for the end of this year. Once that is done, it would be time to start looking at potentially touring and playing dates to promote my music. Personally, I would love to play some of the summer festivals if there is an opportunity to do so. The thought of playing some of the bigger music "pubs" around the UK and Europe would be amazing too.

Well, it has been great talking to you Shaun so I will finish on a high, if you had to give one piece of advice to an aspiring music wanting to enter the industry, what advice would you give them?

Work hard and don't quit no matter what anyone says to you. Take everything as it comes; advice, criticism, praise and learn from it. Adapt to circumstance and most of all, enjoy the journey!

Take care and good luck for the future!

If you want to find out more regarding Shaun and his music, check out his profile here.

You can find out more about Shaun at www.fit4talent.com/shauncbryant/

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