At the very beginning of the conception of Music Love, Shannon Busch AKA Wilsn was at the forefront. She is one of Australia’s finest soul singers and artists and should be celebrated. Wilsn is set to head to SXSW to show his soul to the world. His songs and voice are breathtaking, and his commitment and dedication to mastering his craft is inspiring. His EP is called Don’t Give It Up. One listen and it quickly becomes clear that Shannon was born to sing and write soul.
Growing up in a musical family, listening to the greats, singing in the church choir, and then studying jazz after school, were all steps on Shannon’s musical journey and a great foundation for the music she done today. Shannon will stay in the US, Nashville and Los Angeles after her SXSW shows – she just signed a management deal with Seth Friedman (Natasha Bedingfield, Will.I.Am, The Black Eyed Peas, John Legend), a contract of co-publishing with labels in Australia and the United States, and kills it. Before Shannon left, she took the time to chat with Music Love about soul music in Australia and her long list of favorite Australian women in music.
Music and singing have always been a way for me to express myself as I’m usually quite a shy person, but I feel much more confident when I sing. For me, singing in harmony with another voice is addictive, it’s exhilarating and when you lock yourself into a harmony you really feel connected. It’s as if this vibration goes through your whole body. I find that singing can also be very soothing. It’s also pretty special to be able to write a song and share an emotion with someone else who might feel the same way but isn’t able to express it themselves. What’s great about music is that it can speak to so many people on so many different levels.
Music has always been in my life. I don’t know what or who I would be if I couldn’t sing? Music was constantly playing in our house and I’ve been singing since I can remember. My mother sang in choirs and played the flute, my brother sings and plays the blues guitar and the piano, my sister played the piano, I sing and play the piano too, that’s how we were raised ! I was put in the church choir when I was a young girl because the choir leader noticed that I could sing.
Eventually I realized that church wasn’t for me, but I give it credit for teaching me how to sing harmony! My mother was in another choir that rehearsed all the time at our house and I remember always wanting to stay up and sing instead of going to bed. Many of my childhood memories revolve around music. I took a lot of voice and piano exams throughout my childhood and teenage years, and my high school had a great music program, so I used to sing in the jazz bands in the city. ‘school. I then studied jazz improvisation at the Victorian College of the Arts, and now I write my own music and do what I love the most. If I can do this for the rest of my life, I will be a happy woman.
Renee Geyer says RnB music chose her and she didn’t choose the genre. Do you feel the same way?
It certainly has a lot to do with the music my parents listened to when I was growing up – Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Dinah Washington, Carole King, Bill Withers, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Wendy Matthews, Linda Ronstadt, The Bee Gees and so many other amazing singers. I like soul, blues, jazz, gospel and RnB. I’ve always been drawn to the sound, emotion and raw power of singers’ voices. As a teenager, I sang with Aretha Franklin in my bedroom tirelessly, copying exactly what she was doing, and if I got something wrong, I sang it over and over again until I got that line or that voice. correct. I love her voice so much!
What do you think of soul music in Australia?
I wish there were more! Some amazing soul music has come out of Australia over the years like Hiatus Kaiyote, Daniel Merriweather, Renee Geyer, Jade McRae, Emma Donovan and The Putbacks, The Bamboos and Electric Empire. There are some really great local soul singers in Melbourne right now like Thando, Ella Thompson, Allysha Joy and Meg Mac. There’s a bit of a soul scene in Melbourne – Northside Records, Cherry Bar, PBS and Soul-a-go-go have been doing soul here for years.
There’s also some cool neo-soul happening in Melbourne right now, and it’s super awesome to hear a form of soul music gaining momentum. But that’s still nothing compared to the amount of rock, pop, indie and electronic music we hear in Australia. Especially on commercial radio. Melbourne is a really cultural city in many ways and I think in the Melbourne music scene there is a love and a general understanding of soul music, but not so much as a country.
“Personally, I haven’t had a very good experience with soul music in Australia. One day, a fairly prominent man in the Australian music industry told me that if I wanted to go anywhere in the industry, I had to change what I was doing and go the neo-soul route. Even though I love neo-soul, I had to stay true to myself, so I ignored what he said. ”
Personally, I haven’t had a very good experience with soul music in Australia. One day, a fairly prominent man in the Australian music industry told me that if I wanted to go anywhere in the industry, I had to change what I was doing and go the neo-soul route. Even though I love neo-soul, I had to stay true to myself, so I ignored what he said. Some booking agents.
In the past, I wasn’t sure what to make of a soul gig in Australia and basically all the labels and agents that contacted me were from the US or Europe, but not much else. ‘Australia. It’s hard to get the mainstream music industry to notice you here unless you play some sort of pop or electronic music. But that’s just my opinion, other people have probably had better experiences. Hope soul music makes some sort of comeback soon haha.
You have been accepted to play at SXSW this year. Explain what this musical event means to you and your career.
SXSW is a great opportunity for any independent artist – it’s not like your usual music festival, it’s an industry festival where labels and booking agents etc. discover new talents from all over the world. I try not to put too much pressure on it, for me it’s just a good starting point for my trip to America this year!
Your biography indicates that one of your songs has been added to rotation on many “no paid commercials” radio stations. How did you manage to do this without paid advertising.
It happened naturally with my first single Unmeet You, then some of my other singles after that. People told me to spend money on public relations, but I couldn’t afford it. So I uploaded it to the usual platforms – Soundcloud, triple j Unearthed and Spotify. From there it took off overseas and all the songs from my EP were randomly added to various Spotify playlists around the world and now my EP has had over a million plays, this which I find amazing.
What do you think of this model of independent artists who have to pay publicists to promote themselves (on music blogs and playlists, etc.)?
This can sometimes be quite unfair because as an independent artist you don’t have a lot of money behind you and that means artists with more money (but not necessarily more talent) can go further in the game. music industry.
Who are your favorite Australian women in music, whether they work backstage or other musos etc? ?
YES! I like this question. There are so many and I may have exaggerated a bit here, but I couldn’t narrow my list down…
Al Parkinson – He’s a local legend here in Melbourne. She’s super talented and has her own solo project, but she also ran the Melbourne leg of Sofar Sounds, she presents on Balcony TV, she has her own radio show and she works with young people studying music at Collarts! She’s also one of the friendliest, most down-to-earth ladies I’ve met and is always a huge supporter of other people’s music!
SIA – She worked hard to get where she is now. I really admire his writing. She has written songs for some of the biggest artists in the world and is so well respected. It’s great to see an Australian woman kill him internationally.
Katie Noonan – I’ve loved it since I first heard George years and years ago. Her voice is on another level, it’s so amazing! I love his recordings with his opera singer mother, mind blowing stuff.
Ali Barter – She’s a singer/songwriter from Melbourne whose song Girly Bits pretty much sums up what it’s like to be a woman in the music industry. She tells how it is. Go check it out!
The great writer and avid poet as well, he graduated from the University of Florida in Journalism and Brad has about 12 years of experience in the news and media section.