Singer hopes al­bum will be good as gold

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Front Page -

COMO COMO singer-song­writer He­len Shana­han is hop­ing a record deal with Mush­room Mu­sic will set up a very bright fu­ture.

The 26-year-old mu­si­cian has been per­form­ing since 2008, when she first plucked up the courage to per­form in front of an au­di­ence at an open mike event.

Since then, Shana­han has pro­duced two al­bums and is cur­rently in Mel­bourne launch­ing her lat­est al­bum, Find­ing Gold, while ne­go­ti­at­ing her fu­ture with some of the mu­sic in­dus­try’s big­gest names.

Shana­han had suc­cess at the Tel­stra Road to Dis­cov­ery com­pe­ti­tion last year and took top prize in the song-writ­ing cat­e­gory.

The prize money al­lowed her to record an EP in Mel­bourne with pro­ducer Pip Nor­man, who is a found­ing mem­ber of Mel­bourne hip hop out­fit TZU and coun­try and soul and rock sen­sa­tion Dan Sul­tan, who won a gold ARIA award for his al­bum Black Bird.

Shana­han said she also flew to Nashville and co-wrote the ti­tle track to her new al­bum with US coun­try singer Kim Richey.

Her suc­cess may be grow­ing, but Shana­han said she was tak­ing it in her stride and keep­ing her ego in check by “keep­ing it real”.

“The key to suc­cess in the mu­sic busi­ness is to stick to your roots and be your­self,” she said.

“Peo­ple want to see real things and as soon as you try to be some­thing you are not peo­ple pick up on it. The key is not to be a fake and I just want to connect with peo­ple in a re­al­is­tic way with no gim­micks.”

Some of the mu­sic world’s big­gest names, in­clud­ing folk leg­end Joni Mitchell, The Bea­tles, Crowded House and Missy Hig­gins, heav­ily in­flu­ence her mu­si­cal style.

“To me mu­sic has al­ways been very ther­a­peu­tic and an out­let,” Shana­han said.

“I did not per­form for a long time as it was just a per­sonal thing, but then I dis­cov­ered the joy of per­form­ing, con­nect­ing with an au­di­ence and shar­ing my songs with them.”

Shana­han said her par­ents were also a big in­flu­ence on her suc­cess, sup­port­ing her both fi­nan­cially and emo­tion­ally es­pe­cially given the na­ture of the mu­sic busi­ness.

“My dad en­cour­aged me to keep on play­ing the gui­tar at school, even when I wanted to give up,” she said.

He­len Shana­han.

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