Singer hopes album will be good as gold
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.