Timeout with Shawn Austin

WATCH ABOVE: Timeout with Shawn Austin: Timeout with the Twins chat his new single “Get Me There,” working on an EP and the Stanley Cup Playoffs + Quick-fire Questions

Photo credit: Timeout with the Twins

Timeout with the Twins were fortunate to have a peek into an intimate evening of acoustic country music with Canadian country artist Shawn Austin on Monday, April 17 courtesy of Ottawa’s New Country 94.  The Vancouver native sang a six-song set to a cozy crowd of about 50 contest winners enjoying Crazy Horse drinks and appetizers beneath a canopy of twinkling lights. Before Austin took the stage the “Paradise Found” singer chatted with Timeout with the Twins about signing to Dallas Smith’s record label SteelHead Music, his new single “Get Me There” and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Ottawa Life Thank you very much for taking some time to sit down with us today, we really appreciate it!

Shawn Austin: Thank you! Thank you, absolutely. Anytime.

Before we get into some new things that you’ve been up to lately including your new single ‘Get Me There’ and the EP that we hear you’ve been working on, we have to ask you about the Stanley Cup Playoffs because we know you’re a hockey fan.

I am, yes!

Our hometown Ottawa Senators are out and your Vancouver Canucks are out…

I know, I know.

…So who would you like to see Ottawa cheer for and who are you going to cheer for?

I jumped to the Nashville bandwagon. I think – I’m such a diehard Vancouver fan that it’s tough for me to jump on any bandwagon – but after seeing what Nashville did last year and just having such a soft spot for the city to begin with, they become my team so I can watch somebody through the playoffs.

We were going to suggest if you were undecided that they should be the bandwagon you jump on since you even have a song named after it!

I do yeah, the first song I put out.

You were last in town with Dallas Smith—the Side Effects Tour brought you to town—and you’re actually signed onto his label, Steelhead Music.

That was, it was a crash course in that level of being an entertainer. Previous to that, I think the most people I’d ever played in front of was maybe a thousand but it wasn’t anything, no production value like what Dallas’s tour was, so it was a bit of a jumping in with the wolves a little bit that first night on stage. I remember when I came through Ottawa, that to me was one of the best shows of the tour just because the room gave so much energy to us. There’s something about this city—I’ll come back as many times as you’ll have me because it’s too much fun.

Ottawa will love to hear that! If you can think back to before you joined that tour, we know for someone getting into music that sometimes it can be hard to make a living doing what you love. So you probably had something else you had to do to feed yourself while also finding time to feed your soul with music. 

Honestly, currently I’m still kind of doing it. I’m starting to step away a little bit but I’m a financial advisor. So I get ripped about it all the time because I’m a little bit over-analytical in a lot of things and that’s probably where that comes from. I’m always crunching numbers about social media, I’m looking at streams, I’m looking at sales, I’m looking at all that stuff. And it’s just like ‘hey, take a step back. You’re a musician, focus on that and let all that kind of run its own course.’ But as we progress and things get better the financial side that will disappear as me being an advisor and just full on as a musician.

That’s very impressive to hear though that you’re working a 9-to-5 as well as pursuing your music career.

Music is a passion project but it takes a lot to get into. It’s a risk-reward thing. Eventually you do have to jump off and just trust that you’ve got the right team around you, hopefully you’ve got the right songs, hopefully you’ve got a little success and when the ball starts to roll you just go all in at it and see how much momentum you can gain and hope that it grows into a career.

And it’s paying off so far, you have a new single out, ‘Get Me There’ and a new EP in the works. Can you tell us about those?

It’s been amazing. So we just released ‘Get Me There’ a little over a month ago and the traction has been amazing. The Canadian country world has been so kind and accepting of me so early and for somebody as new as I am, I wouldn’t expect to have had the kind of the foundation built that we do currently. But yeah, we’re excited, hopefully it can do the same thing as “Paradise Found” did. We’re working on the EP right now, hoping to have it out in the summer'ish. I don’t want to put too much of a cap on the date because these things tend to be a little bit fluid but obviously I want to get it out to everybody as quickly as possible. So hopefully by the end of the summer we’ll have that for everyone to listen to.

Good news, definitely good news! What do you hope fans take away from your music?

I think the goal is just to be relatable. We want everything to be really strong and we want it to have substance…things that hopefully can hit home for a lot of people and have a little bit of heart in them too.

So what kind of tracks can people expect? What feel does it have?

What can I say without giving too much away. We hit a few different topics. There’s more about the first time you meet somebody, or what happens after a break up or, you know there’s a couple of tracks that are just your big, typical party anthems. There’s a lot of things that we’ve got in the works and it’s been fun now for me to spread my wings a bit and have a chance to record things that I want to record and things that are me, and songs that I’ve written and I can’t wait to get it out. I want to say more!

We can’t wait to hear it! That’s a nice little teaser.

I don’t want to give too much away.

Can you commit to Ottawa fans as to when you’ll be back or is it too soon to say?

It’s a touch too soon because everything hasn’t been locked down yet but I can guarantee that if I’m not in Ottawa I will be very close.

Looking back on the Side Effects tour, what has been your best memory being on the road?

I think it’s the camaraderie built from the team. [Dallas Smith] has a phenomenal group around him so Dallas is a mentor to begin with, he’s a buddy but he’s also a guy who hasn’t ever really put any pressure on me. All of Steelhead hasn’t really put a lot of pressure on me. Sony is in the same boat; they’re very open to letting me develop as an artist and letting me have my say in everything we do. I’m an equal part through everything and I think that’s been the best thing about all of the experiences whether it be the tour or the recording process or the writing process is that I just, they’re giving me a really good chance to shine.

I’m sure that adds to the excitement of the EP coming out that you feel like it’s a really authentic reflection of yourself.

Yeah and everybody seems to be getting excited about it too. Nobody [working on the EP] is just doing it because they have to. There’s a lot of people that are putting a lot of work behind this and we’re excited to see where it goes.

We have one question we like to ask everyone we interview. If you think about 2018 for yourself so far and where it’s headed, if you had to choose three words to describe it what would those be?

Fast-paced, exciting and nerve-wracking. I’m using some hyphens there, but yeah.

That’s okay, we’ll accept it! And our last question then, at the end of the year, looking back, what will you needed to have achieved by the end of 2018 to feel like it was a successful year for you?

I think it’s a tough question to answer and the reason I say that is because if you asked me that at the beginning of 2017 I would have said, ‘okay, let’s put a song out, let’s maybe play a couple of shows,’ and then I ended up putting a song out that goes top 10 and going on a giant cross-Canada tour with a major artist.  Again, this team blows me away every day and what we’re able to do so let’s sit down at the end of 2018 and I’ll tell ya what I expected or what I was hoping for and what we’ve actually been able to accomplish and I’m sure it will be more than I could have imagined.

I think that’s fair. Thank you very much for sitting down with us, we greatly appreciate it and we can’t wait to hear the rest of the EP after hearing ‘Get Me There’ and what you’ve already put out. Everybody’s very excited.

Thank you so much.

Now to finish up, we feel like because you’re still a relatively new face on the scene, in order for fans to get to know you in a quick amount of time we have some rapid-fire questions if you’re up for it.

Hit me!

Quick fire Questions with Shawn Austin is available in video at the top of this interview.

For more information about Shawn Austin’s music and tour please visit his website: http://shawnaustinmusic.com