If you’re an artist in the Ontario country music scene, chances are you’ve heard of Shawn Moore. Founder of Moore Music in Waterloo, ON, Shawn is a producer, mix engineer, songwriter, and session drummer. Also a Platinum Award winning alumni from Nashville’s The Blackbird Academy, his production skills have quickly earned him widespread respect within the music industry. Shawn has worked with numerous artists, including some previously featured artists such as Ty Baynton, Matt Teed and Jessica Sole!
Recently, I spoke with Shawn about his path to pursuing music production and mix engineering, songwriting and working with rising Canadian country artists.
Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with your production studio, can you tell us a bit about your path to pursuing music production and mix engineering? What does your studio offer artists?
Shawn Moore: I actually started my journey in music as a session drummer! I was fortunate enough to play with some amazing artists, and play some really cool places! While I was on the road I really developed a passion for recording, and started tracking demos for some of the artists I was touring with. From there, I wanted to become a better audio engineer, and was fortunate enough to be accepted into The Blackbird Academy audio school, in Nashville, TN. My time at Blackbird changed my life, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be making records ever since! My studio in Waterloo is my own space, so I’m able to offer artists a personable, stress-free environment to create with no time constraints. I find the best vocal performances come when an artist is able to just kick back, relax on the couch, enjoy a cup of their favourite tea, and of course take in the mood lighting! (The key to every good vocal performance is lava lamps!)
Kyla Pearson: What is one thing you wish new artists knew before heading into the studio/kept in mind?
Shawn Moore: “Enjoy the journey!”. This is something said to me once by a mentor of mine when I was first starting out in my music career, and I think it’s very important for artists to keep in mind. Recording music is a fun process! Try not to put pressure on yourself and just enjoy the creative process.
Kyla Pearson: You’re also a songwriter and co-write often. Which genre do you specialize in? How has your work in this different facet of the music industry impacted your production work (and vice versa)?
Shawn Moore: I was raised on country radio, and naturally fell into the genre when I started to write. I think that writing has really gone hand-in-hand with production. I try to write with every artist I produce, as it helps me learn more about them and what they want to say with their music! Even if we don’t end up cutting the song we write, I find the experience of writing with artists I produce to be invaluable in creating their sound!
Kyla Pearson: When it comes to writing songs, do you find it easier to come up with the melody or the lyrics? What do you think makes a “hit” country song?
Shawn Moore: For me it’s all about the lyric! Of course, melody is important as well, but I believe the way that people connect with music (especially country music!) is through the lyric. For me, every song tells a story. Whether happy, sad, sentimental, party; it all comes down to telling that story through music. And hopefully one day that song will connect with someone and help them relate to their own life story! To me, any well written song could become a “hit” song – it all comes down to if people connect with the story you’ve written in that song! I try to focus on staying true to the art, and creating something that’s meaningful to me, and hopefully it will be meaningful to listeners as well!
Kyla Pearson: Both as a producer and songwriter, you’ve worked with some of Canada’s most promising talents in country music. What has that experience been like for you?
I’m extremely lucky to have the opportunity to work with such amazing Canadian Country Music talents! From artists, to co-writers, to musicians, I couldn’t be more fortunate to work with the people that I do. It’s truly humbling, and I don’t take it lightly!
Kyla Pearson: Your work was also recognized by this industry this past year, with an official CMAOntario Record Producer Of The Year nomination. What has that meant to you?
This is the first time I’ve been nominated for a CMAO award, and I couldn’t be more humbled by it. My life goal has been to make great music with great people, and I’m currently doing both! The support from the industry when the nominations came out was overwhelming, and I’m extremely lucky to work with such amazing people!
Kyla Pearson: What has been the most memorable moment in your career thus far?
Shawn Moore: There’s been so many amazing moments, it’s hard to choose just one! For sure graduating The Blackbird Academy was an extreme highlight. My time in Nashville truly changed my life, and I remember graduation day being one of the happiest days of my life! Another memorable moment is hearing a song I produced on the radio for the first time. It was crazy to hear something I had helped create on the airways of a station I listened to growing up!
Kyla Pearson: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is looking to pursue a career in music production?
Shawn Moore: First and foremost, I would say to work on your Pro Tools skills! It’s extremely important to be comfortable and very quick navigating recording software’s, as you never want to hinder an artists’ creative process by making them wait for you. I would also say to try and intern at a studio or with a producer whose work you really enjoy!
Kyla Pearson: Lastly, what is one goal you hope to achieve by the end of the year, both as a songwriter and producer?
Shawn Moore: I’ve been finding it hard to set goals as I’m really doing everything I love already! I would love to see continued success for the artists I work with in their releases; they’ve been doing so well and I couldn’t be prouder of the music we’ve been creating!
“Shawn is booking projects for 2022! If you’re an artist that is looking to record, please reach out to Shawn through his website or socials!”
Moore, Shawn. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Jul. 6 2021.
Unknown. “Featured: Shawn Moore”. Photo courtesy of Shawn Moore. Accessed Nov.18 2021.