Q & A: CMAO “Record Producer of the Year” Award Nominee Shawn Moore Reflects on Career Achievements, First Moore Music Showcase and Current Client Success

Calling Waterloo, ON home is record producer, mix engineer and session drummer, Shawn Moore.

For those who are unfamiliar with Shawn and his work, he first got his start in the music industry as a session drummer, playing for artists such as Shawn Austin and Jason Blaine. Also the founder of Moore Music and a platinum award-winning alumni of Nashville’s The Blackbird Academy, he has produced and mixed hundreds of recordings for artists in the Canadian country music scene. In addition, Shawn is currently up for nomination for “Record Producer of the Year” at this year’s CMAO Awards.

Recently, I spoke with Shawn about his career achievements thus far, the first inaugural Moore Music showcase, his current clients’ success and more.

Kyla Pearson: It has been almost 3 years since our last interview. What have you been up to since then? What are some key projects that you have worked on? Have you been songwriting or primarily focusing on your work in music production and as a session drummer?

Shawn Moore: It’s hard to believe it’s been 3 years, thank you for having me back again! I’ve been very fortunate to work with some incredible artists during this time, recording in studios in Nashville, Alberta, Ontario, and of course, my own studio! Producing is my #1 focus, which comes with a lot of songwriting with the artists I’m producing, which I love doing. That said, I still play drums on most of the recordings I produce. I also have had a blast on the road with Jason Blaine, playing drums on his Road That Raised You Up tour! 

The artists I’ve been producing with have been having many personal successes, honestly too many to mention! A few recent successes would include Andy Penkow’s success at Australian Country Radio, with 2 consecutive number 1’s on their community charts (which I co-wrote and produced), He also had an album debut at #2 on the ARIA charts. In addition, Jessica Sole’s song, “Heads Up,” went number 1 on Sirius XM. Spencer Burns is also crossing the 1 million digital streams mark on Apple Music! Lastly, Ashley Ghostkeeper received two nominations at the Country Music Alberta awards and performed a song that I produced with her live on the show! 

Featured: Shawn Moore with artists at the first Moore Music showcase. (left to right: Maddie Corinne, Jessica Sole, Shawn Moore, Emily Kate, Matt Teed, Elias James, Kendra Gabrielle, Ty Baynton, Spencer Burns and Stu Weinberg).

Kyla Pearson: Last September, you held your first “Moore Music Showcase” featuring many artists you work with. Can you tell us a bit more about the showcase, last year’s event and what we can expect at this year’s event?

Shawn Moore: I’m extremely proud of how the first showcase went! We had an amazing roster of artists, including Spencer Burns, Ty Baynton, Kendra Gabrielle, Elias James, Matt Teed, Emily Kate, Jessica Sole and Maddie Corinne! The show was a Nashville-style songwriters round, where each artist sang their original songs that we produced together. We also had Stu Weinberg accompanying them on guitar! Artists also took the time to share the stories behind each song and talk about the process of recording them. Many also joined in with one another, as they had co-written them together! It was a complete success!

Keep an eye out for the second annual Moore Music showcase in Edmonton, AB during the CCMA awards!

Featured: Official Muso.AI streaming stats for Shawn Moore.

Kyla Pearson: As a mixer, producer, engineer and session drummer, you have a collective 265 credits and over 8.4M digital streams across Spotify, YouTube and Soundcloud (at the time of writing). This is a massive feat to achieve. What has this accomplishment meant to you?

Shawn Moore: When I’m creating music with artists, I tell them to make the music they want to make and to never make creative decisions in hopes of achieving an arbitrary result. More simply put; don’t sacrifice the art you want to make to try and chase something that might be popular at the moment, even if you feel it might get you better short-term results (ex: streams, downloads, placements, etc.). That said, I don’t create music thinking that millions of people will hear the work I’ve done.  So it was really surreal to find those statistics.

I also want to say a huge shoutout to the folks at Muso.AI, who have come up with an incredible system for all of the people behind the scenes in the recording process to verify and track their credits across all digital platforms. 

It means a lot to know that the music is connecting with people. I’m very proud of all of the music I work on. It’s been really rewarding to know that people are enjoying it and streaming!

Kyla Pearson: As a producer, many artists have been returning to work with you year after year. This also places you in the position to witness an artist’s growth as they develop their sound & voice and pivot in new artistic directions. Do you find your long-term relationships with your clients and understanding them & their vision has been advantageous to you when it comes to adapting to their ever-evolving artistic direction and sound? Would you say that you’ve grown as a producer along with them?

Shawn Moore: I’ve been extremely lucky to work with many artists for multiple years and projects, and many have also grown to become very good friends! I absolutely love seeing growth and development over multiple projects, and I think we for sure grow together. I think the biggest thing I notice over time is the mutual trust that grows throughout the creative process. When you have a long standing relationship with someone you’ve worked with creatively it’s often easier to get your point across of what you want to achieve in your music. For example, I’ve noticed on multiple occasions that artists who I’ve worked with in the past will often be more vocal during sessions, provide more input to the session musicians as we’re recording, etc. I believe the music creation process is a collaborative one, so I absolutely love when artists give their direct input and ultimately it makes the song sound even more like them!

Kyla Pearson: On a related note, if you could produce music fo any country artist that you haven’t already, who would it be and why?

Shawn Moore: I would love to work with Lady A! I grew up listening to their music and they really influenced my love for country music. I think their songwriting is super honest and I can’t get enough of they harmonies!

Kyla Pearson: Adding to the list of accomplishments and accolades, you’re on the final ballot for “Record Producer of the Year” at this year’s CMAO Awards, which is taking place on June 1st. What does this nomination mean to you? Are you looking forward to attending this year’s event? Are you going to be taking part in this year’s performances?

Shawn Moore: I’m humbled to be on this year’s ballot for “Record Producer of the Year”. What makes this nomination feel really special is that it’s voted for by industry peers. I always look forward to CMAO’s weekend, it’s one of my favourite times of the year! We have such a great community in Ontario. I love spending the weekend catching up with everyone and celebrating Ontario’s country music!

This year I’ll be playing drums three times. The first performance will be with Emily Clair at the Tailgate party. The second and the third will be with Jason Blaine at the Bonfire party and at the awards show! I can’t wait to see everyone there!!

Kyla Pearson: Moving forward, where do you see Moore Music Inc. in the next 3-5 years? Are there any specific goals you’re working towards? What impact do you hope your company will have or continue to have on the country music industry and the artists that you work with?

Shawn Moore: There are some very exciting things coming up for Moore Music! Most notably, a new studio build! I actually built a new studio last year in 2023! I was about 2 weeks from moving in and unfortunately, the building got sold for development. I’m happy to say I’ve found a new location and have been busy building the last few months! I can’t wait to show everyone this new space and get to work! 

My goal for Moore Music is for my company to continue to be a place where artists can create the music they want to make and spend the time to develop and explore their sound. I strive to make my studio a relaxed and welcoming environment where artists can feel at home, and be the best version of themselves while creating!!

Kyla Pearson: Ending on a more serious note, you are a self-proclaimed “chicken finger aficionado”. What are some of your hot takes on chicken fingers? According to you, which is the best-boxed chicken finger brand? Which restaurant in Ontario has the best chicken fingers?

Shawn Moore: Those who know me know that I take chicken fingers very seriously (fun fact the studio wifi password is “chickenfingers”). My hot take is to make sure you’re not fooled by those chicken finger knock-offs out there, such as chicken nuggets, boneless chicken wings, etc. A true chicken finger should consist of all-natural white meat in a tender form. 

As for boxed chicken fingers, Janes probably wins. That said, the hot deli at Presidents Choice grocery stores beats them any day! 

I’ve searched far and wide, tried chicken fingers all over the world, and the best restaurant for chicken fingers is none other than Jack’s Family Restaurant, located at the St. Jacob’s Farmers Market  – a mere 2-minute drive from my studio! For the artists that have worked with me – if you know, you know!!

Stay up to Date with Shawn Moore:

Works Cited

Moore, Shawn. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Apr 17 2024.

Unknown. “Featured: Record producer, mix engineer and session drummer, Shawn Moore.”. Photo courtesy of Shawn Moore. Accessed May 17 2024.

Unknown. “Featured: Shawn Moore with artists at the first Moore Music showcase. (left to right: Maddie Corinne, Jessica Sole, Shawn Moore, Emily Kate, Matt Teed, Elias James, Kendra Gabrielle, Ty Baynton, Spencer Burns and Stu Weinberg).”. Photo courtesy of Shawn Moore. Accessed May 18 2024.

Unknown. “Featured: Official Muso.AI streaming stats for Shawn Moore.”. Photo courtesy of Shawn Moore. Accessed May 18 2024.

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