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Toronto-based Sheldon Hunt shares rich new single “Here to Stay”

Sheldon Hunt is Toronto-based singer/songwriter, born and raised on a small island off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. He pairs subdued, acoustic melodies with rich, authoritative vocals to create a sound that is honest and resonant, taking inspiration from a variety of genres, including traditional folk music, indie rock, and soul.

Sheldon’s debut album will be released later this year, but he’s starting with single “Here to Stay” – a soulful, blues-inspired track capturing a feeling that people can relate to, as opposed to telling a full story from start to finish.

Listen to ‘Here to Stay’ below and check out the interview!

Can you talk to us about the inspiration behind your single, “Here to Stay”?
Here to Stay is about being unable to shake somebody you were once with from your day to day life. Seeing them in the city you live, or in a song you both loved. Naturally I drew from my own life, having recently separated from a long term girlfriend. We’re back together now, but that’s another song. 
How do you think your community has contributed to your success?
Without the support of my community, I’m not sure I ever would have released any music. I’m lucky to have very supportive friends and family. From talent shows in high school, to dive bar shows where I got too drunk to finish my set, my friends have always been there pumping my tires. The music scene in Toronto also made a big impact on me, it’s where I’ve met so many great musicians and songwriters. Just when I would think I had this killer song, one of my friends would get on stage and absolutely blow me away with something they had wrote. Always kept me pushing to become a better songwriter, and musician.
What was the first thing that got you interested in music?
My Dad is a great singer, and when I was younger, I swear he would have a song that would relate almost everything we did, if he was making breakfast, there was a song about that, if he was doing dishes, there was a song about that, if I had to clean my room, there was a song about that. Now thinking back, I’m sure he was making up the songs, but as a kid I was convinced they were real songs. It always made me laugh and I thought it was coolest thing.
Describe to our audience your music-making process.
I usually start with the guitar, I’ll find a chord progression or guitar line that – for lack of better words – speaks to me. It really has to draw my attention if I’m going to write to it. Once I have that, I start just singing random words, and sounds that feel good, and if I’m lucky some phrase or line will manifest that I think holds weight, and will tell me what the song is about. Then I continue to build the song around that. 
What advice would you give other musicians?
The advice I wish I had gotten would be to stop trying to create your magnum opus, or masterpiece. I would always stagnate, when I was so concerned about making something so undeniable, that the masses would have to stop and listen. I think all that pressure would suck the life out of any musician. Instead I just try to create my best work yet, “Yet” being the keyword here. That seems to relieve some of the pressure, that would otherwise suffocate my creativity.
How did it feel when you released this new music?
Super anxious, but it felt significant, like it was the beginning of something. Something about seeing my name on Spotify relieved me of some of the imposter syndrome I had always felt. Even if no one listened, it still felt liberating to finally show people that part of myself.
And finally, if you could collaborate with any musician/band, who would it be? And why?
Jonathan Rado. I only recently discovered he produced albums of some of my favourite artists. Father John Misty, Whitney, The Killers, and lately I’m really enjoying the albums he produced with Alex Cameron. It seems like he gets the best out of the artists he works with: nothing sounds forced, and it always feels organic, yet nuanced. 

You can find more information about Sheldon Hunt at...

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