Interview with Shawn Davis, Professional Bassist

Added on by Robert Willey.

Date: June 7, 2016

Ayrian Armstead performed the interview

In-Person/Via Email

What is your occupation?

Professional Bassist.

When did you start playing?

“I started playing instruments back when I was a toddler. Probably at age 3-4 but not professionally, I was about 15 years old.”

How did you get started?

“Growing up music was always around.  Mom was a singer, and sang when she was pregnant with me. My grandfather was profession musician. It was just apart of my DNA.”

Who inspired you the most

“I was most inspired by cousin Anthony Harmon to play bass.  He played for a lot of well know gospel artist."

What kind of services do you offer? Such as when people call you for gigs?

I'm hired to give the artists what they want.  Normal duties are to be on time, learn and know the music, and deliver it just like the artist expects you too. I also arrange and produce music for artists.  And I also lead as the Music Director too.”

I said, “Sounds like a lot of hard work…”

“Yeah it can be but I love it but last week I had to learn and play 25 songs.”

What skills are required for you to play as well as you do?

“It just requires dedication and professionalism.  Everyone plays and at all different skill levels, styles, etc.  anyone can get work as a musician."

What do you like about the business?

My favorite thing is continual growth that is easily accessible ... Learning new styles and meeting new people. There no ceiling as far the growth you can have in the business.”

What did you find most challenging about the music industry?

“It's a dog eat dig industry! No body is going to hand you anything!”

What's the biggest change you seen in the business in the last few years?

“True musicianship has gone on the back burner. Back in the days when technology wasn't as advanced you had to be on you’re a game! All of the musicians came in together and recorded simultaneously! Now days everything is so digital and mistakes can be altered so you don't even truly have to be good!  The need for the musician will go away if it doesn't change.  But I think slowly but surely real music will be back at the top!

What is your future plans with your profession?

“I would love to tour with mainstream artists and perform all over the world. Performance is where I get the most joy out of my career.”

What opportunities do you see in Indiana? Or if there is any here?

Not many opportunities as far the mainstream scene goes.  I see myself living in LA or somewhere that the music scene is rolling.”

Do you have any advice to give someone that is considering the music industry?

“Yes!  Music is universal!  There's no right or wrong to do it.  Never compare yourself to another's success.  Your road is your road.”

Is there anything else you want to add to the interview?

“I don’t have anything else. Thank you.”