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Meet Douglas Shea

Today we’d like to introduce you to Douglas Shea.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Singing and making music in general was always my favorite hobby growing up. I’ve been singing since I was 3 or 4 and wrote my first song in 4th grade (a love song to be exact). I never really saw music as a career option though, until I received guidance from my entrepreneurship professor my junior year at USC. Instead of following the 9-5 trajectory laid out in front of me, I started thinking much more deeply about what was actually important to me and two factors stood out. Music, as you could guess, jumped out immediately. I met my current manager pretty quickly and from there started writing a lot and working with a producer, AZU, at night after class. After a big learning curve and some stumbling, I had my first three songs. I was pretty proud of the way they turned out, but I felt like something was missing.

Even though I enjoyed making the songs, it wasn’t as fulfilling as I expected. After some more thought and reassessment, the second factor came into play. Throughout college, I grew really passionate about mental health and realized I wanted to help people struggling with mental health issues through my music. When I combined these two passions, my music went from generic pop-y love songs to something that I felt could help uplift people. Don’t get me wrong, I love that type of music too; this is just the style that feels right and fulfilling for me personally to create. My first two releases, Blue Green (This Time) produced by Harmonee and Tired produced by Devon Oakley, follow these themes with many more on the way!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Although I am grateful for the way everything is going with my releases and my artist journey, the road getting here definitely had its dips. For one, I was a business major focused on getting a job right out of college when I decided to pursue a career in music. I didn’t know anything about the music industry so jumping in definitely felt more like a leap of faith. Thanks to my manager, the patience of the first producers I worked with, and a lot of research, I caught up to speed. It was also difficult to start putting music out because of my past experiences with mental health. I put a lot of emphasis on this topic because I dealt with pretty severe anxiety and depression that persisted throughout most of my college career. Most days were a struggle and sometimes the only thing I looked forward to was going back to sleep. Over time though, I started accumulating bits and pieces of helpful tips and techniques that helped ease and eventually all but overcome so much of what I was going through. Even though that time was really brutal, it’s the reason I feel I can help people going through similar challenges by writing and creating music that speaks to them.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
My focus with my artist project is to make music that genuinely moves people in a positive way. Every song I write is aimed at uplifting people, relating to the struggles they are going through and/or providing some guidance from my own personal experiences. The four best tips I can give to anyone struggling with similar issues right now is to one, start being kinder to yourself, which was particularly hard for me at first, but with practice, it becomes easier. Two, retrain your brain to start thinking positively about yourself and life in general by challenging the negative thoughts our minds feed us. Three, start pursuing something (or multiple things) that make you feel fulfilled and pursue them with resilience and consistency every day. Lastly, get professional advice from a licensed therapist. I wasn’t really open to therapy initially because I was afraid of the stigmas society places on it, but I quickly realized that it’s actually a shortcut to getting past any issue you might be dealing with. All of these factors have held true in my personal journey to overcoming the mental health issues I’ve dealt with and they will help you too. Keep going; there is always a way past the things you are dealing with and the other side is so worth fighting for.

FYI – A great resource to find a therapist near you is the site Psychology Today.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Right now, I’m mainly focused on releasing music and connecting with more listeners by creating daily TikTok videos. I’m really excited about the latest songs I’ve been working on and I can’t wait to put them out there for people to hear. Longterm, once everything with Covid19 becomes safer, I’m looking forward to performing around the city and eventually, I would love to start speaking at mindfulness and mental health seminars to spread the knowledge I have learned over the years.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Samantha Hardy, Tim Curtet, Ariana Miyake

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