Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannon Hunt.
Shannon, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
What a journey it has been! I grew up in Fayetteville, West Virginia, into a family who loves music. Between Motown, country, and 90’s rock, our home was consistently filled with music. There was always dancing and laughter echoing through the halls. As soon as I could walk, much to my family’s chagrin, I put on as many performances as I could as long as I had an audience. I performed my first solo, “O Come All Ye Faithful” at the age five for a Christmas play at my church. I finished the song and Promptly threw up on my mom; this served as a pretty dramatic start to my music career. Fast-forward 30 years… every one of my days involves singing and bringing music to others, and I couldn’t feel any luckier. I moved to California in 2006 after receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Business from High Point University in North Carolina and started pursuing my first love, music.
A year after I moved to LA, after trying my hand at a sketch comedy group, called “One Hott Mess” I played with a country band and for the first time began writing music. After the first twenty, terrible songs, I found success, and I played up and down the Sunset Strip, I opened for the Zac Brown Band at the famous Whisky A Go Go, and I had a few of my songs placed in TV and film. In 2009, I joined forces with one of my best friends, Justin Mortelliti; we formed the group “Stefi and Pepper.” I entered into the pop world, writing a full catalog of songs that are now being optioned in New York as a part of an original Broadway musical. When Justin left to go be the star of Rock of Ages in Las Vegas, I teamed up with the talented Lauren Tarantino and we formed the comedic pop duo Better Off Blonde. We instantly clicked as a writing team and she became the sister I never had. We had success in the pop and commercial world and still continue to write for TV and film. Three years ago, I decided to pursue a new enterprise and take my love of music in a different direction; Teaching. This exciting new endeavor enables me to share both my creative ambition, passion and, 15 years of practical on-the-job knowledge that I have gained. I found the amazing and talented Kathleen Riggs, the daughter of Seth Riggs who created the SLS method, and asked her to be my mentor. She said yes, and the rest is history!
Has it been a smooth road?
No road is ever smooth if you are doing something in the creative field. Most of what we do as artists is subjective, some people will love what you do, some people will hate it, and that is OK! You have to believe in yourself always; if you don’t, no one ever will. My advice is to never give up. There are so many paths you can travel to reach your dream. Be open to the possibility of it looking a little different than you thought it would… you might surprise yourself and like it better than the original road you thought you would go down. Never stop learning! Take a class; take several classes. Learn from someone who knows more than you. Don’t be afraid to be wrong, and welcome and accept the knowledge of those who have blazed the path before you. Celebrate the little victories! When you finish a song, or a project, or a photo shoot, or anything you feel proud of, CELEBRATE! Have a glass of champagne; pat yourself on the back; share it with your friends and family, then get back to work taking with you the feeling of pride in your accomplishment. This positive mindset will make failures SO much easier to take. I will say this, young ladies, get you a group of amazing and encouraging friends. I have found the most supportive, loving people to surround me and to build me up. I would not be where I am today without my friends and family. They believed when I didn’t; they told me they were proud when I wasn’t; they handed me a tissue and a glass of wine and a piece of cake and said, “YOU GOT THIS.” This gave me the courage to get where I am.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a vocal coach and teach songwriting as well. I specialize in teaching people how to connect their voice from the bottom of their range to the top of their range. Although it sounds simplistic, this enables singers to have complete freedom to use their full range for each and every song. It takes all the guesswork out of singing; if you do the work, you can go into a performance or studio session with full confidence that you will hit every note with ease. I am the proudest when I see my students’ progress with each of our sessions. I have also delved into the world of music as rehabilitation. Music has a way of healing people and I have been fortunate enough to work with several students who are on their road to recovery. I think what sets me apart from other teachers is that I am fully there every step of the way with my students. You have a win, so do I; you hit that note you never thought you would hit and get excited; so do I; You feel every ounce of a song or write something you are proud of, I am right there beside you cheering you on.
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Give yourself options! If your passion is music, explore more than one musical skill. If you are a vocalist, also study guitar or piano. If you want to get into fashion design explore the nuances of photography and learn/research editing. Whatever field you are in, be the best you can be. Walk into a room and offer people all that you are and show them the most that you can become.
- 1 hour Vocal Lesson – $100
- 30 Minute Vocal Lesson – $65
- Website: www.shannonhuntmusic.com
- Phone: 818-939-1890
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @shannonhuntmusic
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/shannonhuntmusic1/
Catie Lafoon, Brendan Hearne, J Robert Horton