Shawn Mullins is an Atlanta based singer/songwriter. He reached national prominence in 1998 with his first major label album Soul’s Core. Fifteen years later with a lot more experience and many new stories he is touring and entertaining us once again. Mullins’ newest single, “Light You Up,” is sexy, sultry and definitely thought provoking.
Shawn Mullins is performing in Seattle with Todd Snider’s Traveling Folk Show. To get tickets to the Seattle show at the Woodland Park Zoo please click here.
Can you believe is has been 15 years since your Soul’s Core album?
No, it came out in 1998, I guess it has been 15 years. That was my eighth album but my first with a major label. It was a bit of a change for me selling it that way. I guess it was easier on everyone’s wallets since they didn’t have to loan me money to produce the album. It was a great experience but I have been working on getting back to the smaller label and being more of myself. Vanguard has been really nice for me. They have so many great artists and their catalog is just amazing. Love to go in and just look through all the old stuff. Take a seat and listen to some classic Joan Baez.
What do you think when people tell you that you have a sexy voice?
I think it is a great compliment. I hear it quite a bit and hope they like the music as well. It is funny when someone comments about songs in particular. I have a pretty severe dust allergy. I have an old cabin in Atlanta which is always pretty dusty. We record there quite a bit and people will comment about those songs.
Is there anything fun or interesting to say about your single, “Light You Up”?
Well it sort of started out as a joke, if that’s what you mean. I woke up with part of the chorus in my head. I wrote it down and kind of played it a bit later for Chuck Cannon. We sat around and just thought of how to finish it. We thought of all the crazy things people want from people or say to people. Chuck is really good at rhyming things together and we just worked on it all night.
What do you do in the down time of touring?
Well, there isn’t really any down time. But I like to get out in nature. I’m excited to get back to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, it is such beautiful area. The rain doesn’t really bother me, it has been raining here in Georgia all summer.
Well you are in luck, we have been pretty dry here all summer.
Who were some of your inspirations growing up?
My dad loved Little Richard. We always had Little Richard playing in the house, probably since I was born. I remember when I got older and found bands like U2. My dad asked me why I would listen to them, they are so repetitive. I pointed out that Little Richard and other people he listened to were as well. I am pretty sure this was our first serious musical discussion.
When I was fifteen, I met Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls. I could actually go see them perform. It was amazing. They were an amazing influence on me. They were the first people I could listen to and see perform. I could actually talk to them. That made it so much more real for me. They have also helped me a lot during my career. We have even toured a bit. The Indigo Girls are just amazing poets and musicians. They have never sold a song to be a commercial or anything like that. They just represent so much to me as an artist.
There is so much great around right now. Are there any up and coming artists that you think we should look up or watch for?
Yes, there are the Shadow Boxers. They are just amazing. I think they are touring right now. I really like Max Gomez out of New Mexico, as well. He was just signed for a record deal and is someone to look up when you have a chance.
Okay, I read somewhere that you brought twelve guitars to a gig. How many guitars do you really have?
(Laugh) No way. I usually bring about three guitars to a show. Two tuned and one open. I do have some old guitars that I really love but I probably have around eight in all. Well, eight and my electric.
We love Shawn Mullins!