“I remember having one of my ‘performances’ in my backyard one afternoon, and glancing over and seeing my mom watch me. She kind of had this ‘what the hell is this boy doing?’ look on her face…but I still finished my show.”
In 1997, during his first day at Foshay Learning Center, Shawn was introduced to music in a different light as he enrolled into his very first music class. In this class, he was not only taught the fundamentals of music—such as melodies and music theory—he also acquired the knowledge of music history as well as the skills to not only play, but master many different instruments.
It was that same year that Shawn met industry exec and life-long mentor/friend Tom Sturges. At the time Tom, who was head of Shaquille O’neal’s record label “TWisM,” came to Shawn’s school to meet with another student who he was sponsoring in a mentorship program. Coincidentally, during his visit Tom was able to see Shawn perform at one of the many assemblies he took part in, and instantly saw the talent and star-power Shawn possessed.
As high school came to a culmination, Shawn, then known in his area as one of the premier entertainers, not only continued to perfect his skills as an MC, but also honing the craft of producing.
“I would literally sit and make 5 beats a day, then at the end of the week delete them all; I kept this going for months. The reason why I would delete them is because they weren’t any good. I knew they weren’t good, but just like every other skill, you have to practice to get it perfected. Im sure Jordan didn’t make the first shot he ever took.”
In 2003, at the age of 16, Shawn was awarded a 4 1/2 year scholarship to the University of Southern California, where he would study Political Science. While in school, Shawn learned the necessary skills of business and networking that would help him conduct himself in a professional manner whenever he was not in ‘entertainer’ mode. These skills were nothing more but mere additions to Shawn Chrystoper’s already ‘micro-manager’ demeanor. More than just a rapper, Chrystopher is known to do everything himself—and if he cant do it, he asks to have the final decision on anything made regarding him or else he wants no part of it. Shawn writes, performs, produces, mixes, and masters all of his own music; something he sees being a necessity in the music industry if longevity is to be achieved.
“The era of the ‘regular rapper’ is almost done. Soon people are going to be asking ‘well we know you can rap, but what else do you do?’ There are many musicians who write and produce their own music, however in hip-hop, being one-dimensional was accepted. That won’t last for too much longer.”
Five years later, after careful planning and patiently learning the ins-and-outs of the music industry, Shawn Chrystopher, formally released his critically-acclaimed debut mixtape “I.W.G.: I Wear Glasses”; garnering him a major co-sign by fashion powerhouse LRG Clothing as well as its owner Jonas
In the fall of 2009, Shawn released his debut LP “A City With No Seasons” via his website, HonourRoleStudent.com. “A City With No Seasons” was Shawn’s true introduction to the world as it was his first project with the music entirely produced by him (his prior mixtape was comprised mostly of industry instrumentals). With his debut album, Shawn Chrystopher set out to push the envelope with today’s rap music; choosing song concepts and instrumentation that would normally be reserved for an alternative act.
“Some people really feel that it’s virtually impossible to create something different in this day and age when it comes to music; I strongly disagree. I look at music as fingerprints; being independently exclusive to every musician. The reason why music, especially hip-hop, stays stagnant during certain periods of time is because artists tend to try and duplicate another artists’ “fingerprints” because he or she has created a winning formula in the form of a hit song. Just because something worked for one artist doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for me, so I have chosen to basically be my own artist, and create a sound that can only be linked to me as a musician.”
With intellect, superior musical talent, and passion for all that he does, the future is truly bright for Mr. Chrystopher.
Edited by Shawnchrys on 12 Jan 2010, 12:28
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