Growing up in Sin City has naturally given Shaun DeGraff a very unique perspective on life as we know it. For a world who's survival depends on putting their best foot forward, Las Vegas is one of those rare places one can let it all hang out and be "bad" for a moment. Currently working as a musician/entertainer on the Vegas strip on a weekly basis, Shaun is frequently reminded by the constant construction and the "new-casino-a-week" lifestyle that Vegas is living proof that the "bad" side can not and will not be ignored by humanity, only contained.
Shaun's inspiration for making music comes from many different places. As a young boy growing up listening to Motown on his dads stereo, he developed a love for 70's Rhythm and Blues and great songwriters of the era like Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Bill WIthers and Donnie Hathaway. Shaun can even remember listening to Southern Baptist gospel music while attending cemenary class for the Mormon church. After begging his parents for a piano, Shaun got his wish at age 14 with an old out of tune upright and began to prove himself as a talented storyteller.
As Shaun matured and got older, he was exposed and gravitated to b-boy style dancing and the music that came along with the culture. Clinging to the powerful lyrics of early hip-hop emcees like Grandmaster Mele-Mel, KRS-1, and keyboard skills of piano giants like Herbie Hancock and George Duke, Shaun began to develop his unmistakable style in the studio. Feverish, unpredictable and simply powerful right down to the softest ballad, Shaun DeGraff has a unique sound instantly recognizable to familiar fans which is perhaps the highest honor as a performing/recording artist.
After high school, Shaun was fortunate enough to find a funk band who allowed him to join with absolutely no money or gear and travel to Japan to play his first paying gig as a musician. While overseas, Shaun got the news of his mothers death back home and immediately prepared to come back home to the states. Unfortunately, the Japanese consulate decided to make an example of him for overstaying his Visa by 4 days and he missed his own mothers funeral. With his #1 fan and friend now gone from his life, Shaun would not write another song for almost 5 years.
One day while taking out the garbage, Shaun lost mobilization in his back and began to draw a fever that just would not go away for months at a time. Feeling like something was wrong, he went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and was told that he had 10 years left to play the piano. It was not long before Shaun would succumb to a deep depression. This state of mind eventually left him without a job, car and a place to live. Shaun soon began gambling, partying, and experimenting with prescription drugs including daily doses of ephedrine (a main ingredient in meth). Then while living off a friends couch in a studio apartment, the dream happened. There he was sitting solo aboard an airborne jetliner and before long the plane malfunctioned and began aggressively swirling towards the ground. The dream seemed so real and Shaun remembers all of the things that went through his head as gravity took its course. Feelings of guilt, remorse, sadness, and all of the goals he had yet to accomplish all surfaced into his consciousness along with the terrifying realization that there would be no second chance. Surprised and heart beating out of his chest, he woke up with an unbelievable feeling of vigor and new hope to try to accomplish the things he knew would make his mom proud.
Shaun got back on his feet and then went on to perform in 9 other contries performing more and more of his original music. In 2006 Shaun performed on a USO tour for the soldiers in Sarajevo and Bosnia. In 2007, he recorded "In My Room" on a used 8 track, and won "Best Modern Rock Album" out of 36,000 international submissions by Just Plain Folks. In 2008, Shaun’s "Music For Life" won the same award yet again. In 2009 Shaun booked his own West Coast tour playing alongside The Eels, Regina Specktor, DJ Shadow, Ernie Halter, Chaka Khan & his songwriting idol Stevie Wonder. Recently signing with newly formed label, JMD Records, Shaun is upping the ante on his new release "Grey Area" and is looking forward to hitting the pavement once again in 2010 and beyond.
In just 5 short years, thanks to the power of modern medicine, Shaun looks forward to being able to play and write for many more years to come. This second chance by science has inspired him to include fresh new technology in with his live show in a never before seen innovative style. Open your mind and make some time for the music of Shaun DeGraff. He hasn't given up on you. And he'll never give up on the power of music. - Rachel Delo
Grey Area (2010)
Music For Life (2007)
In My Room (2005)
Supernatural Soul (2000)
Winner: “Best Vocalist Of The Month” Competition
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Shaun Degraff, an acoustic soul/rock singer/songwriter/pianist based in Las Vegas, NV, has won the A...Shaun Degraff, an acoustic soul/rock singer/songwriter/pianist based in Las Vegas, NV, has won the August SingerUniverse “Best Vocalist Of The Month” Competition, for his performance of his song "Everything To Me”. This song is included on DeGraff's 12-song solo album, Grey Area, which he released independently in February (2010).
“Everything To Me” is a driving, dynamic pop/rock tune which is influenced by the piano-based, classic style of Billy Joel, with a touch of Meat Loaf's dramatic flair. The song starts at a high energy level, and steadily builds momentum. "Everything To Me" provides a fine showcase for DeGraff's clear, passionate vocals, particularly in the choruses. Impressively, DeGraff produced this recording, and he played all the instruments (keyboards, drum tracks and programming) on this cut.
DeGraff grew up in the small town of Kingman, which is in southern Arizona. He learned to play piano when he was 14, and began writing songs soon after. DeGraff was inspired by listening to such artists as Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers and Otis Redding.
Following high school, DeGraff attended college briefly, but he then decided to pursue his music career fulltime. "I wanted to perform and tour internationally," recalled DeGraff. "I auditioned for a band that was going to Japan and needed a keyboard player. For the next three years I toured extensively - we played in China, Korea, and we did a USO tour in Bosnia, Sarajevo and Macedonia."
While on the road, DeGraff found time to write songs, and he subsequently recorded two albums, In My Room and Music For Life. These two CDs were released under his band's name, Brother Luke. Notably, In My Room was named Best Modern Rock CD of 2004 by Just Plain Folks, and DeGraff performed at their awards show in Los Angeles.
Then in 2009, DeGraff began recording his latest album Grey Area, which consisted of songs he had written during the past five years. "I played all instruments on this album, which was recorded in my home studio," said DeGraff. "On my previous albums, I tried to be more experimental. But on this album, I'm focusing on more [mainstream] pop and rock songs."
Currently, DeGraff is promoting Grey Area, and the songs have received airplay on FM college radio and on internet radio. In addition, he is developing his solo live show, and he regularly plays gigs in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. "I'm fortunate to make a living as a professional musician, and I'm looking forward to building my solo artist career and touring more."
Will keep your attention as you ponder what new musical delights the next song will hold for you.
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Las Vegas, Nevada artist Shaun Degraff’s latest release ‘Grey Area’ is very appropriately titled as ...Las Vegas, Nevada artist Shaun Degraff’s latest release ‘Grey Area’ is very appropriately titled as the music found on it walks a line between several different styles of music including, singer songwriter, modern rock, jazz classical, hip-hop and soul. Lyrically the songs also alternate from soft and caring to angry and aggressive including the use of several f-bombs in them.
Some of that all over the musical board style might come from his very eclectic list of influences that Degraff list on his MySpace page that includes, Stevie Wonder, Bjork and Bill Withers to Otis Redding, Bob Marley, Beck, Run DMC and Yanni.
Degraff describes his sound as being, “The raw energy of The Killers with the soulful swagger of G Love and the musical prowess of Ben Folds.” And says that his niche is being, ‘The worlds first and best beat boxing piano man.’
Highlight tracks found on ‘Grey Area’ include, “Everything to Me”, a song that features rousing piano work as it deals with having that one special love that grounds your life and when all else fails is your rock to hold on to for the future.
“Green Man”, features interesting keys and rap vocals as it deals with issues of greed and how people use the now very politically correct word ‘green’ as an easy way to make lots of green money!
At the start of the song “Summertime” Degraff talks about always wanting to do the DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince song. The song deals with the lighter fun happenings that revolve around summer and the warm weather. Degraff does a nice job of putting his own unique spin on the song.
For those of you looking for a slower love song, “Snow in Vegas (Your Christmas Song)”, will fit the bill with its gentle vibe as it talks about the song being a gift to his true love.
Shaun Degraff’s music is original and inventive and will keep your attention as you ponder what new musical delights the next song will hold for you.
Set times can go from 45 to 1 hour in length:
1.) Beatbox Intro
2.) Happy Endings
4.) Stay The Same
5.) Radio Intro
6.) Needing Vibrations
7.) You Had Me At Goodbye
8.) Times Like These
10.) Everything To Me