Shan Pasha
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Shan Pasha

East Bernard, Texas, United States | SELF

East Bernard, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Meet Shan Pasha, Folk Rocker/Law School Student"

When he was 16 years old, Shan Pasha had entered a realm that only a chosen few in the teenage academia world have had the opportunity to undertake. He was a full-time college student, getting a significant leg-up on his peers. Though it takes someone special to get into college earlier than most, Shan (pronounced Shawn) was just as uniquely talented as the 59 other kids in the early admission program he entered in the small town of Beaumont, Texas. But his talent stood out louder than many. With an acoustic guitar in hand, Shan had put his musical chops on full display, reminding many of his classmates of the bohemian-like folk crooners of today and yesteryear. This author actually bore witness to this and produced thoughts of Cat Stevens but with crazy beautiful blue eyes.

Fast-forward to today and Mr. Pasha is getting a leg-up on the legal world as a burgeoning law student at the University of Houston. Of course, like any law student this side of Columbia/Yale/Harvard, Shan is broke. Really, if songs like “I Need Money” are any indication. It’s personal issues like this and many of his daily observances (i.e. a song called “Fogo,” inspired by a Brazilian restaurant) that have caught on with a humble following on his Facebook page.

IndieWinner Matt Guillermo spoke with Shan, 23, about his inspiration behind his 60-second songs, life as a teen college student, and what he wants John Lennon to say to him.

Matt Guillermo: First of all, I checked out your music on your Facebook site and it’s got a really happy-go-lucky sound with some angsty type of lyrics. What personally goes into your music composition?

Shan Pasha: Well, when I write my songs, I usually write a simple rhythm guitar part, which I guess mirrors my attitude at the time. I write my lyrics after the song is recorded in its entirety. I like to keep my lyrics short and sweet, to get my message across within two minutes or less. A lot of my angsty lyrics come from every day frustrations–from school, relationships, to financial difficulties.
MG: What artists inspire your sound?
SP: A ton! The Beatles, Bon Iver, the National, Sufjan Stevens, The Strokes are my main influences. M. Ward, the Middle East, Wolf Parade. I’m a music junkie! I enjoy all types of music.
MG: As someone who appreciates the indie scene, what do you think of the music currently coming out? Does it encourage you to work harder at your music?
SP: I love the music that’s coming out right now. Honestly, a lot of it makes me want to quit law school and focus on it solely. But I can’t do that. [laughs]
MG: You have a unique background as far as your journey academically. Describe to me your musical pursuit early on as a 16-year-old college student.
SP: When I was 16, I had the opportunity to be a part of a gifted and talented students program. I left home and lived in the dorms at the university. Here, I met some incredibly influential people that helped mold my musical tastes. When I was 16, the “cool kids” listened to Modest Mouse, The Strokes, Built to Spill, and other bands along those lines. I think, if I didn’t attend the [college program], my music tastes would be drastically different.
MG: So we would be hearing an anti-establishment grungy Shan Pasha today?
SP: Well, I was really into old punk music, like Operation Ivy, The Misfits, and what not. So, chances are, I wouldn’t have evolved much.
MG: You are a musician who is also a devout Muslim. Of course, we know of at least one other musician in history who’s made a transition into Islam [Cat Stevens]. Do you feel the virtues and discipline of your faith show in your music?
SP: Honestly, I’ve never really thought of the connection between my music and my belief in Islam. The two play similar yet different roles in my life. I don’t really see the virtues and disciplines of Islam emanating from my songs. I don’t consider my music “Muslim” songs. I am, however, a Muslim who writes songs. Essentially, I identify as a Muslim, but I don’t necessarily write Islamic-themed songs. That’s not to say that I won’t in the future. If I’m inspired, I won’t rule it out.
MG: What makes you stand out musically and personally, especially to music listeners who have yet to hear you?
SP: I feel that my music is raw, which people can relate to. It’s not over-produced. In fact, I’d say it’s under-produced. I record all the music on my desktop computer with a cheap Radioshack microphone. It’s the epitome of “lo-fi.” I love music. My songs illustrate this love. Everyone can relate to failed relationships, boredom, and hope. I write songs that, I think, captures these feelings and situations in a way that’s not pretentious. They are simple, yet layered and complex. Short and sweet. Happy and angry. Writing music is a hobby. I’d continue writing my songs even if no one took interest in them. It’s therapeutic. And I think, that my listeners will be able to appreciate this.
MG: I’m gonna close this interview pulling a page from the James Lipton book of interviewing. No thorough thoughts with these answers. What you feel first. What’s your favorite song?
SP: “Where Will the Children Play,” Cat Stevens.
MG: Favorite instrument to play other than the guitar, bass, keyboards, or drums.
SP: Cowbell.
MG: What profession would you like to have if the music thing or law school did not work out?
SP: I’d like to learn how to cook professionally.
MG: Your musical hero?
SP: John Lennon. Without a doubt.
MG: And if you met John Lennon, assuming he’s looking down on you specifically, what would you like to hear him say?
SP: “I’m a loser and I’m not what I appear to be.”
- Indiewin


Most of my music is available for streaming on my facebook music page or myspace.



I, Shan Pasha, have been writing songs since I was 15 years old. I finally got around to recording them and shared them with my friends. They loved my songs and suggested that I start performing them live. I took heed to their advice.

What sets me apart? I think most musicians are trying to get the crisp, over-produced recordings -- I'm taking a different route. I love lo-fi recordings where you can hear 'mess ups.' I think it gives character to the music. I record all my music on a desktop computer with a cheap microphone. Essentially, my music is raw.

Bands that influence me: The Beatles, Local Natives, Sufjan Stevens, Deerhunter, Atlas Sound, Broken Social Scene, The Strokes, The National, Bon Iver, The Roots -- among many others.

My story -- I'm in law school, specifically, second year. I write a lot of songs on the weekend as a form of relaxation. I'll be studying to take the bar exam in a year, which means I'll be a licensed attorney. I would love to both practice law and have a music career.

Shan - Vocals, Guitar
Michael - Vocals Guitar
Nader - Vocals, Bass, Percussion
Travis - Drums
Russell - Vocals, Percussion
Pelin - Clarinet
Evin -Flute