Ryan Shaw was born in 1980 in Decatur, Georgia and grew up in a deeply religious Pentecostal family. He began singing in church at the age of five and later formed a family group with his four brothers called the Shaw Boys. After briefly attending Georgia State University, Ryan went on to perform in the gospel musical A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Part II) and then joined the cast of I Know I've Been Changed. Ryan came to New York with this production and performed to sold-out crowds at the Beacon Theater. One night in 2006, player/producer Jimmy Bralower came down to hear Ryan sing at a small Lower East Side club and was blown away by what he heard. Bralower and player/producer Johnny Gale worked with Shaw to cut four tracks and then his One Haven/Columbia debut album This Is Ryan Shaw. On this album Ryan dug deep into the "soul mine" for overlooked gems by obscure artists like the Combo Kings and the Sharpees along with more familiar songs made famous by Wilson Pickett, Jackie Wilson, and Bobby Womack.
“Ryan Shaw is a modern day soul man with a spiritual heart that the world is in need of,” said Bruce Warren, assistant general manager of programming for WXPN. “He's an exciting performer and has a set of pipes that will blow roofs off of arenas. Ryan is bringing back ‘real soul’ and `R&B’ for the modern world.”
According to WXPN music director Dan Reed, “Shaw has an incredible voice, real `goose bump’ stuff. It seems easy to compare him to soul giants like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke but - in this case - the comparisons are warranted.”
For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month’s featured artist, visit Artist To Watch.
The XPN Artists To Watch series reflects WXPN’s commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.
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