Some time ago I came across a young man from France that captured my attention. I remember that it wasn’t his music that first captured my attention but rather the fact that I was witnessing a young man who was marching to the beat of his own drum. As I got to know him better I found out that he was not looking for immediate fame or to be discovered by a record producer. Instead, he was just enjoying his ability to express himself through his own musical style and producing his own CD as an independent artist. You can find an article that he wrote and was published to The Skykid.com entitled “How I Made My Self-Produced EP”. Because most of the featured articles I have published here are for the purpose of helping a youngster find his way to a record label, I thought it might be refreshing to have one that is here solely for the purpose of introducing a young talent who desires to make it on his own. While this is not always the easiest way of being discovered I have to say that I greatly admire his tenacity, dedication and passion for his musical talent. Shane Foxx was born and raised in the French Riviera by his Spanish father and French mother. Through his early youth, Shane often preferred being alone and frequently lived a solitary life not interacting much with his peers. At the same time, Shane seemed to enjoy the company of older friends and adults, because he could hold better conversations with them than with youngsters his own age. He confessed that many times he became lonesome, lost in his dreams and thoughts, and lacked attention to his studies in school, finding them boring. He preferred writing poems and stories in his notebook. Regardless, Shane was still an accomplished student earning good grades. Because his parents worried about his (self-isolation) and desiring him to be less shy, they encouraged him to try acting as a means of expression. This proved to be a great outlet, and Shane soon found himself addicted to the stage! For a few years he performed in many plays and a few short movies. One of the plays required Shane to sing a song which gave birth to his interest in singing and motivated him to join his school’s choir. It was around this time that he discovered the music of Billy Gilman and loved singing along with him while at home. Like most kids, Shane had many interests. Aside from singing, Shane enjoyed reading novels and fantasy books, playing chess, solving puzzles, and playing strategy and logic games. He also enjoyed using his father’s camera, taking photographs. In addition Shane enjoyed participating in sports, often practicing tennis, martial arts, until he discovered rollerblading and skateboarding which became his favorite recreational activity. In 2006, Shane moved from the Riviera to Lyon. This was quite a change and it was an excellent opportunity for a fresh start! He met new friends who were into independent films, books and music, and as it fit Shane’s interests they became very close. That is how Shane started going to concerts to watch local bands performing live. It was fairly new to him and he adored this!
He started listening to a lot of music, staying eclectic, but focusing more on indie bands, folk and anti-folk music, lo-fi and everything he could discover. Shane fell in love with music. It became natural to befriend the local musicians that he saw live on a regular basis, such as the band Coming Soon. He liked talking to the singers at the end of their shows, such as Cocoon, Christophe Adam, Saint Augustine, the Delano Orchestra, and other national and international artists.
Soon after that he met a boy who would change his life. Zak Laughed started playing the ukulele after meeting one of his favorite singers backstage after a show, and that’s what happened to Shane too. Shane listened to Zak’s advice to buy a ukulele, and he taught himself how to play it so he could play with his friends. That little instrument became an addiction to Shane who found in it a way to express himself more than before. His friend Theou Mounoukou helped him progress a lot, and he regularly met other ukulele players to jam in the park.
It was during this time that he created his stage name, Shane Foxx. His real name being the French version of Matthew, he thought it strange to call himself Matthew Fox, as he is not the doppelganger of the famous actor Matthew Fox! So he found a random name that he liked and added an X to the “Fox.” It might sound random but it is very important to Shane to separate his musical ‘career’ and his real life, even by a name.
Shane has been influenced by many different kinds of music. His mates (Zak Laughed, Coming Soon, Howard Hughes, Eric Bradford, etc) are his biggest inspirations, as well as Johnny Cash, The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, Nick Drake, Belle and Sebastian, Simon & Garfunkel, Jay Brannan, Patrick Watson, Chris Garneau, Scott Matthew, Jonathan Richman, The Avett Brothers, Bill Callahan, Rufus Wainwright, Jeffrey Lewis, Andrew Bird, Eels, Stanley Brinks – and many others! Shane is a very complete boy with a lot of musical interests. He doesn’t define himself as a singer, but rather as a “random boy making a lot of music”. A few weeks after starting to play the ukulele, Shane wrote and composed many songs comprising things he felt the need to express. Growing up in a background of French and Spanish along with visits to his family in Spain in the summer. led Shane to be passionate about other languages. He taught himself English by talking to online pen pals, and also has some understanding of Croatian and Italian. He chose the English language to write his songs in, knowing that they could appeal to an even larger international audience. By the summer of 2008 Shane was comfortable enough with his playing and his singing that he finally opened a YouTube account, to share his covers and originals with his friends. In the fall of 2008 he was discovered on MySpace by some local bars and concert halls, so he did a few gigs that he thoroughly enjoyed. In the summer of 2010, Shane decided to record his first songs into an EP before his voice breaks. “The Last Memories of My Youth” was self-produced and a completion that he is very proud of. Having already self taught himself the guitar Shane now desires to purchase a piano or another musical instrument to learn something new. He wants to take time to mature, and to get more involved in his career in the future. Shane never plans to stop singing, and keeps uploading songs to YouTube, either on his personal channel, or every Tuesday on his collab channel “FollowTheMusicians.” Shane is now focusing on a CD with covers of his favorite songs. The album will contain covers of unknown songs from independent bands, as well as some Leonard Cohen or Beatles classics on the piano or guitar. As Shane is very involved with causes such as Autism and Asperger’s syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis research, and LGBT support, profits from this album will be given to charity. More recently, Shane is focusing a little more on this personal life and what he wants to do. He dreams to be a musician of course, but would like to explore other paths for a career. As Shane always loved languages and traveling he might think of a job in tourism. With his passion for literature, Shane was also considering being a librarian or a book seller – or maybe something that combines his various hobbies (music, books and movies) and his writing aspirations, so he would love to be a review/critic or journalist for a magazine. In closing I leave you with a short collection of the songs that Shane has given me to share with you here. Please listen to them and be sure to contact him letting him know which ones you enjoyed the most. My personal favorite of his renditions is, his cover of “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”.
[ti_audio name=”Shane Foxx”]
- “Where Have All The Flowers Gone
- “Recoverd of Dust”
- “Who By Fire”
Whatever this young man decides to do with his future I know it will be brilliant. His creativity coupled with a wonderful soft yet determined personality will help him fulfill his wildest dreams. I have a lot of confidence in Shane and will continue to follow his development in his music as the years allow me.