We had the good fortune of connecting with Shea Givens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shea, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
My work life balance has changed quite a bit over time. When I initially moved to California to start my business and pursue my career in music more seriously I was truly hitting the pavement at all times. It was exceptionally tough for me to say no to opportunities at times as well. It was very typical for me to be working at all hours of the day. I’ve since learned how important it is to protect my own energy and make time to care for myself so I can offer my best self to my clients and opportunities. In doing so I am more present in the moment as well instead of feeling the weight of a schedule that constantly paces on to the next task.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a professional singer and songwriter as well as pianist. My artistry tends to fall in the Indie-Soul genre. I believe what sets me apart is the multitude of influences in my personal writing style. I started singing when I was very young. My mother was a professional singer and songwriter as well. I grew up singing along with her constantly. Additionally, I started playing piano at a young age. As time went on, I continued to develop more of my personal style of artistry vocally as well as on piano. My mother always listened to a broad spectrum of music. That definitely impacted my musicality over the years. I grew up in Lake Ozark, Missouri. I moved to Southern California almost 7 years ago now. When I initially moved to the west coast I did not necessarily have a well thought out plan. I had set up a place to live and managed to pick up a job as a server at a nearby restaurant. My basics were technically covered, but I had a lot of ground work to cover as far as figuring out the first step of trying to become a successful musician. I knew I needed to gain experience within the music scene. I started out with finding local open mic nights that I could participate in on the nights I was not working my “day job”. That truly helped me to get started. I made several connections that way and it allowed me to get more comfortable with performing on my own. Over time I started building my hobby into a sustainable business as well as maintaining it as a passion. I did my best to market my skills online and thankfully it has continued to grow. I have been a full-time musician for several years now. It’s an incredible feeling to look back at where I was even 7 years ago when I first moved to California and see all of the progresses that have been made. I look forward to whatever is to come. I would like to encourage any one that is pursuing a career in any form of art to keep going. You will continue to improve and learn as long as you simply do not quit.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When family or friends come to visit me I love to take them to the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego. There are so many different options for great food and entertainment. You will always find something to do. I definitely have some favorites! I absolutely love the food at Suckerfree Southern Plate & Bar plus it doesn’t hurt that they have some great sweet tea to remind me of back home. I also love to visit Salt & Whiskey within the Horton Grand Hotel. They have just about every whiskey imaginable on top of offering live music. I myself have performed there on their grand piano. It has been one of my favorite venues to perform at!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to dedicate my shoutout to my mother. She has definitely been a great influence in my life and continues to be even though we live quite far apart currently. She has been very encouraging towards my business and creative developments. She is quick to offer up any advices she has in order to help my sister and I become successful in our own endeavors. In the past, she has worked several jobs and maintained a full balancing act in order to allow my sister and I opportunities of our own. She has been a great example in many ways for both my sister and I, but one of her best qualities, I believe, has been her resilience. It truly taught me not to give up, but rather to create a new route.
Emily Copeland. Additionally, the guitarist in 2 of the photos is Evan Palmer.