The definitions of mix and mixture are similar but ultimately different; in a mixture, the combined elements lose their individual identities and are fused, blended, or compounded in the result; in a mix, the elements, though combined, retain their individual identities. Shaun DeGraff is neither and both, an artist that melds vintage sound with future technology, slipping in sly remarks, followed by honest appraisal he's a hodgepodge of blithe and backbone. Raised in a small town outside of Las Vegas his formative years were spent listening to 70's style R&B on his dad's radio, or traditional southern gospel at the local LDS church during seminary class; a love for songwriters such as Donnie Hathaway and Otis Redding placed him on the path to becoming the artist he is today. After begging his parents incessantly for a piano, his wish came through in the form of an old out of tune upright; and at fourteen he wrote his first song and started to showcase his gift for storytelling. In high school Shaun discovered the world of b-boys, as well as the music that served as a backdrop and the foundation for modern hip hop. Clinging to the powerful lyrics and social messages of early hip-hop emcees like Grandmaster Mele-Mel and KRS-1; while simultaneously being exposed to the innovations and synth skills of piano giants like Herbie Hancock and George Duke. Shaun began crafting his unmistakable sound in the studio; from the anthems down to the softest ballad, the mix of feverish, unpredictable, dynamic melodies, and earnest everyday life-ness in his lyrics, create a unique style instantly recognizable to fans.
One thing most of the crowd at his shows isn't aware of, is how close this dream was to being unrealized; after Shaun graduated high school he was offered an opportunity to tour with a funk band internationally. During this tour while playing in Japan he received word of his mothers sudden passing; and due to issues with the Japanese consulate, missed her funeral and his opportunity to say goodbye to his biggest fan and best friend. Shaun didn't write another song for five years. In 2005 Shaun noticed what he perceived to be minor health irritations like a slight fever for extended periods of time, as well as a lack of maneuverability in his back and after a few months he sought medical advice; at which point he was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which was accompanied by the prognosis of a loss in dexterity in his limbs, which would end his ability to play piano in the next ten years. That statement was the catalyst in the breakdown, and eventual resurrection of Shaun's music career; he succumbed to a deep depression reaching for all of the cliches Las Vegas could offer, gambling, partying, drugs, lost home, lost car, lost job the works.
One night while asleep in a friends studio apartment on the couch that he was currently calling home he had the dream; there Shaun 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 even now he 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 then began taking the steps to make his life one that he wanted, one of the most important steps came in the form of research, and exploring all avenues in terms of new scientific breakthroughs concerning treatment of his R.A.. That dogged determination led Shaun to contact his native tribe the Chickasaw Nation, who currently are helping to provide the medicine he needs to fight the effects of R.A., which would be nearly impossible to afford as a uninsured musician. Another important step was getting back on the proverbial horse which Shaun did by not only starting to perform again, but by hitting it hard, performing internationally in nine countries playing more and more of his original music and recording dozens of songs. Shaun is currently a resident artist in multiple high profile casinos on The Las Vegas Strip; he's also the bandleader of The Shaun DeGraff Band which which is currently booking private and corporate events.