The San Francisco native, singer-songwriter, and versatile recording artist Shawn Brown reflect on his roots with a soulful and bright single, "Angel of Oakland."
Known for his genre-defying sound, Shawn Brown blurs the lines between soul, r&b, guitar-based pop, and heavy rock n' roll. After his long hiatus from music, Shawn Brown is back and better than ever, collaborating with acts like Grecco Buratto, Rafa Lima, and Brendan Buckley for his latest 3-track EP, 'Angel of Oakland.'
Highlighting the lead single and title track of the EP, "Angel of Oakland," Shawn Brown mentioned that the song offers an anthemic love letter to his adopted hometown. Through this smooth-sailing single, listeners are able to bask in the heart and soul that Shawn Brown's performance has to offer while feeling a chill or two-run up their spine with help from the song's passionate instrumentation.
Hitting play on the single, "Angel of Oakland," the song opens with a gleaming lead guitar alongside a warm acoustic, a thumping bassline, and a mid-tempo drum arrangement. As Shawn Brown's heavy and soulful vocals begin to shine through, he begins to reminisce on the town that had a significant influence on his upbringing.
We love the song's overall passion and heart, especially as the brilliant instrumentals continue to pierce our speakers in all sorts of emotion that perfectly emphasize Shawn Brown's honest and reflective lyricism. As Brown leads us towards the song's end, he leaves us with nothing but heart and emotion as he closes the song on a highly reminiscent note.
Feed your soul with Shawn Brown's latest single, "Angel of Oakland," and catch the entire 'Angel of Oakland' EP on all digital streaming platforms.
We adore the passion and honest emotion you've delivered with your recent single, "Angel of Oakland." What inspired your heartfelt lyrical content within this piece?
Thanks for the love of the song! I’d had the bones of “Angel of Oakland” for a few years. Back when I was writing tunes in Nashville, it was always one of those jams that I was hesitant to offer up in writing sessions to other artists. It just seemed like one I should save for myself. Is that selfish?! Up until very recently, I’d lived in Oakland for many years and it's still such a special place for me. I always loved those tunes that locate the listener to a specific place and wanted to do that with this one too. Almost like a “Walking in Memphis” but for Oakland. To be clear, I’m not comparing the two songs lol, (“Walking in Memphis” might be the most perfect song ever written) but the intention is similar for sure...
Who helped you navigate the sonic atmosphere and instrumental arrangements for "Angel of Oakland?" How did you create the song's atmosphere to amplify your passionate lyricism?
It’s been pretty wild! Right before the pandemic really kicked off, I had really been fired up about getting back to my own music. I’d reunited Shawn Brown Trio and had booked a ton of shows to get back into the groove of playing. While it ended up being clear that none of those shows were going to happen, Rafa Lima (SBT bassist) and I were already off and running on developing the songs and just pivoted into a recording project. Rafa brought in Grecco Buratto (guitarist for Shakira, Gwen Stafani, Pink) and Grecco brought in Brendan Buckley (drummer for Shakira, Perry Farrell, Tegan, and Sara). So before I knew it, we had this killer all-star band cutting these new tracks. Due to the pandemic, everyone was sitting around at home, so recording parts and developing the sound was actually pretty simple. With guys like that, you just sit back and let them do their thing and the energy of the song just explodes out of that.
How did you want the listener to feel after listening and experiencing your single, "Angel of Oakland?" What did you want them to take away from this piece?
Overall, I wanted the song to be a fun summer jam. It has a bit of that anthemic, sing-along thing going, so that’s the flavor we were shooting for. Sunny days, driving with the top down, not care-in-the-world type stuff!
How does the single "Angel of Oakland" set the tone for the entire EP, 'Angel of Oakland?' Should we expect to hear a similar heartfelt approach throughout the entire project?
It’s been interesting getting the early feedback on the full EP. The 3 songs on “Angel of Oakland” are actually very different. When I write songs just for me, I always wear my heart on my sleeve. So that's a real throughline for the songs. Overall these 3 songs are a really good representation of the types of songs I’ve always written. I’m super happy that we were able to develop the sound of this slamming new studio band and then we just ran the songs through that lens. So hopefully there’s a fun cohesion there.
What's next for you?
So as it turns out, the EP “Angel of Oakland” is actually the first of two EPs that we’re making with this same killer group. My hope is to get the second one out in the fall! It’s sounding incredible, so I can’t wait for folks to hear these new songs too. I’m back getting shows booked too, which is crazy exciting. In the meantime, it’s all about getting the word about “Angel of Oakland” out there. It’s a fun one!