Shannon Curtis performing at the Hotel Café, Los Angeles. Photo by Paul Franco.
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, US|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, musician, author|
|Labels||Saint Cloud Records|
Shannon Curtis is an American dreampop singer, songwriter, pianist, and author.
Early life and first band
Curtis grew up in Stockton, California, and was raised Baptist. Curtis grew up listening to Contemporary Christian Music, as well as singing along to her dad playing 40s-era standards on the family's baby grand piano.
Curtis learned to sing in church, and began playing the piano at age four. A piano teacher once told her she played the piano "like a boy." After college, Curtis formed the rock/pop group Paradigm, which became a popular act on the college touring circuit. The band separated in 2006.
After dissolving Paradigm, Curtis turned her attention full-time to writing, and in 2007 released her debut solo EP, Boomerangs & Seesaws. Curtis began touring nationally in support of this EP, which was followed by a second EP, Paris Can't Have You, in March 2008. Both EPs were produced by Curtis's husband, producer/engineer Jamie Hill. Curtis's song "Before the Sun," from Boomerangs & Seesaws, was featured on MTV's hit show "The Hills."
In 2008, Grammy-winning producer Charlie Peacock (Civil Wars, Amy Grant, Sixpence None The Richer) heard Curtis's track "Boomerangs & Seesaws" on her MySpace page, and contacted Curtis and offered to work on her next recording at his studio in Nashville. To finance the project, Curtis released a limited-edition fan club single of her song "Get Outta Town," the sales of which paid for her travel and recording expenses.
2010 and 2011 saw Curtis retrenching, writing, touring, and developing her sound. Writing on her website in 2011, she said, "I grew up in a pretty traditional musical environment, and when I started writing songs, I gravitated to the piano, because that's what I grew up playing. But my husband, Jamie, has a whole bunch of non-traditional instruments sitting around our house, and finally my curiosity got the better of me and I started playing around with them. We did 'Brightest Light' with that in mind, and wow! I feel like it's a huge step forward. It's like I have more colors to paint my little scenes with. It's really exciting."
Curtis released two 10-track maxi-singles in 2011, for the songs "Brightest Light in the Room" and "Let's Stay In," both of which showcased her evolving sound. Where before Curtis had used mostly natural acoustic-based instruments, these songs featured prominent drum machines and synthesizers. "Brightest Light in the Room" was written for two female US Army veterans on the occasion of their wedding engagement.
On June 18, 2013, Curtis released her debut full-length album of downtempo dreampop, Cinemascope, produced by her husband, Jamie Hill. Cinemascope was subsequently nominated in the 2014 Independent Music Awards in the category of Best Producer.
Curtis released her follow-up album Metaforma on June 17, 2014. Curtis also released a companion acoustic album on the same day, entitled Personal Songs Volume 1. Curtis initially sold this album only at shows, eventually releasing it worldwide on October 21, 2014.
Curtis was the winner of the 2007 Winery Music Awards.
Curtis has done 11 national and 5 regional tours since 2007. She often makes reference to her 2002 Volkswagen Jetta, which she drives when on tour. The Jetta's wheel was used as the picture on the CD single of "Get Outta Town." Curtis announced on Twitter on September 28, 2014 that her Jetta had hit 333,333 miles.
House Concert Touring and Book
Frustrated with what she characterized as difficulty making progress on the traditional club and coffeehouse touring circuit, Curtis started experimenting in 2011 with supplementing her regular touring schedule with house concerts. She found house concerts to be "the most rewarding, fulfilling, and successful kind of touring I’ve ever done," and soon abandoned traditional touring to focus exclusively on house concert touring. Curtis developed a highly profitable model for house concert touring, and in February 2014 published a how-to book detailing her method, titled "No Booker, No Bouncer, No Bartender: How I Made $25K On A 2-Month House Concert Tour (And How You Can Too)."
Curtis lives in Los Angeles. She is married to producer/engineer Jamie Hill.
- Boomerangs & Seesaws EP (2007)
- Paris Can't Have You EP (2008)
- Why Don't You Stay? EP (2009)
- "I play the piano and sing love songs" (2010)
- Cinemascope (2013)
- Metaforma (2014)
- Personal Songs Volume 1 (2014)
- "Shannon Curtis Boomerangs & Seesaws on CDBaby". CD Baby. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- "Shannon Curtis Paris Can't Have You on CDBaby". CD Baby. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- "Shannon Curtis: After Two Popular Indie EP Releases, "The Love Child of Fiona Apple and Norah Jones" Taps Her Fan Base to Help Fund Her Latest EP, 'Why Don't You Stay?'". Reuters. July 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- "My New Sound?". shannoncurtis.net. June 14, 2011. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Singer/Songwriter Shannon Curtis Turns "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" into "I Do"". Cherrygrrl.com. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
- "The NEW SINGLE is HERE". http://shannoncurtis.net. August 27, 2012. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "iTunes – Music – Cinemascope by Shannon Curtis". iTunes. June 18, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "The Independent Music Awards: Nominees : Producer : Album". Independent Music Awards. March 11, 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
- "iTunes - Music - Metaforma by Shannon Curtis". iTunes. June 17, 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
- "iTunes - Music - Personal Songs, Vol. 1 by Shannon Curtis". iTunes. October 21, 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
- "Winery Music Awards: results and rankings". Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- "Shannon Curtis on Twitter: In which The Little Jetta turns 333,333". Twitter.com. September 28, 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
- "What's Your Deal, Shannon Curtis? - Pyragraph". Pyragraph.com. August 12, 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
- "Amazon.com: No Booker, No Bouncer, No Bartender: How I Made $25K On A 2-Month House Concert Tour (And How You Can Too)". Amazon.com. February 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-20.
- "Shannon Curtis bio" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-11-29.