Shawn Lee (musician)
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|Birth name||Shawn Lee Mahan|
December 28, 1963 |
Wichita, Kansas, United States
|Genres||Funk, soul, psychedelic, jazz, jazz fusion, electronica, ambient, alternative, pop|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, producer|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass, drums, percussion, voice, keyboards|
|Labels||Ubiquity, Wall of Sound, ESL Music, BBE, Ultra, RUSH!, Talkin Loud, Park The Van Records|
|Associated acts||AM & Shawn Lee, The Superimposers|
Shawn Lee (born Shawn Lee Mahan in Wichita, Kansas) is an American musician, producer, award-winning video game composer, and multi-instrumentalist from Wichita (Kansas) who now lives in London, England. He is currently working on a new touring band project with AM entitled "AM & Shawn Lee". AM & Shawn Lee's debut album Celestial Electric was released around the world in 2012 and their new second album La Musique Numérique was released in 2013.
Shawn Lee was born to a mother of Lebanese and American Indian ancestry and a father of Irish American ancestry. Lee has relocated twice in pursuit of his career. He moved to Los Angeles in 1988 where he worked with The Dust Brothers and Jeff Buckley. After being in various bands, performing on The Tonight Show, a publishing deal with EMI and touring on Lollapolooza, Lee moved to London, England. There he signed a solo record deal with Talkin' Loud.
This resulted in an album Discomfort which was only promo released in France 1996. In 2000, Lee released Monkey Boy on Wall of Sound Records. The album included Lee's song "Happiness", which was later recorded by million selling British artist Will Young.
The year of 2004 saw the release the album Soul Visa, in Japan only, on Rush Production!. Soul Visa was later released in 2006 worldwide under the BBE label. The album Harmonium was released in 2005 in Japan, again under Rush Production!.
As Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra, Lee has released 10 albums on US label Ubiquity Records : Music and Rhythm, Moods and Grooves, Strings and Things, Voices and Choices, Hits the Hits, A Very Ping Pong Xmas, Miles of Styles" , "Under The Sun" film soundtrack, Clutch of the Tiger with Clutchy Hopkins and Shawn Lee presents Soul in the Hole.
Lee's music has appeared in many films such as Ocean's Thirteen, The Break-Up, and Confessions of a Shopaholic, as well as on television series, such as CSI: Miami, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Nip Tuck, Ugly Betty, and Eastbound and Down, and the Mack Dawg Productions snowboard movie Picture This. Shawn Lee also scored the Rockstar Games video game Bully in 2006. Bully was twice nominated for best score from Gamespot (winner) and Spike VGA (Video Game Awards). He composed some pieces for The Getaway before working on Bully's score.
Lee also scored UK/Swiss feature film Save Angel Hope, which is yet to be released. The 2008 surf documentary film Under The Sun also features an original Shawn Lee soundtrack released on Ubiquity Records. In 2009, his song "Kiss the Sky" with Nino Moschella was featured on the second season finale of Life, as well as in the first season finale of the HBO comedy Eastbound & Down and the penultimate episode of the fifth season of Nip/Tuck.
Lee continues to live in London working on an array of new albums in his studio "Trans-Yank." These include collaborations with Clutchy Hopkins, Tony Joe White, Darondo, Money Mark and Tommy Guerrero. He also frequently performs with London-based electronica band Psapp, both on record and at live engagements.
Since 2011, Lee has collaborated with indie artist AM, who he showcased with at the 2011 South By Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. After AM heard Lee's "Music and Rhythm" album on the radio in Los Angeles, he decided to reach out to Lee on a now defunct social networking site. The two became quick friends, sharing a common love for 60's psychedelia and 70's Italian soundtracks. AM & Shawn Lee released their debut album Celestial Electric to critical acclaim in September 2011 on ESL Music. The first single from the album, "Dark Into Light, was released on limited edition 12" vinyl on the Ubiquity label April 16, 2011 in honor of Record Store Day. When Rob Garza from Thievery Corporation heard the collaboration, he signed the debut album Celestial Electric to his record label ESL (Eighteenth Street Lounge). Due to ESL restructuring to be a digital only record, label, AM & Shawn Lee brought their second album La Musique Numérique to Park The Van Records.
Shawn Lee has also worked with many artists such as Lana Del Rey, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keyes, Princess Superstar, Natacha Atlas, Money Mark, Bei Bei and Georgia Anne Muldrow.
Most recently, he helped spawn the new buzz band Wild Belle quite by accident. NOMO's Elliot Bergman had spent the better part of the summer building and recording electric kalimbas in Brooklyn, when label-mate Shawn Lee asked him to send over a kalimba track for his new album. Lee, based in London, added some funky drums, bass and a smattering of steel drums, and sent it back to Bergman. When Bergman's sister, Natalie, heard the instrumental track destined for Shawn's album, she decided that she had to add some vocals. She stayed up all night writing the tune and recorded the vocals in garage band for the song "Upside Down," which soon lead to a record deal with Columbia.
AM & Shawn Lee
- Celestial Electric (ESL Music, 2011)
- La Musique Numérique (Park the Van, 2013) 
- Outlines (Celestial Electric Music, 2015)
- Soul in the Hole (Ubiquity Records)
- Soul Visa (Rush! Japan)
- Soul Visa (BBE)
- Harmonium (Rush! Japan)
- Monkeyboy (Wall of Sound)
- Discomfort (Talking Loud)
- Ape Breaks vol 1-5 (Ubiquity Records)
- Planet Of The Breaks (Zero G)
- Beneath the Planet Of The Breaks (Zero G)
- Lord Newborn and The Magic Skulls (collab. with Money Mark and Tommy Guerrero) (Ubiquity Records)
- Into the Wind (collaboration with Bei Bei He) (Ubiquity)
- Bully Soundtrack (Ultra)
- Tabla Rock (Ubiquity)
- Synthesizers In Space (ESL Music, 2012)
- Exit Music: Songs with Radio Heads (Track "No Surprises") (Barely Breaking Even Records and Rapster Records, 2006)
Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra
- Under The Sun Soundtrack (Ubiquity)
- Miles of Styles (Ubiquity)
- Hits The Hits (Ubiquity)
- A Very Ping Pong Christmas (Ubiquity)
- Voices and Choices (Ubiquity)
- Strings and Things (Ubiquity)
- Moods and Grooves (Ubiquity)
- Music and Rhythm (Ubiquity)
- Hooked Up Classics (Ubiquity, 2010)
- World of Funk (Ubiquity, 2011)
- Reel To Reel (Ubiquity, 2012)
- Cars To Trucks (Ubiquity, 2013)
Shawn Lee & Clutchy Hopkins
Video game soundtracks
- "Dark Into Light" with AM AM (musician)
- "Miles of Smiles" (Ubiquity Records)
- "Kiss the Sky" (Ubiquity Records)
- "Psychedelic Sambai" (Ubiquity Records)
- "Mary Jane" (BBE)
- "The Mattress" (Eclectic Breaks)
- "So Much Trouble" (Scenario)
- "The Incredible Shrinking Man" (Ape City)
- "I Can't Save You" (We Love You/WOS)
- "Kill Somebody" (We Love You/WOS)
- "Happiness" (We Love You/WOS) (2000)
- "Unpaid Debt" (For Us/Rough Trade)
- "We Love Yule" (Wall O Sound)
- "Cryin' Blue ('Til my Eyes are Red)" (Talkin Loud)
- Ranta, Alan (2013-04-03). "AM & Shawn Lee Gear Up for 'La Musique Numérique,' Plot "Sounds of Summer" North American Tour". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
- "Biography". shawnlee.net. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- Exposition du 26 février au 2 avril 2011 – Maison du livre, de l’image et du son
- Martin, Andrew (2008-11-19). "Shawn Lee & Clutchy Hopkins: Clutch of the Tiger". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-04-03.