Tolan Shaw reveals new single "Let's Go"
San Diego-native Tolan Shaw unveils new single “Let’s Go”.
Co-written with Patricia Bahia and produced by Bobby Holland, “Let’s Go” came from his love for travel and adventure. After an inspiring trip in Southeast Asia, Shaw came up with the single concept.
With this new single, Shaw encourages people to get out of their comfort zones and explore new horizons.
Now based in Nashville, the musician recently went on tour with BoDeans, and co-wrote “Could I Love You Any more” by Filipino artist Renée Dominique featuring Jason Mraz, released in May.
“Let’s Go” is now available worldwide.
Hi Tolan ! How are you? What have you been up to?
Hiiiii. I'm great. I've moved to Nashville and have been writing music like crazy. For myself. For other artists. For film and tv. I joined a band called the Bodeans as a backing guitarist/vocalist (I was opening for them all last year) and have been touring with them. And of course been playing small "writer rounds" and cultivating a community and writing space here in Nashville. And in any small amounts of time when I'm not touring, writing, or releasing new music, I go and travel with my wife Sarah :)
"Let's Go" is your new single - what's the story behind this song?
“Let’s Go” was born out of my joy of travel and adventure. It’s my travel anthem. My wife and I are the types of people to save all of our money to take off and explore. We try to get out of our comfort zones, get past our “bubble” at home, and learn as much as we can about the world, as often as we can. This song was written in conjunction with one of our recent trips: a 4 month backpacking journey through Southeast Asia. I hope this song encourages people to broaden their horizons and jump off into some sort of adventure as well. “If you never try, you never know.”
When did you start writing this song?
It was soon after I came back from my Southeast Asia trip. I got together with my friend Patricia Bahia in LA, and she actually had a film and TV brief (kind of like a songwriting assignment) requesting travel songs.. So it started as a song directed towards film and TV, but we got so inspired by that theme that we wrote something we both loved and that works great with my artist project and with me as a human.
Who helped you create this single?
Patricia was the other songwriter on it. Our friend Bobby Holland produced the track, and I love what he did with it. That warm, organic, world-ly sounding vibe was all him and his awesome studio. I also had one of my best Nashville buddies Kramer Sell lay down a bunch of percussion that gives the song its forward motion and movement.
At what point did you realize "Let's Go" had to be a single?
I think the travel theme just resonated with me so much, and I love the sing-a-long chorus that I think has some commercial appeal as well. It just felt right that it would be my next song. Also, when I play the song at shows, people have LOVED it, which is always a good sign. I suppose it's a mix of me just loving the song, my audience digging it, and music industry professionals I trust giving great feedback on it.
What do you like the most about this single?
Definitely the lyric. I think Patricia and I found a good balance between poetic and real. And it honestly describes my wife and how we live our lives. Taking risks. Expanding our comfort zone. Jumping off into new horizons. When I sing it it resonates deeply with me. And of course I love the recording and how Bobby and Kramer brought it to life.
Could you tell us a little bit about the artwork?
The artwork was done by my friend Erin Nogle in San Diego. She has done a lot of my visuals for my previous releases. We kind of conceived of the idea together. My photographers Kevin and Rebecca Joelson and I had the idea to do some sort of double exposure with that side profile portrait we took. And I had a bunch of cool photos from our travels, which I simply sent to Erin and she created a great collage within my portrait. I am so happy at how the art came out!
As a big traveller yourself, what biggest lessons have you learned during your trips?
I think the biggest lessons for me are:
- I've learned how to better go with the flow, and how to not let things affect me as much. After more than ten 15-20 hour bus rides in third world countries I think you get the hang of it haha.
- I think seeing and learning about different cultures creates an open mindedness about how other people live, interact, and deal with life.. I think travel helps to just be understanding and empathetic of all different races/religions/histories of people. And people of all kinds in our own countries as well...
-And pack light (haha).
You recently got to co-write "Could I Love you Any More" by Jason Mraz & Renée Dominique - could you describe us the songwriting process?
Yes! That was exciting. The song is doing well too and people all around Asia are really connecting to it. I got together with a few co-writers in January with the intention of writing for Renee Dominique - who is an awesome singer and YouTube star in the Philippines. We wrote a verse, chorus, and bridge of a swooning love ballad, and we sent it to Jason Mraz and Renee to write a second verse and add some creative input. They put their two cents in, Jason rewrote the chorus, and he loved the song enough to want to sing it as a duet with Renee! So he brought her onstage for 2 huge shows in Manila and Singapore, and the song kind of took off in Asia after it's release. It's my first "major label cut"!
You now live in Nashville - How does this city impact your creativity?
Nashville is an epicenter of creativity. There are so many talented writers, producers, and artists, that any day of the week you can set up a coffee meeting, 2 songwriting sessions, play a songwriter round, and then go to an amazing show all in one day. And all of that just fosters your creativity and inspires you to create and push your own art and to learn more and more about your craft. I am so happy about the move here and the talented people I am meeting and collaborating with. It has been a dream and it was needed to get me out of my bubble and beyond my comfort zone. I'm pushing my songwriting to new levels and hopefully making headway toward better and better songwriting and artistry.
What message do you want to give to the readers of this blog?
Create. Whatever it is you want to create. And do it mainly for yourself, simply because the act of creating is the best part of it, not the product.
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