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All Country News Spotlight: Austin Shawn Shares His Journey From Texas To Top Nashville Producer

Updated: May 9, 2023

Peel back the country music curtain and you will find that to make one song, dozens of creative minds are involved. You have the songwriters, the session musicians and the producers.

Fort Worth, Texas area native Austin Shawn, is one of those unsung heroes. The top tier producer has spent 43 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Country Producer Charts, if you think about that, it is almost a year. Not to mention 11 consecutive weeks at No. 1. Shawn also spent 36 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 Producer Charts.

"Music has always been apart of my life," Austin told All Country News. "But the funny part is, no one else in my family is vert musical. Around five or six I picked up a guitar and at thirteen I really started diving into songwriting."

Early in his teen years, Austin found another music avenue that could help him flex his creative muscles, producing. Growing up in the age of YouTube, Austin stumbled upon artists like pop star Charlie Puth recording their own music and throwing it up on the popular platform. "I was in the stage of writing and singing my own music. I wanted to share my music with people, so I figured I needed to figure out how to also produce my own."

Austin's tenacity lead him to his mom buying him a 200 dollar producing rig from Guitar Center. From there Austin's love and talent only grew. The completely self taught chart topper credits YouTube for helping him perfect his craft, plus an unlikely High School gig.

"In high school I worked at my church as a front of house mix engineer. But I also played bass and acoustic guitar. So I would get everything all dialed in then run up to play."

At 19, feeling the pull of bigger dreams ahead, Austin packed his bags and headed to Music City. Not knowing a soul there, Austin took it upon himself to create his own opportunities. While sitting at East Nashville coffee spot Barista Parlor, the eager producer would DM fellow rising creatives. Clearly Shawn's talent and charm took the notice of others. Offering demos for other artists turned into offer to produce EPs and albums for indies around town. After telling himself if after a year if things didn't work out he would head back to Texas, Austin's networking paid off and he hasn't looked back.

They say Nashville is a who you know town, and Austin's journey is no exception. After producing acts around town, a management company reached out to Austin about a young rising talent, Bailey Zimmerman.

"Bailey drove down from Illinois to write with me. That day we worked a track called Small Town Crazy that Bailey had started. I had just met this kid but we clicked. We talked about dirt bikes and lifted trucks for like three hours. I knew this kid was a star from day one."

That spark has now lead to one of the biggest artist/producer duos in the genre to date. Since their meeting the pair have been a force in country music, collorbating on massive hits like Fall In Love and Rock And A Hard Place.

"I started to get a sense of his sound and his sonic identity. He is a small-town kid, he has a raspy voice and is just honest." Austin's sharp ear and country music know-how helped take a simple idea and a lyric "loves a smoke ring wrapped around your finger," and turned it into one of the Fall In Love into one of the biggest of his career.

Austin's take on producing for Bailey is what sets him apart. Austin has created a so called musical filter for his friend and collaborator. Taking his time to make sure that lyrics, themes and sonics all fit in with Zimmerman's brand. Understandably this clever strategy has worked out well for them both.

"We both came up together, we didn't know anything. We have dreamed of a project like this," Austin said on Bailey's debut album Religiously out this Friday May 12th.

Austin Shawn is one of best examples of where hard work and tenacity can lead you in this town. Austin's vigor to master his craft leaves Nashville in awe.

"I'd be in shock if I told my younger self, "Hey, look, you're gonna be number one producer on Billboard for several weeks. My biggest advice is to always trust your gut and our intuition. Everybody has their own, unique thing that they bring to the table and their sauce if you will. Always trust that keep and keep pushing for your uniqueness."

Austin Shawn's distinctive take on musical creativity allows him to produce earnestly. His unique approach that can be defined with intrepid drums, catchy hooks and charming vocals. Not afraid to be a little left of center and bringing his own "sauce" to the table. Austin Shawn is what it means to be an innovator when it comes to writing, producing and helping to foster new talent in town. The chart toppers impact on the genre is only beginning!


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