His first musical offering of 2021, New York native singer-songwriter Shaun Ross has today released the intimate future soul single ‘WX5’ via Propeller Records
The deeply emotive ‘WX5’ (who, what, when, where, why) boasts an ethereal songscape that sees Ross explore his vulnerabilities as he reflects on his own loneliness, singing ‘I’m the only one there for me’ and ‘The TV’s the source of light and it’s really watching me’ – hauntingly relatable in the current global climate.
Speaking on the new release, Shaun said:
“We never seem to gather the thoughts that keep us at bay when it comes to self-discovery. I started to realize that I was the catalyst of some of my traumas, and they had to end with my urge to grow. A soundscape world built around a vulnerable depiction of storytelling… ‘it’s so quiet it feels right, I’m the only one there for me. The TV’s the source of light, and it’s really watching me’ is the setting predicted before the experience of a pandemic, sitting with your problems rather than ignoring them“.
Shaun was the first professional male top model with albinism, becoming a cultural symbol for difference and acceptance. He first found success at the age of 16, when he was discovered on YouTube by a modelling age
Since then, his modelling career has seen him in the pages of GQ and Vogue, as well as fronting campaigns for the likes of Alexander McQueen and Fendi. Fashion aside, music has always been a passion of Shaun’s.
Ross traces his musical genre-hopping to his upbringing in the Bronx. When his parents weren’t fans of what was playing on the local radio stations, they chose to educate via their own eclectic tastes. “So every morning my parents would get ready for work and they would blast music,” Ross remembers. “Sometimes I would wake up and there’s Björk playing at 7am. Or there’s Phyllis Hyman playing, or Donny Hathaway, then there’s Everything But The Girl, or The Cardigans. It was such a wide spectrum. Later on I realised ‘oh this is why I have my music taste’ because my parents played all of these things day in and day out. I wasn’t always listening to what everyone else was listening to”.
It was his solace during his school years as he endured years of relentless bullying. His love of music began to crossover into his modelling career via appearances in music videos by the likes of Beyoncé (‘Pretty Hurts’), Katy Perry (‘ET’), and Lana Del Rey (2013’s short film ‘Tropico’). Taking sonic cues from artists as diverse as Björk, Maxwell, serpentwithfeet, Moses Sumney and Seal, in 2017 he released his first single ‘Symmetry’, featuring Lizzo on backing vocals. He released another single ‘Chrysalis’ the following year, and began to take his music career further by opening for other artists and performing at events and festivals.
Fast forward to present day, as we enter a new year, with both possibility and uncertainty, one thing is sure – Shaun Ross’s artistic path has never been so clear. The release of ‘WX5’ is but a glimpse of what’s to come for this soul pioneer.
Witnessing the ultimate shift of one’s self. WX5 (who, what, when, where, why).