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Shawn Hewitt “Keep Them At Bay” (Influenza)

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , , .

Approach Influenza as a series which serves to help give insight as to where music is born; these are the thoughts, influences and the inspirations directly from the mind of the artists. This edition spotlights Canadian vocalist Shawn Hewitt and the process of creating his “Keep Them At Bay.” Politically inspired, Hewitt tracks the song’s journey from concept to an imperfect live offering to its present state. The track is from his debut album Spare Hearts, which was released September 30th.

On “Keep Them At Bay”:

The song is about politicians and the fight they wage to protect their loved ones from being savaged by the spotlight. What I’m talking about is that at the time this song was written prominent, politicians in America were mulling over whether or not they should enter the presidential race. I began to think about what it must be like going through that process of preparing your loved ones for the insane spotlight of trying to be the leader of a party and a country. The chorus brings home this whole notion. “No sun no rain have faith in me/ I’ll keep them at bay from our love.” Very appropriate right now.

I began to tinker with this song in early 2006, starting with the piano and the bass-line. I was always drawn by the way it reminded me of Jorge Ben. We actually debuted it in New York and it was a mess because there was no proper bridge and I was mumbling half written lyrics. It finally came together when I became obsessed with the current election cycle in the U.S. The live version of this song is my favorite song we do. We trigger the drum sample at the start and the pieces came together quite quickly. The song sets the tone for the record, defining what’s at stake during the journey and what’s most important – fighting for your heart. – Shawn Hewitt

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]