Like the majority of you, all of us in the Philadelphia area are staying at home, learning to adapt to our “new normal.” MAGNET is checking in with local musicians to see how and what they’re doing during this unprecedented time. Photos by Chris Sikich.
Marshall: Being the “underdog” in the music scene, finally receiving exposure such as performance opportunities, and then the world came to a complete stop. I’m Shorn Marshall (a.k.a. Shorny Shorn), a singer/songwriter and guitarist from the suburbs of Philadelphia.
I wasn’t aware of the COVID-19 pandemic until I received an email from my kids’ school about closing per state-government order. As a parent, having the kids stay home and finish their school year online was very frustrating at first because it was yet another hat I had to put on, and it increased my anxiety to the core because of the pressure put on me.
COVID not only changed what was going on at home, but it also impacted my performance plans. I was scheduled to perform at an album-release party in Maryland for a friend and fellow artist, K-Quick. Unfortunately, he had to postpone the event, not wanting to put his fans’ health at risk. I also had a couple of festival gigs scheduled, but they were canceled as well.
As a person suffering from depression, it dampened me just a little, but I held my head up and I focused on staying positive and sane. During the time being home, I have had opportunities to collaborate with other artists and producers, thanks to social media. I have a studio in my bedroom, so the creativity wasn’t going anywhere. I have been making new music to get a head start for my next project.
My last project, Reinvention (available on Spotify, Apple Music, etc.), was an introduction that talks about my personal journey of rediscovering myself. In the past, I was trying too hard to get noticed because I heard about the standards that the music industry expects a female artist to meet. I decided to take the mask off and tell my truth. From finding closure in my past to low self-esteem, to self-discovery, to finding love again. After completing the album, I became a better person. After it was released, I was overwhelmed with messages saying that my music gave great inspiration to people going through the same situations.
Outside of music, the pandemic didn’t affect my day job at all because I’m a merchandiser and also a DoorDash delivery driver. I’m also a co-founder, with three other women, of an online community called Fret Sisters, which includes our podcast, Between Frets. We interview artists, have round-table discussions and so much more.
To take care of myself, I have been meditating more to reduce my anxiety, in addition to cooking more and trying to eat healthier, not just for myself but for my family, too. And, of course, catching up binge-watching Netflix, Hulu and WWE.
As a musician, no pandemic can stop my creativity. Now everything’s opening back up with the new “normal,” there’s always plenty of ways to share your music. Be on the lookout for new music and merch from me.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay positive.