Dads in the Limelight
Our 368th Dad in the Limelight is Musician Shawn Lee . I want to thank Shawn Lee for being a part of the Dads in the Limelight series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
2) Tell me about your family
Aside from being a musician/ producer/ composer of music for TV shows, movies, and video games (Criminal Minds, Eastbound and Down, Louis Vuitton, Oceans 11, Rockastar’s Bully video game) you might know of me as half of the AM & Shawn Lee electro-soul duo. We are currently on tour and I won’t be home for Father’s Day this year. I have two girls ages 8 and 3.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The Hardest thing to balance Is being a friend to your kids and then having to turn around and be the one who is in charge and makes & also reinforces the rules. A bit like being a coworker and then also having to be the boss!
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
I think we each have to find our own way. Being a parent shows up all your strengths & all your weaknesses. Everyone is just trying to figure it out as they go along. Best advice I can think of is do your best
But sometimes your best won’t always good enough and that is going to have to be ok'”. Is that advice?!!! Ha ha
5) Seeing that you (or your position) are in the limelight, how have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? If you are currently not in the limelight per se, please still answer this in regards to how you balance parenthood and outside life.
Being a parent no matter what you do for a living is a tight rope balancing act. I do spend a lot of time with my kids and and take & pick them up from school etc. The reality of the matter is there is not enough of me to go around
And not enough hours in the day So by doing one thing that means something else isn’t being done. It is like fighting a battle you can’t always win but fighting the good fight is all you can do and you must. Kids really light a fire under your ass!!!!
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
We all have the same problems and challenges. I never trust people who portray that they have it all under control. They are usually the ones that totally don’t!
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
My Kids are the best of me and I hope I don’t mess em up too much!
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
obviously the births them selves are pretty intense! Also all the firsts ie: walking,talking & them telling you that they love you are all very special. I’m also a sucker for a big hug!
Some additional questions that Shawn Answered
Is it easy to balance being a musician and having children?
HELLS NO!!!!! ACTUALLY, IT’S PRETTY COOL. I’M AROUND A LOT MORE THAN THE TYPICAL 9 TO 5 WEEKEND TYPE OF DAD. BUT BALANCING WORK, HOME, KIDS & MARRIED LIFE IS NO MEAN FEAT! THERE NEVER ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY TO STAY ON TOP OF THINGS BUT YOU CAN ONLY FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT.
Whats it like going on tour and being away from our family?
WELL THAT PART REALLY SUCKS. I MISS THE GIRLS AND FEEL GUILTY FOR TURNING MY WIFE INTO A SINGLE PARENT. BUT SKYPE IS REALLY AMAZING
FOR STAYING CONNECTED. BEING AWAY FROM THEM REALLY MAKES YOU REALIZE HOW LOST YOU WOULD BE WITHOUT THEM.
Do you feel like you are missing out when you are away?
SOMETIMES MORE THAN OTHERS DEPENDING. I MISSED MY DAUGHTER MELA’S BIRTHDAY ONE YEAR AND THAT WAS PRETTY CRAPPY. YOU CAN NEVER GET BACK THE TIME YOU LOSE WHEN THEIR YOUNG BUT I KNOW THEY ARE PROUD OF ME AND LOVE ME.
Does your family understand when you have to be gone on tour?
THEY UNDERSTAND. KIDS ADAPT REALLY WELL. WE SKYPE PRETTY MUCH EVERY DAYAND MY ELDEST EMAILS ME TOO. IT’S PART OF WHAT I DO NOW.
Do your children have any musical inclinations? Interest?
MY 8 YEAR OLD MELA SINGS, PLAYS VIOLIN & IS LEARNING GUITAR AT THE MOMENT. SEELA LOVES MUSIC AND HAS A CUTE LITTLE SINGING VOICE. IT’S IN THEIR BLOOD.
Do your children like your music?
OF COURSE!!!! DOESN’T EVERYBODY?
Have your children seen your concerts?
YES THEY HAVE SEEN ME PLAY BEFORE. IT’S LIKE IT’S NO BIG THING-IT’S JUST WHAT DADDY DOES.
When people ask your kids what you do for a living what do they say? How do they describe what you do?
THEY SAY I’M “SHAWN LEE” THE MUSICIAN!
Do your kids have a favorite song you’ve done?
EVERYBODY LOVES CELESTIAL ELECTRIC & THE NEW LA MUSIQUE NUMERIQUE – THE TWO AM & SHAWN LEE ALBUMS. AND MELA’S FAVORITE SONG IS CHA LOVE BY THE PING PONG ORCHESTRA.
Do your kids think you are a rock star? Do they get embarrassed that you don’t have a “regular” suit and tie job?
THEY THINK I’M THE BEST ROCK STAR IN THE WHOLE WORLD. BLESS EM.
What role does music have in your household? Do you play music in the home? Dance?
WE LOVE PLAYING MUSIC AROUND THE HOUSE AND IT ALWAYS INCLUDES A BIT OF SILLY DANCING! WE ALSO PULL OUT THE INSTRUMENTS AND HAVE A BIT OF A JAM!
When you found out you were having your first child how did that effect your idea of what it means to be a musician?
IT MOTIVATES YOU TO WORK EVEN HARDER. IT’S NEXT LEVEL BUSINESS TO BE SURE. IT GIVES YOU MORE REASONS TO DO WHAT YOU DO.
Do you find any pressure in the fact you have a family to support?
OF COURSE! IT IS A LIFE LONG COMMITMENT HAVING KIDS AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST RESPONSIBILITIES YOU CAN EVER TAKE ON.
How has the music business changed from when you first started to now?
NOW HERE’S A BIG QUESTION! WELL IT’S A HELLUVA LOT HARDER TO EARN A LIVING OUT OF IT NOW. THINGS ARE CHANGING AT AN ALARMING RATE AND WHERE IT’S GOING TO END UP IS ANYONE’S GUESS. ALL I KNOW IS THAT I’M A MUSIC MAN UNTIL THE FAT LADY SINGS!
What would you say if your children came to you and said they wanted to be a professional singer/ musician?
BY THE TIME THEY ARE OLD ENOUGH, I DON’T EVEN KNOW IF IT WILL BE POSSIBLE FOR YOUNG MUSICIANS TO MAKE ANY MONEY OUT OF IT SADLY.
I WOULD SAY JUST DO IT FOR THE LOVE OF IT BUT DEVELOP MUTLTIPLE SKILL SETS.
Your wife is a musician too. What is her background? Does she still do music?
SHE SANG IN BANDS. SHE WAS IN A GROUP CALLED HEXDRAGON THAT WAS SIGNED TO VIRGIN WHEN I FIRST MET HER. BEING A MOTHER OF TWO YOUNG KIDS IS A FULL TIME JOB BUT SHE SANG A DUET WITH ME ON MY SOUL IN THE HOLE ALBUM AND ALSO ON A TRACK OF MY MILES OF STYLES ALBUM WHICH GOT USED IN A JACK BLACK FILM TRAILER.
Do see yourself continuing to make music as you get older?
YES! THIS IS MY LIFES WORK AND I LOVE IT! THERE IS NOTHING ELSE THAT I CAN OR WANT TO DO. I’M NOT NEW TO THIS-I’M TRUE TO THIS1
How old will you be when you “retire”?
WHATEVER AGE I AM WHEN I DIE -WHICH HOPEFULLY IS STILL A WAYS AWAY…
When did you first start playing music or noticing music?
I STARTED PLAYING GUITAR WHEN I WAS 10. I ALWAYS LOVED MUSIC AND RECORDS AS A KID AND IMAGINED PLAYING BEFORE I EVER PICKED UP AN ACTUAL INSTRUMENT.
Were you in band in school? Were you ever teased about being in the “band”?
YES I WAS IN LOADS OF BANDS GROWING UP (SOUL, ROCK, R&B,JAZZ,TOP 40 & EVEN SOME COUNTRY!). I DID PLAY IN A TALENT SHOW IN JUINOR HIGH AND GOT LOT’S OF PEOPLE TELLING ME THAT I SUCKED AFTERWARDS! HA HA
Did you ever go to bandcamp?
I WENT TO JAZZ CAMP FOR 2 SUMMERS WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. HANGING OUT WITH ALL THE JAZZ SNOBS TELLING ME I COULDN’T LIKE A PLAY
AND LIKE POPULAR MUSIC AND PLAY JAZZ TOO! I’M SURE THEY DIDN’T MANAGE TO EVER MAKE A LIVING PLAYING MUSIC!
Have you ever taught other musicians?
NOT REALLY. I HAVE LECTURED AT A FEW MUSIC SCHOOLS AND ALSO DONE MASTER CLASSES IN THE PAST AND REALLY ENJOYED IT. WOULD LOVE TO DO MORE IN THE FUTURE.
What advice would you give to a musician who is just starting a family?
GET YOUR S*** TOGETHER HOMIE!!!! YOU GOTTA FOCUS AND DIVIDE YOUR TIME WISELY. IT TAKES SKILLS TO PAY THE BILLS!
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If you have any questions for Matt, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!