Shakim Williams

Shakim Williams

Shakim Williams's Songs

  • Beat By the Best
  • Countyline
  • Hush
  • She Wants Me
  • Pay For
  • Anything Goes

Bio

A great deal of Shawn's musical awareness was acquired from the Baptist Church. Shawn's great grandfather John L. Warren was a Baptist minister at Mourning Star Baptist Church, which he founded in 1959. Though initially based in Cleveland, the church was relocated to Lorain, Ohio in the mid sixties. While spending his summers there, Shawn attended church regularly; he became choir director at the age of fourteen where he instructed the youth choir and quickly worked his way up to coaching the adults. Thus, it was at the church that he culled much of his musical prowess from the congregation and its resonant songs. After graduating high school, Shawn entered college without any formal training and spent years working tirelessly to reach the level of his peers and prove his worth. Shawn joined the celebrated Central State University Chorus and studied under Henry Caldwell, a renowned baritone and chairman of the music department. The Central University Chorus is widely acclaimed and singers from around the world audition to be part of it. In 1993, they performed with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, resulting in the Telarc International CD, A Gospel Celebration, Amen. The album featured Jennifer Holliday, Maureen McGovern and Lou Rawls and was nominated for a Grammy Award. During Shawn's early college years he teamed up with jazz musician Miles Simmons from Baltimore. Miles and Shawn started their own group called D.E.M.O.W. (Doing Everthing My Own Way). Shortly thereafter, they hooked up with one of Shawn's high school friends and produced their first single, "Tonite's the Nite," which went on to sell over 1000 copies on campus and the surrounding area. After graduating in the summer of 1993, Shawn and the group relocated to Columbus. They performed in any club that would have them and soon enough they became well-known regulars within the city limits and beyond. However, they quickly realized there was no outlet in Ohio in spite of its rich tradition of talented artist and musicians--hence, they packed up their things and relocated to Atlanta. When they arrived in Atlanta, it proved to be the perfect place and time for Shawn to hone his burgeoning production skills; he was already an accomplished singer and writer, however, he did not yet fully understand what it meant to be a record producer. After living in Atlanta for six months, they caught their first break--Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox grew interested in Shawn and wanted to help out with his newly named venture: Another Shade Productions. He became an investor and helped to put the blossoming company on the map. At the time, Shawn was the CEO and premier artist of Another Shade. Soon after, they came into contact with Dick Griffey of Solar Records who offered them a distribution deal and everything they needed to get their art to the public. The company produced a music video, pressed up their first release, 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find,' and started a campaign. At the same time Another Shade Productions teamed up with Ghost Town DJ's and Jermaine Dupree to produce the song "My Boo." Shawn and company were also managing Ghost Town DJ's leading man, Virgo Williams, and scored him a deal with So So Def Records, Jermaine Dupri's joint venture with Columbia. By the summer of 1996, Shawn left Another Shade and teamed up with Devyne Stephens and the still as of yet undiscovered Akon. Together they began producing music for Devyne's upcoming rap record, which led the conception of Up Front Entertainment, a development-oriented urban production company. Amongst their roster at the time was rapper Mista Raja who was signed with Sony Records, Devyne who signed with Island Records, and Akon who signed with Elektra Records and all the while, Shawn was producing tracks for all of their records respectively.

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