Shawn Desman Interview
Last Friday night my childhood dream finally came true. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk about music and fashion with Juno Award-winning artist Shawn Desman! Whether he’s on stage performing, or walking the red carpet, Desman is always making a statement with his style.
Your current style has changed since you first broke out as an artist in 2002. Why did you make the change and what inspired it?
Oh God yeah, it’s changed big time- we don’t talk about 2002 (laughs). I think the change happens kind of naturally, you know what I mean? In 2002 the record that I put out was urban, so you want to dress the part and you want to feel the part. The velour tracksuits, the jean jackets, the baggy jeans with the Timbalands, you have to rock all that stuff. Then when my next record came out in 2005 the music had changed a little bit and you want to grow every time you make a record and kind of make a statement every time. Then the record Fresh came with “A Night Like This” and “Electric” on it and I grew and matured. I think you kind of want to get that whole thing out even with what you wear and what your hair is doing. You just want to try and be original. For me it was whatever I felt comfortable in. I’m not like, “Oh well it’s this brand, I’m not cool with that”. It’s whatever man, I’m easy.
On camera, we see you sporting unique looks and styles. So what do you wear behind the scenes?
Literally what you see me wearing right now. My cargo shorts, my beaver canoe sweat top, and a hat. You always see me in a hat. If I’m not out doing stuff I’m always wearing a hat. I don’t do my hair unless I have to do my hair.
Where do you like to shop?
Diesel, I love Diesel and I’m not saying that because they give me all types of free stuff- I actually love Diesel! They had these new pants that I actually just bought. They are like the jogging jeans. Why didn’t they think of that sooner? You know the jeans style got tighter over the last few years; they are kind of uncomfortable. I feel bad for [Vancouver] because you have been rocking the tight jeans for a little bit and ugh, to sit! But with these, it’s like when you’re moving around, you can sit with your legs sprawled wide open. So comfortable!
Danny (Danny Fernandes and Shawn are brothers) and you have different styles. Growing up did you guys ever share clothes? Did you guys ever fight over clothes?
Always, I think you always do with your siblings. Whatever I wore, he wore next. And then whatever I wore that he wore next, my younger brother wore.
What’s the one thing that you will never be caught dead wearing?
The three-quarter jeans. They’re like capris. Oh, and overalls! People are still rocking the overalls, you’d be surprised! Maybe for girls? Guys look like hillbillies in overalls. I used to wear overalls with the one buckle off. Remember when they had the hats with the metal plates? Those were the overall days.
There’s a myth that men never pay attention to what a woman wears. Do you pay attention? What is the first thing you notice about a girl’s outfit?
I absolutely notice. Let me get the filter in, can’t tell you the first thing that comes to my brain (laughs). Probably her shoes. It’s about the shoes man. If they’re wearing the wrong shoes with the wrong outfit, it totally throws it off, I’m sorry. It doesn’t always have to be heels; it depends on the outfit. You don’t wear heels with everything. You need to be able to walk in heels and you’re feet have to look good in heels.
In your Money Shot video, you were dancing in a suit. How uncomfortable was that?
It was pretty uncomfortable because I was about 15 pounds heavier too. The suit was extra tight cause you know, you want to look good, you want to look extra tight and slim so you put on the smallest suit possible. What’s good is that we got to do it over and over again. So it wasn’t something like on stage where I danced for 4 minutes straight. In that sense it was okay, but it was uncomfortable!
Where did you get the inspiration for your new album?
I definitely got my inspiration from what was not on the radio. I feel like everything, for me, sounds the same. Everybody’s doing the dance music. Anytime I put out a record I want to standout, so I want to do something where when people hear it they are like “Oh I know that song, that’s that new Shawn Desman track.” “Nobody Does It Like You” is totally not what’s happening on the radio right now. It’s mid tempo but it still feels good and you can still dance to it. It’s finding the other, in terms of writing, just living and stuff. You pull inspiration from that, just everyday stuff.
What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?
To not take things for granted. I was brought up to appreciate everything and to always stay humble no matter how much money and fame you have. I’ve taken that with me and I think it shows through the music and the way I interact with fans and everything. I think it plays a huge part in that. It’s basically, treat people the way you want to be treated.
What is the proudest moment that you have had in your career life thus far?
I mean there are a few of them; the one that sticks out is when I won the Juno. I think the thing you never forget is hearing your song on the radio for the very first time. Being the twenty-year-old kid, when your song comes on the radio you just lose your mind because you’re like ‘wow, this is amazing’, you know what I mean? That’s definitely a moment that I’m proud of because I know how much blood, sweat, and tears were put into that album.
After our interview we had the privilege of watching him perform on stage. There are no words. He is one T-A-L-E-N-T-E-D guy. The amount of passion and energy put into every song was phenomenal. Each well-designed outfit stood out and added to the performance as a whole. I always find that when it comes to performing on stage, it’s always a hit or miss with outfits for men. You usually get the typical skinny jeans and shirt or something from GQ’s list of fashion don’ts, but his look was on point. I can only imagine how uncomfortable it was to dance in those clothes so do not worry Shawn; if you need to perform in your birthday suit, go ahead. I won’t complain.
Shawn Desman’s latest single, “Nobody Does It Like You” is available on iTunes now and if you haven’t given a listen to his latest album Fresh yet, what are you waiting for?
With love and style,