Influences: Michael Jackson, Joe Satriani, 王力宏 (Lee Hom), Joe Hisaishi, Jerry C, 零点乐队, Jay Chou, Die, Michael Angelo Batio, John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmsteen, JS Bach, Big Bang, M.O.V.E, Tank, Super Junior, Steve Vai, Dir En Grey, X Japan, JJ Lin
For most of you that come to my website, you might know me as Silver Mercury, but you can call me Shawn. I was brought up in Wuhan, China and moved to Canada at the age of 8. I am currently studying at the University of Alberta pursuing a degree in business. Even though my study is no where related to music, I still harbour a passion for music greater than anything else in my life. I am a composer, arranger, recording artist, and musical teacher. My main instrument is the guitar; however, I also do vocals, piano, erhu, bass, and percussion. As well, I always enjoy experimenting with new instruments and learning more about them.
As a child growing up, I wasn't incredibly interested in music; however, like the vast majority of the human population, I grew up with music. For me it was mostly kid's music or old school Chinese artists such as Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Beyond, etc. My interest in music didn't begin until I was 5 years old, when my aunt showed me a music video of Michael Jackson. I had that music video on repeat for the next number of months (because we couldn't afford to get any more CDs). The more I watched that music video, the more mesmerized I became towards melodies and rhythms; however, back then I was unaware that I was being interested in these things because, at the time, I thought I was only enjoying how cool MJ was back then.
Before I became involved in music, I was an avid listener. When I was 10 I would enjoy listening to rock, pop, ballad, whatever seemed interesting to me, and at the same time, I was listening to these songs in various languages and dialects. I remember at night as I lay in bed, I would plug my ears with my headphone and just listen to all these songs and imagining performing them live in front of an audience. The more this process went on, the more I wanted to be a part as well as be involved with music.
I joined my school's concert band at grade 7, starting off my musical experience with the trumpet. I loved the trumpet so much that every day I would bring it home and practice for hours on end. During Christmas of that year, my folks bought me an acoustic guitar, and as I took it home to practice with it, I immediately felt in love with the instrument. The more I played the guitar the closer I became with it. So close that I stopped practicing the trumpet and focused all my attention on the guitar. During grade 8 (2nd year middle school) I joined my school's jazz band with the trumpet (later on became both trumpet and guitar). From that point on, my experience with concert band and jazz band extended all the way till the end of grade 12 (last senior year).
By the time that my folks bought me my first electric guitar, I decided to start a YouTube and 56 channel. I saw it as a place where people can watch my videos and give me constructive criticisms so that I can improve. I remember the first video that I put up on YouTube and the first comment that I got back was "good job", it was one of the most satisfying feelings I've ever felt. From that point on, I started posting more and more videos and with time, built up more and more subscribers. In time, I got to work with many amazing musicians from around the world and meet a lot of amazing people. Overall though, I was staggered at how many people enjoyed my work, but I didn't want to finish it off and call it the end.
During my 2nd year of high school, I decided to make an original composition. That original composition later on turned out to be the song ”Diamond Wings". From that point on, I decided to compose more songs, until one point I thought "why don't I just make an album, I might as well." So for the next 2 years I was working on my first original album "Diamond Wings". When the album was completed, it was released on iTunes. The reception was better than I expected which was extremely satisfying; plus, I received many praises from friends and family members which made me realize that I had actually accomplished a dream.
Today I'm still arranging and composing songs. My next goal is to improve my improvisation technique on the guitar, as well, I plan on composing an orchestral piece and maybe work on another album.