Reporting and photos by Charlotte Gorman.
Dressed in a vest and jeans, Arlington native Struan Shields, 18, steps out to join his four-man backup band while an enthusiastic audience jumps up and down. Singing to an crowd of primarily teenage girls, Struan repeatedly thanks his fans and holds out the microphone to allow them a turn to sing along. They already know all the words, even though this concert is meant to to celebrate the release of his debut EP.
Shields, who will graduate from H-B Woodlawn on Wednesday, isn’t your typical high school singer-songwriter. While others may have their popularity peak with a win at the school talent show, Shields has seen his debut EP hit the top singer/songwriter spot on iTunes. He recently claimed the number one song download on PureVolume, a website for rising artists. And he has already amassed more than 3,000 Facebook fans.
On the eve of his EP release show at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Shields seems calm and remarkably humble for a teenager who has won over legions of adoring fans.
“I would never consider myself famous… Fame is such a difficult thing to measure. I have enjoyed the fact that more people are hearing about my music. It is a very cool feeling when people take the time to learn to play my songs, or when an audience knows all the lyrics. That in and of itself is something I still haven’t gotten used to,” Shields said.
Shields writes and records his own music at home, without the help of a record label. In an ambitious attempt at grassroots marketing, he even offered a personal phone call to anyone who pre-ordered his EP.
The six-track debut — with songs like “Tell Me Where To Run” and “A Little Bit Longer” — offers a distinct but familiar soft pop-rock sound heavy on Shield’s catchy, heartfelt choruses.
“I find that a lot of my songs are inspired by relationships and their various stages,” he said. “Often hearing a new artist or song will inspire something — not in a copy cat manner, but just a different approach to writing.”
Shields has dreamed about a music career since middle school. Now that he’s widely-downloaded and Facebook famous, he’s looking forward to trying to make it work.
“I started playing music seriously when I was eleven or twelve, and started writing songs at thirteen. From when I started I guess it was always a little dream. I only recently realized it might actually start working out,” he said.
Struan is currently planning a tour for late summer. He’ll head to the University of Virginia in the fall to study music.
Struan Shield’s Say It Soft, Say It Sweet EP is available via iTunes and PureVolume.
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Please join us on Saturday, June 3, from 2 to 4 pm for the Glencarlyn Home Tour in Arlington’s historic Glencarlyn neighborhood. Among the featured homes will be a sparkling new home by A&N Builders at 5604-4th St. South. The inviting front porch opens to a light-filled space featuring high ceiling, wood floors, gas fireplace, Pella windows, Shrock cabinets, Quartz countertop, and JennAir appliances. Doors from the family room open to a large covered porch with a few steps to the level, landscaped rear yard. Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, three bathrooms, laundry room, and linen storage. The big lower level has a rec room, gym space, and a fifth bedroom and bathroom plus even more storage. After leaving the home, stroll to the Ball-Sellers home, the oldest residence in Arlington, the community gardens at the library, Carlin Hall, and the 94 acre Glencarlyn Park. A lovely way to while away a late spring afternoon.
Is home ownership a goal of yours in 2023? Now is the time to make it happen! Grab a (virtual) drink with the area’s top Real Estate experts, learn all about the home buying process and on how you can get $1,500 towards your closing costs immediately!
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A lot has happened in the local market since the beginning of the pandemic. Sip on your drink of choice and learn from Northern Virginia, Arlington and Washingtonian Magazines top producing agents! We will discuss the latest market updates, the home buying process and rent vs. buy cost savings. Please RSVP by clicking here.
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Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved
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4th of July Celebration & Fireworks
Treat yourself this Independence Day with a world-class, private 4th of July extravaganza at the Military Women’s Memorial – a premier National Capital Region site.
Great food, fun, and the best views of Washington DC’s spectacular fireworks display. Relax, enjoy,