“Hammer hands” became Shaun Barrowes’ nickname because he doesn’t just tickle the ivories — he dominates them. He started playing the piano and performing at 3. He wrote his first song at 15. Now, at 33, he’s made a career out of those passions — but his life’s lyrics are more about hard work than overnight sensation.
“I realized I couldn’t just play open mic night and wait to be discovered and turned into a star,” Shaun says. “I’m a big fan of using creativity to push your business. You have to think about who your audience is and what they want.”
Shaun’s voice and style have often been compared to Michael Buble, but this Spanish Fork musician changed his tune to play keyboard for a rock band in Los Angeles.
“It was a great learning experience and I played at some of the most iconic venues like the Troubadour and the Roxy,” Shaun says.
He has also written music for TV shows like Drop Dead Diva and themes for video games like Shadow Complex.
He also had a stint on Season 7 of American Idol, where he made it to the top 30.
The second verse of his life’s soundtrack has been playing the role of music education advocate. He puts on concerts to raise money for high schools across the country. He involves the school’s orchestra, band and dance programs as they learn his music and perform with him at the concert. He then donates half of all the proceeds to the school. To date, he has raised more than $100,000.
His school concert experiences prompted him to team up with Jason Hewlett and Johnny Covey and their “Head to Heart” program, which provides assemblies for kids and teens focusing on self-esteem, confidence and using music as an outlet to get through the teenage years.