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Unplugged: Solo Artist Dwain Sheppard

This month we had the opportunity to speak with uprising musician, Dwain Sheppard. You may have caught his audition on American Idol, listened to him perform at the Sweet Shoppe, or other local events but if not, I have the scoop! I learned that Dwain has a strong connection with music that started at a young age. We discussed his “why” for becoming a musician and I am impressed with his outlook on how music can change lives.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

Dwain explained is from Greenbrier County and has three wonderful children who help get him through life. He started playing guitar and singing around age 9 and became a part of a bluegrass band, “Mud Hole Out of Control” when he was 13. He has older brothers who he looked up to and wanted to be like, they seemed to have no stress in life. Unfortunately, Dwain chose the same path and became caught up in addiction to bury the stress. After he went to rehab, he decided to audition for American Idol and made it to Hollywood before being eliminated. Since then, he has had nonstop gigs most weekends. 

What do you do musically?

“I mostly play guitar and sing but I can play the piano, ukelele, banjo and many other instruments.”

What got you into the music scene?

“Music has always been a part of my life. My brother always listening to music, my parents were in Show Choir and my uncle had a record company in Nashville, Tennessee, so music has always been a part of my life.”

What is one thing you would like to tell everyone?

“You must meet rock bottom before you reach the top of the mountain and with God all things are possible. Now that music has changed me for the better, my brothers are following behind me and beating addiction themselves.”

What would you say draws you to the music?

“In the beginning battling depression drew me to music. It does not matter how down you are; music can get you out of a feeling. After battling addiction, music is all I ever want to do. I have sad songs, but I also want to write happy songs to help bring others out of their dark times. The more and more I write songs, the more God is in them.” 

What is the “why” behind your music? 

“My reason is to bring hope and inspiration to others and those who are like me. I perform at a lot of sobriety events in hopes of helping others get through it.”

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists

“I would say find an idol. Having an idol has helped me a lot with my music.” Dwain says Drake White is his idol.

Dwain will be performing at the Cruisin4Kidz event, a car show benefit for the Children’s Home Society, at the WV State Fairgrounds, on July 13. I had a chance to listen to him perform myself, and trust me, you do not want to miss out!

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