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By Thomas J. Sullivan–
Shane Anderson, a Citrus Heights singer-songwriter, has released a heartfelt music video, “Prisoner of War” about returning soldiers’ challenges with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It’s a much different kind of song than the romantic soul singer his fans worldwide might know him for.
“It’s an important song and a very personal song for me,” Anderson said. He was born in Landstuhl, Germany, and like many self-described “military brats” followed his Army father to different duty stations around the world. He remembers how his father’s personality changed when he returned from overseas service in war-torn Somalia.
Anderson is a contemporary R&B singer in the purest sense, with a rich, soulful, baritone voice, demonstrating a passionate range of emotions throughout his own original work.
“Some people are surprised that I don’t look at all like I sound,” said Anderson. “I’m not at all surprised,” he says with a smile. Anderson was nominated for “Best Male Vocalist” and “Best R&B Video” at the recent 2019 Los Angeles Music Video Awards. He took home “Best Male Vocalist” honors.
He runs Unique Recording Studios in Citrus Heights as a production label, distribution company and recording studio for artists to create and focus on their art. His Citrus Heights Studio, with a casual Hawaiian-vibe, allows artists to work collaboratively together to create music and build a catalog of music to submit to labels, publishers, music supervisors and overall decision makers in the music industry.
Recently, Anderson released a music video called “Prisoner of War” on YouTube, which for him is a decidedly different kind of song than his usual R&B fare. A camera crew captures his very raw performance shot on location in the Nevada desert which can be viewed on Youtube, or below.
“Prisoner of War” reflects the personal anguish of combat memory, a rediscovery of faith and the deep personal conviction to embrace survival.”
“I felt an honor and duty to open discussion about PTSD on a much deeper level,” he said. “The best way I can tell a story is through song. The lyrics came very quickly and completing the song was a very emotional process for me.”
Anderson said he’s hoping to reach a broader audience of recent Iraqi/Afghanistan war veterans and area veteran’s groups who may discover the video on YouTube and be helped by its message.
Its lyrics are:
“Battered and Bruised
I am Broken
Chained to my Thoughts
Expected to Breathe
But Sun Rises in the Mornin’
A Dawn of a New Day
It’s a New Day Time to heal the scars it’s made
The wound is deep and time is wastin’
So bring another shot of Novocaine
I’ve been on the edge for a minute
trying to numb the pain and be finished.”
“I wrote this song about soldiers struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from a measure of personal experience. As the son of an Army combat veteran and I’ve known many friends who struggle with it, from both prior military service and events on the urban streets they’ve gone through,” Anderson said. He especially remembers the life of a music colleague named Marcel who lost his life to gun violence.
The battle against past memory is an ongoing one, he believes. The chorus and second verse of the song has helped him resolve some of the pain he still feels from the loss of his good friend and the raw emotions Anderson believes recent combat veterans are going through long after they return home.
“I guess I’m a prisoner of war
I don’t know what I’ve been fighting for
but you try to break this warrior
but you could not break me
no it ain’t easy
but look what you made me
a prisoner of war.”
The second verse offers a message of hope, he explains.
“I might be ruthless determined to win
When odds are stacked against me
failure ain’t no option, ain’t got no need to run
you could put the whole world against me
I rise from the dirt chasing the morning sun
the wound is deep, and time is wasted to bring another shot of Novocaine.”
Anderson began his music career in Hawaii. Upon graduation from high school, he opened his first recording studio at age 18. He also oversaw daily operations and landed several independent label deals and distribution agreements while working with local talent. He also earned professional experience as a demo vocalist for several independent music labels.
“It helped me polish my singing style as I began writing my own material,” he said.
Ultimately, he decided to move to California in 2010 to focus on songwriting and performing his own music. He released his first solo R&B album, “Dangerous” in 2009. Where sales were once measured in physical copies sold in record stores, sales of Anderson’s online album on MySpace quickly grew, with over 2.5 million plays worldwide.
“Dangerous” earned Anderson international success on the now obsolete social media platform Myspace with over two million engagements worldwide and helped land him right into Hollywood’s elite circle of music industry veterans. His album featured on Billboard Newswire and helped its recognition lead him to several placements on TV shows to include “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”, MTV and Oxygen television networks.
In Los Angeles, Anderson formed a production company with a high school friend where he continued to build on his credits and catalog working with artists who have been featured on television’s “American Idol”, “The X Factor”, “Dancing with the Stars” and the Disney Channel just to name a few, he said.
After landing multiple placements in film and television, Anderson said he grew tired of the faster pace of Southern California and relocated to the Sacramento area, settling in Citrus Heights where he’s built his own Unique Recording Studios.
“The limelight was a little too overwhelming as an artist, so I decided to focus on production and songwriting,” says the R&B crooner. Anderson, in his early 30s, is happy to call Citrus Heights home. He enjoys applying his professional experience in production, recording, mixing and mastering as well as his lessons learned in the business to good use, where he learned the ins and outs of what he still considers a very competitive music business.
At Unique Recording Studios, Anderson said he enjoys working with a new, young emerging group of artists, producers, mixers and songwriters who are now coming up.
“I’m going to continue writing and recording my own songs, but now I have a creative studio space studio of my own where I can share and collaborate. It’s a lot of fun and very rewarding to help new artists grow and learn.”
Singer/songwriter Shane Anderson’s catalogue musical work is available by Unique Records Music and is available worldwide online through Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Napster, Tidal streaming services. Unique Recording Studios is located on Poppy Way in Citrus Heights.
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