CJ Shaw is a Canberra-based musician and educator.
A musician and educator with more than two decades experience writing, recording and performing songs, last year CJ Shaw was nominated (by Jimmy Barnes) for Music Teacher of the Year at the ARIA Awards.
The Canberra-based artist is always armed with a guitar and a swag full of harmonicas, his style of lyrical storytelling reaching back to his own heroes: Paul Kelly and John Williamson – "both master storytellers who use familiar and straightforward language to paint emotive pictures in their songs," CJ says.
CJ's newest song, 'Adelaide', is the first single lifted from his forthcoming studio album 'All Sorts', and details the momentous experience of becoming a first-time father and is named after his daughter.
"Writing this song as a new dad, I wanted to connect Adelaide's birth with the world around us. It seemed natural then to include the downpour of rain that happened on the day of her birth, as it too created new life.
"It rained 40mm in one hour causing a flash flood – flooding our car and many houses in Canberra. A city usually in drought, this was a freak weather event that made residents talk incessantly about it as a bizarre happening.
"In a state of euphoria, I interpreted it as a magical happening that became a marker for the birth of my daughter and rebirth of the city."
With a style that captivates children and adults alike, CJ has channelled the work of renowned 1980s Australian animator Yoram Gross (of 'Blinky Bill' and 'Dot and the Kangaroo' fame), animating the accompanying music video for 'Adelaide'.
A task he completed with the assistance of 300-plus cups of tea as he drew and designed the clip each morning between 5-7am as his young family slept.
scenestr is stoked to premiere the 'Adelaide' music video today. Enjoy.
"Over the last few years, I've been doubling up as a musician and amateur filmmaker, mainly stop-animation, which I've been using in the classroom as a way to captivate and share lyrics and stories with a young audience.
"The homemade aesthetic of the clips works wonders on the imagination of a young audience, who often feel empowered to create videos themselves.
"With the 'Adelaide' video clip I wanted to continue with this homemade aesthetic and begin to experiment with animation.
"I created this clip over a period of nine months. After running around Canberra capturing the city from a local's perspective I shared the footage with Sydney-based video artist Harley Ives.
"He took a directorial role and together we discussed how animation could be used to stylise the clip for both an adult and children's audience."
As for his 'All Sorts' album, CJ offers: "['Adelaide' is] a really strong indication of the music that I am creating for both adults and children alike.
"Students loved the early rushes of the video clip and even asked if we could sing it at an assembly. Playing the song at concerts, there is a tangible emotional response from the audience, with parents fondly remembering this raw and emotional moment in life."