‘Good Day’ is not only the title of Meredith Shaw’s catchy new feel-good Country single but could also describe the current state of her remarkable life and career. Shaw is having a lot of ‘Good Days’ right now.
The second Nashville-inspired single from this bright and effervescent Toronto talent follows on the heels of her well-received first foray into the country realm, Better Than This, which came out late last year. A full-on, full-length album of country compositions recorded both in Vancouver and Nashville is expected in early 2016.
Shaw’s burgeoning music career has not only been artistically fulfilling but has also afforded her the chance to express other facets of her seemingly boundless creative abilities – first as a highly-entertaining and successful radio host and more recently as an in-demand fashion model.
What unites all of these endeavours is a desire to work collaboratively with other creative minds and for the result of these collaborations to connect with an audience. But music will always be at the heart of Shaw’s creative expression.
“Radio and fashion are things that I really love. I feel very at ease in the studio and on a set. I really believe in and enjoy both of those parts of my life, neither one of which would have come to be had I not been doing music. Music has lead me to everyone and everything that I love in my life, I’m so grateful for that.” she said.
She was ‘discovered’ by Big Sugar founder Gordie Johnson who not only produced her debut album, 2010s Place Called Happy, but also took Shaw on the road and became an important musical mentor. Subsequently, Shaw worked with other Canadian music luminaries, with Joel Plaskett producing her 2013 EP Trouble, while John-Angus MacDonald of The Trews produced its follow-up EP, Hardest Goodbye, which came out in 2014. “I remember Gordie saying to me, ‘you’ve got to learn how to survive in music. You’ve gotta figure that out and the people who figure it out, stay in it.’ Those were really important words to me.
Shaw had always aspired to be on the radio, with a particular admiration for Marilyn Denis so she put together a demo and sent it out, soon thereafter landing a slot with Boom 97.3 in Toronto. It is not usual to start ones radio career in the biggest market in the country but Shaw’s path just isn’t a usual one. Her time hosting the weekend show on boom 97.3 allowed her to continue to hone her songwriting and performance skills. Her show became number one in the market, and she was also a key contributor to some of the station’s most memorable and successful marketing campaigns.
Her success and growing audience numbers prompted 104.5 CHUM-FM, the Big Kahuna of all FM radio stations in Toronto, to recruit her for their evening slot (7 p.m. to midnight) and she now co-hosts two top online segments including the superbly entertaining ‘This Is So My Jam,’ on the station’s website.
“ChumFm is a dream job. I was in the middle of recording my album when I got the call. Not very many things would make me put music on hold, but working for ChumFm? That was an opportunity I knew I couldn’t pass up,” she said.
Music also kicked open the door for her third ‘career.’ During a photo shoot for one of her musical projects, the make-up artist on set suggested she was well suited for modelling. Since dipping her toe in those waters, Shaw has come to be represented by one of the top agents in the business, B&M Model Management. This has led to her becoming a regular on The Marilyn Denis Show, Steven & Chris and CityLine, while also having a chance to walk the catwalk during the internationally-renown Toronto Fashion Week.
Shaw was recently chosen to represent Ashley Graham’s lingerie line in Canada, and her work has be seen in ad campaigns for the likes of Hudson’s Bay, Sears, Wal-Mart and Pennington’s, among others.
“I love working in fashion because we’re in a time where the traditional ‘size’ of beautiful is changing… I’m a curvy girl and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of something that is truly allowing women to see themselves differently.”
Shaw’s career is like a fast-growing tree. Music represents the solidity and stability of the trunk and roots, which allow for her other creative branches – the modelling and radio career – to continue to grow and strengthen.
“I’ve learned that there is real power in being exactly who I am and I love encouraging other people to do that as well. The surprising thing about my ‘three’ careers is the feeling that I get from each of them is the same. I thought I was only going to get that creatively satisfied feeling from music, but it’s not the case. There are other ways to exercise that same creative muscle and forge that connection with an audience I so deeply love. It’s been a heck of a cool journey so far, I’m working my butt off and loving every minute of it.”