“I must admit this is the first scar on my back, but I’ll find my way even if it takes my whole life.” – Your Last Song
Completely changing someone’s mindset is a hard thing to do, especially if it’s your own. Jonathon Shields is a nerd turned musician. Originally planning to become an engineer or mathematician, he has doubled down to make a life in music a priority. Music has always been part of his life but he never feasibly thought it would be his job. After a year of numbers and formulas he realized that the only way he would be happy would be to inject as much music into his life as possible.
Performing has become a form of medicine for him. At age 17 he performed on Prairie Home Companion (Garrison Keillor) with his high school jazz band alongside Trampled by Turtles, at 18 he performed with Mary Wilson of the Supremes and by 20 he finally decided that he needed to do this full time.
In 2018 Shields performed all over Minnesota in venues like Lord Fletchers, Tillies Farmhouse, and even the Science Museum featuring his own originals as well as playing jazz standards with his trio. At University of St. Thomas, he was hand-picked to be flown to Phoenix, Arizona to perform at the Musical Instrument Museum for the University donor’s event. He also led the Music Industry Club at the University and successfully brought a group to SXSW in Austin, Texas for research and experience working in the industry. He graduated in May 2018 with a B.M. in Performance as well as a B.A. in Music Business with a Minor in Recording Arts.
To cap it all off, in November of 2018 Shields released his first album, “For You,” featuring his single, “Whiskey.” His newest project is playing and writing as much as he can before he uproots to Nashville.
Although born in Canada, Shields was raised in Northern Minnesota where he received a healthy dose of folk and country music. It was in 2007 when his family moved to the East Coast of Canada that Shields started writing songs and got his first taste of performing. Since then he has drawn inspiration from his own life experiences and applied them to his songwriting.