Shaun Warner is a person who understands the emotional texture of sound, the flow of lyrics and the power of composition. The Dubai based music producer also seems to know how to cook up a summer anthem. This is not only our opinion, but a claim supported by the fact that his debut album Shaun Warner and Friends scored the number one benchmark on the iTunes album chart in the UAE, to become the #1 selling artist signed to Universal Music group MENA. Which takes us to the next point - his sound.
Warner is not the too-cool DJ producing mind bending music to transport dance floors to other dimensions. "I'm at a point now where my music reflects where I am in my life. I'm happy and my music is happy and as a result I'm making pop music. Its not sickly sweet, mass produced, generic pop but rather easily accessible music people can relate to which delivers positive messages of love and hope. It sounds cliché and/or corny but it's the truth. I'm not trying to be cool anymore, just honest in my music," said the Irish producer to Khaleeji Times.
Warner released his second studio album Stay, that is true to the pop sound he’s sticking to, and not long after, he started achieving milestones like staying on the US Billboard for two months. Drawing his inspirations from a wide array of musicians like Nightmares on wax, The XX and Chemical Brothers, Stay contains musical ideas that are clearly deviated from many electronic music sub-genres: you can hear the drum & bass, house and trap inspired beats.
The title track “Stay” is a collaboration he made with Lebanese producer Hadi, that began as a jam session, developing into a drum and bass inspired track that we could label as "pop and bass." The track starts with an 80s FM piano chord progression, evoking a joyful soundtrack feeling. Accompanying the drums is a Daft Punk-like vocoder, just before the break where Hadi sings comes in. The track is dreamy, euphoric and overwhelming, making one recall those moments at shows when everyone holds up their lighter, or something equally as sentimental.
Our favourite of the lot is the 7th track, “Dissipate.” Here, Warner succeeded in making retro-funk pop by laying on a a groovy bassline, topped by occasional swirling arpeggiators. Vocals are by the hoarse-voiced UK vocalist Scott Attew.
The album is a straightforward anthem loaded package, from which one song at least will definitely boom, not long before Werner starts working with big time pop stars.