Shay Watson has written songs for bands and solo artists such as Word Recording Artists-Sidewalk Prophets, Grammy Nominees, Sonicflood, Grammy Winning DC Talk’s (and Newsboys)’s Michael Tait, his own duo ‘Watson & Nash’ and James Clay amongst others. His music has also been used by Various Networks and TV shows including: CBS, NBC, MTV, VH1, The Young and The Restless, Single Ladies, Hollywood Heights and many more.
With chart success in Europe under his belt and a number of songs cut and singled to radio by various artists in the United States, Shay has carved out a place for himself in the global music community as a songwriter, artist and producer. Shay is actively involved in child advocacy and is an artist/spokesman for Mission of Mercy, a Christian relief organization that helps find sponsors for poverty stricken children in underprivileged areas of the world.
Early Nashville (1998-2001)
In the late 90s Shay worked briefly with a small indie label in the Christian Music Industry, where he helped promote Grammy winning artist/songwriter, Bruce Carroll and artist/songwriter, Morgan Cryar. His involvement with the company gained him experience and insight as a songwriter and producer. It was also during this time that Shay performed as keyboardist for the alternative rock band Trilobite Café’. Shortly after leaving the label, Shay wrote and recorded his first solo album, ‘Anyway’. After completing the album Shay began touring and promoting the new project. ‘Carry Me’ marked the album’s first release to radio. The album opened the door for Shay to team up with artists Jacob Wiley and Cole Bruce.
Ten Mile Drive years (2002-2005)
In the later part of 2002 Bruce, Wiley and Watson formed the progressive acoustic band ‘Ten Mile Drive’. The band began touring shortly after its formation achieving a moderate amount of underground success and soon received notice and critical acclaim from the recording industry, various publications, television and radio. Over the course of the next couple of years Ten Mile Drive recorded, wrote with, open for and/or performed with numerous artists including Sony recording artist- Gretchen Wilson, Curb recording artist-Deborah Allen, Sparrow recording artists-The Elms and T. Graham Brown. During this time the band recorded an album and found themselves with a number of record label offers on the table. It seemed to Ten Mile Drive fans that things could not be going any better however, internal creative differences and legal issues began pulling the band apart. After 200+ concerts, with a new label funded album in the works and a base of dedicated followers, Ten Mile Drive disbanded.
Laying Low/Refining a Vision (2005-2007)
After the breakup of Ten Mile Drive,Shay took a break from the road and secluded himself in his writing. Shay’s songs began to take on a more mature, introspective nature. After the brief recovery period from the the Ten Mile Drive whirlwind, with all former management, label and legal issues ironed out, Shay began producing and/or writing for various artists including recording artist, James Clay, who at the time was signed to Inpop Records and former DC Talk member, Michael Tait. While producing and writing songs for the James Clay record, Shay performed a series of shows with him as his bassist and background singer. During this time Shay began writing and producing songs for his own new solo record and planning a tour to promote the record. In 2006 Shay signed on as a child advocate spokesman for Mission of Mercy, a child advocacy organization which helps find sponsors for children in underprivileged areas of the world. Shay also became more pro-active with Lust Free Living, an organization that he had been affiliated with before and during his Ten Mile Drive days. Another carry over from Shay’s Ten Mile Drive days is ‘Are You Listening’ (written by Shay, Barry Russo and former Ten Mile Drive member Jacob Wiley). The song was heard and re-recorded by Levity Records/Radio Disney Artist, Cali.
Solo Work/Writing/Watson & Nash/Novel (Present)
Shay currently has an extensive writing schedule with various artists and songwriters. He also tours, performing in both Christian and mainstream venues. He currently has a number of songs being released on both Major Labels and by Indie Artists. In addition to his music Shay is co-authoring a book on unity in the church with friend and minister, Nate Perkins.
Before moving to Nashville, Shay briefly worked as a high school band director in the Alabama public school system. He also wrote/arranged band music for Jalen Music Publishing of Orlando, Fla. He has a degree in Music Education from Troy University and is a former member of Magic Drum and Bugle Corps. of Orlando Fla. While in college Shay worked as a dinner pianist, church pianist and choral director at a private school.
Aside from his musical endeavors, Shay has received a citation for poetic achievement from the Amherst Society. He is an advocate of The Lust Free Living group www.lustfreeliving.org and is also a regular speaker at various workshops, clinics and seminars.
As PRODUCER, Shay has worked with several artists in styles ranging from pop to country, rock to R&B, Latin to jazz, amongst others.
As SONGWRITER, Shay has written with major label artists, as well as independent artists (listed bottom). He also writes music extensively for TV and film. His music has been used by Nickelodeon, NBC, ESPN, Fox Sports, CMT and others.
As ARTIST, Shay has released projects, both solo, and with bands, both indie and label. He has a new EP, NOW, for sale on iTunes and Amazon MP3.