If the promise of his early projects is any way to gauge the potential for what could still be to come, then hip-hop artist Shane Gorry might just be Offaly’s musical powerhouse to celebrate in the not-too-distant future.
Performing under the moniker Shane G, the Tullamore man turned to music to change his life, pouring his soul into his lyrics and beats to tackle some of life’s toughest challenges.
And in the process of resurrecting himself by battling addiction issues, Shane has also harnessed his talents to bravely use his own experiences as a way to help promote the topic of men’s mental health.
Once upon a time – and it’s a time not yet so distant – even the idea that Offaly was producing a hip-hop artist of any note would have been ridiculed as quickly as the idea that an artist like this be brave enough in spirit to address something as serious as mental health in their work. But things are changing. And Shane G is living proof of that.
Hip-hop is probably often seen as one of the last bastions of shameless bragging. Now, Shane G is hardly a man for whom confidence is rare. But what you will hear in his work is something deeper. These songs are drawn from a shallow well of MTV or reality TV in shape, gilded, scripted visions of “gang life” or something similar.
These songs are real, because it’s his life. And make no mistake, this kind of authenticity is perhaps the key element needed to form a true artist.
In tracks like “Searching” and “Man Just Cried” (featuring Last Singer Standing runner-up Tony Cunningham) or “It Is What It Is,” you find yourself captivated, almost hypnotized, by the sound of a man who doesn’t. is unashamed to let his own voice be heard, both in terms of his verses being authentic depictions of his lived life, and those stories being shared in his own Offaly accent. There is always power in the truth. And in seeing someone speak and share their own truth, there is indeed a profound power.
And that, more than anything else, will prove to be the most magnetic factor in Shane G’s story as his music meets the world.
And speaking of truth, a fact often overlooked by critics of hip-hop is that it is – above all – a means of communication, of connection. And like country music, when both are done well, it’s just about telling stories.
Going back to Shane’s involvement in promoting men’s mental health, it’s clear that the drive to bare his own soul is something that exists in more than his songs. “Man Just Cried” is also the name of a podcast Shane has recorded, on which he is joined by that track’s star vocalist Tony Cunningham and Kieran “Wally” O’ Loughlin from Portlaoise.
On the podcast, the three men openly discuss their own personal struggles around their mental health, how they learned to confront and manage these issues, and the stigma that still exists around mental health, in particular. for some men.
The first two episodes of Man Just Cried are available on Shane’s YouTube channel, with more episodes coming soon.
Shane G emerges as an artist with a story to tell, and in the process he also emerges as a man with a story to tell. And both are powerful. Both are true. And both are human in essence. They are also stories worth hearing. So listen.
~ You can enjoy Shane’s music on SHANE G MUSIC on Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube, and follow him under the same name on Facebook and Instagram.