One of the greatest blessings we have in life is the ability to use our voice; Shawn Wodraska, a 21-year-old singer/songwriter from the small town of Wingdale, NY recently used his to represent his passion for the Black Lives Matter Movement and overall peace between those with different backgrounds and beliefs.
Shawn took to Facebook to portray a message of hope with a beautiful cover of “If I Can Dream” by Elvis Presley. “As I was scrolling through social media, I noticed that news coverage and posts were almost exclusively negative,” he said, “I decided that I had to do something; we all have to play our role to make a change, so I chose to sing, the only thing I know how to do.”
His video generated an exceptional amount of positive feedback with more than one thousand views. Prior to posting, Shawn said, “I was worried about negativity or that people would think I was using the Black Lives Matter Movement to further my career.” He continued, “I knew I had to do something to play my role in restoring peace, likes and views were the last thing on my mind.”
Philosopher Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and his belief that “the line between good and evil passes through every human heart” was one of the driving forces in Shawn’s decision to post on social media. “I want to do what I can to help bring peace to all corners of life by inspiring people to find the humanity in who they perceive to be their enemies,” he continued, “I am one voice of the many needed to bring about unity, but it’s important to remember that we are all human and we have to work together.”
The passion inside of Shawn is evident in his original music as well. Although he doesn’t mind if he never makes it big, he said, “I want to use the platform I build to promote positivity. We can always do better. I want to highlight that in my music.”
Typically accompanied by the piano, his content ranges from story-telling folk tunes that draw inspiration from Marty Robins to easy-listening ballads without lyrics. While some of his songs have a theme, many of them are left open to interpretation. “Mediums like music tend to reach people on a spiritual level – there’s a reason why they call it soul – the music we write should be inspirational and bring people together,” he continued, “We can all unite and enjoy a good song, regardless of the differences that polarize us.”
To check out Shawn’s original music, visit his Youtube page.