February 16, 2016 9:04 pm

‘It was insane’: Alberta’s Shawn Everett wins Grammy for Alabama Shakes album

Albertan music producer Shawn Everett holds up his award in the press room during the 58th annual Grammy Awards ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Feb. 15 2016.


It’s not every day you hear of someone from a town of less than 600 people making it big in one of the largest cities in the world.

But dreams came to life Monday night when Bragg Creek’s own Shawn Everett walked the Grammy stage to accept his award for Best Engineered Album, Non Classical.

Everett worked on the Alabama Shakes album Sound & Color that took home four Grammy’s in total.

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Speaking of the journey  from nomination to awards night, Everett said “the whole thing has been shocking.”

Creation of the album was extremely intimate with only seven people, including the band, working together in a small space.

That explains why when the accolades started rolling in, they initially caught Everett off guard.

“When big things happen it’s hard to imagine anyone is listening to what the seven of us were playing with…it’s pretty cool.”

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Those sentiments were echoed by the band when they received their own awards last night with lead singer Brittany Howard referring to how they had been together since high school, just doing what they love.

“She’s just full of so much magic–I think she’ll have a very, very long career,” Everett mused about Howard.

With a hope and a dream, Everett drove down to Los Angeles after graduating from the Banff Centre. He said he knows he’s one of the lucky ones  because “it worked out…it doesn’t always work out.”

A former student of Springbank Community High School, Everett was in a metal band with friends when he was growing up and said he used to spend all his money on CDs at the HMV in West Hills.

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Inspired by Radiohead and the Tom Waits album Mule Variations, Everett’s passion particularly comes to life when he describes the first time hearing a song on the Flaming Lips album, The Soft Bulletin.

“It starts out kind of quietly and all of a sudden there’s just this explosion of huge bass, really distorted. It just blew my mind, I couldn’t believe how cool it was,” Everett explained. “I thought to myself, whatever is going on here is what I want to do for a living.”

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Flash forward to the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, and Everett described what he calls the “standout moment” for a small-town boy who brought mom and dad as his dates to the big show.

“When they called my name, it was insane. I looked beside me and my parents were sitting there and the genuine excitement on their faces…my mom crying and my dad just…I mean, I don’t see that face very often…that was pretty cool, probably the best.”

And although he’s making big waves in Hollywood, there’s no chance of this Alberta native losing touch with his roots anytime soon.

“I love Calgary and I think it’s an amazing city…I’ll always be a representative of Calgary, no matter where I go.”

© 2016 Shaw Media

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