When a musician is asked to go before the House of Representatives, images of angry Parents Music Resource Center hearings of the 1980s are generally what comes to mind. But for pianist Isaac Shepard, the situation couldn't be any more different. The Ladera Ranch resident's music has been streamed more than 60 million times across the globe on Pandora, so it makes sense that the music giant would select Shepard to represent them on Capitol Hill, where he would explain to elected officials how independent artists monetize outside the major-label universe.
Photo courtesy of the artist
Born and raised in Orange County, Shepard got his first keyboard when he was 12. He never had the formal classical training that someone traditionally has when playing New Age music. Relying instead on instinct and feel, Shepard used his ears to sharpen his musical sense, allowing him to flourish without delving too deep into music theory. "I always had an interest in music," the 37-year-old pianist says. "We grew up listening and watching our parents play. My dad was a Beatles freak and loved all things around there. For piano things, they played several of George Winston's albums, and I definitely appreciated more of that music based on those."More »