As a talented vocalist and instrumentalist, producer Sho Ishikura brings a uniquely empathetic and hands-on approach to every project.
Patient and approachable, with a talent for working with both new and established musicians, Sho has earned a reputation as a producer who really takes the time to figure out what makes an artist tick. His first step in every engagement is to relate to clients on a personal level: to hear their ideas, learn about their influences and determine what they're ultimately trying to convey in their music. It's a careful approach that sets him apart in an industry frequently preoccupied with churning out a predictable sound, rather than a unique artistic vision.
Sho takes particular pride in his skill in the funk, soul and R&B genres where he has a natural talent for creating a sound that's both organic and utterly authentic. "Clients come to me for feel, for my approach to tracking instruments, arranging background vocals and planning sound design. It's not something that can be done with sampling or editing, and I spend a lot of time figuring out the proper feel from an instrumental standpoint." Sho's skill as a vocalist, a rare talent among producers, also makes him a highly sought-after resource for those wishing to flesh out their vocal sound or background arrangements.
Focused hard work, along with several strokes of luck, led Sho to his first paying gigs as a musician and producer. "My vocal coach and mentor, Boris Buriev, was kind enough to take me under his wing," Sho recalls. "I showed him some arrangements I had produced on my own, and he began mentioning me to his other students. That's really how my production work started." Sho also joined the band TME MCHNE, writing and performing on their self-titled EP. For Sho, that EP served as a solid demo recording that helped him secure additional work and establish legitimacy in the New York City music scene.
Originally from Massachusetts, Sho has made his home in New York City for several years. As a sought-after musician in his own right, he has performed his original work at such prestigious venues as Webster Hall and the B.B. King Blues Club.
When he's not hard at work with his music endeavors, Sho is an avid reader on topics as varied as economics, religion and psychology. His particular interest in psychology — he names the subject as a potential future career — lends color to his deeply personal and collaborative approach to music and producing.