From the Y Crate: Remy Shand

From the Y Crate, #15:
remy“The Way I Feel” by REMY SHAND (Motown)

This is one of my favourite soul albums of the past 10 years… and the guy responsible for it seems to have vanished without a trace! Clearly I’m not the only person who misses Remy; the What Happen to Remy Shand? (sic) Facebook group has 615 members. And I still haven’t quite figured the ins and outs of how Twitter works, but the fact that @WheresRemyShand? could find and follow me says a lot.

The first track I heard off this album was “Take a Message”. It was 2001; I was in a hotel room in Nashville, and had dozed off in the middle of a documentary about Tupac and Biggie on VH1. The next thing I recall was hearing a sound so awesome, I had to open my eyes and see where it was coming from. Even though I was watching the telly half asleep (or is that half awake? I guess it depends on how optimistic you are), I could tell that all the members of the band in the video I was seeing were the same person. I was also positive that the song I was hearing was one of the most beautiful I’d ever heard. When I’d fully woken up a couple of hours later, I googled the only two words I could remember from my new discovery: “Remy” and “Motown” (mostly to prove to myself that I hadn’t just dreamt the whole episode).

I eventually found a copy of the album, and several tracks from it became firm favourites. “Take A Message” and the psychedelic soul jam “Liberate” are on my iPod’s “Top 25 Most Played” playlist (I’m not going to argue with iTunes; if it says I like them that much, then obviously I do). “The Colour of Day”, “I met Your Mercy”, “Everlasting” – lovely tunes all. And the title track, of course…

If we’re doing the lazy, easy comparison thing, you could call Remy the Canadian Lewis Taylor. But whereas Lewis released half a dozen albums before calling it a day, Remy fell out of sight after just one. A couple of gigs were scheduled to take place at the Jazz Café in 2002; I turned up at the box office to buy a ticket, only to be told the gigs were off. And that was it. Eventually the website went, and now all we have left is a handful of Youtube clips – including a couple purportedly of tracks from a new album (they’re actually bonus tracks that appeared on the UK version of The Way I Feel, but not the US version).

Seriously, someone needs to find this guy and get him out of hiding. Give him whatever he wants and get at least one more album out of him.

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8 thoughts on “From the Y Crate: Remy Shand

  1. ya I’m from Winnipeg and I never hear about him. Sure do love his Tunes though. Did a gig with one of his bands one time. I knew that guy was something…….

  2. I hear you on the whole Remy Shand vanishing act. I went to a couple show he did up here in Toronto in late 2002, so I’m curious as to when your show was cancelled. This just shows you how crazy the music business is when you see brilliant talents get chewed up by the machine that it is.

    I’ve been following the situation for a while, and he’s been through a three and a half year long divorce from his wife, budding singer Maiko Watson, which was settled back on Aug 25, 2009 (visit http://www.jus.gov.mb.ca – and search his name).

    As the years go by it becomes tougher to find musicians I can really enjoy, and Remy had become one of those for me, so it’s sad to see he’s been away for so long. He’s always said in interviews that he wants to do other styles of music, so I have a belief that if he does come back, he may take a direction that fans of “The Way I Feel” may not be expecting.

    But lets hope 2010 or 2011 may see the resurfacing of this musical gem once again.

  3. I’m glad I found this. For some reason, it makes you feel better to know you’re not CRAZY! I mean the guy comes out of nowhere (sorry, Canada :), puts out a brilliant album, gets nominated for FOUR Grammys and then poof! gone. I knew he had got dropped from the label back a while (dumb Motown) – and what sucks is that there is literally no “official” personal site that he maintains as an artist. That’s bad. But I’m hoping that he recovers from this terrible divorce someone mentioned and starts making the great music that I have no doubt some smarter independent label will have the balls and brains to know how to promote a fantastic artist with beautiful music.

  4. I search at least once a month for Remy updates! I play a track of his every single day, “Burning Bridges” being one of my fav’s. A buddy of mine saw him in Canada back in ’02 and raved about him to me and I’ve been hooked ever since, not to mention that most of his stuff is good ‘baby making’ music ; ). So much talent yet he’s a shut in somewhere in the vast unknown, come out of hiding Remy when you get your life right and put a huge smile on all of your patiently waiting/pheening fans!

  5. I would like to add myself to the list of Remy Shand fans who await a return of this talented man. Even if he chooses to come back with a different sound there is little chance it would be bad. Look at Prince who flirted with so many styles and genres but always offered something interesting and undeniably Prince. Hope to hear from Remy soon.

  6. From what I have read on other blogs, his mother Lana Shand, died on March 4th, 2010. It also said that he had been starting to work on new music prior to this, but I am sure that it has been put on hold again. I saw him at a CD release concert in KY in early 2002, and have been hooked ever since. He came out after the show to hang out with everyone, and was very chill and cool to talk to. Please come back!!!

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