His name is Shane Vanderwall. Described as a forthcoming star, Vanderwall is a true musical inspiration. While growing up in Sri Lanka and after being introduced to Bob Marley, Vanderwall became mesmerized with the sounds of reggae early on. Music was no stranger to him. He sang in his Catholic school choir as a little boy and later learned to play the organ. Music touched his heart and soul and it has taken him on a journey he will never forget.
His journey has taken him many places, while amazing many people along the way with his genuine, authentic love and inherent talent for making music.
More Than Meets The Eye
We often define street musicians as those who sing and play on the streets for cash. It was more than just a way for this talented man to make money. Vanderwall was determined to make music his life. For a long time, he lived in a train station. Down on his luck and hardly any money, he still found a reason to sing. Every day, he would entertain all of the busy travelers with his rich blend of reggae, blues, and soft rock. He depended on the generosity of his fans’ contributions for a living. Even though he was homeless and going through rough times, he smiled and continued to develop a sound that was unique. He never gave up on the hope that he would be discovered.
The guitar player, with his larger than life dreadlocks, posted a few street performances on YouTube. It wasn’t long before many people were rocking to his soothing voice. His performances were shared over and over again. His videos went viral, and he was an instant success.
Inspiring Others With His Voice
One of his most famous YouTube performances (watch it below) was of him singing the Marley classic, “No Woman, No Cry.” He sat on a box with his beloved guitar, and he sang for the group of people who were gathered around him. Viewers will also notice that passers-by were enjoying the song so much, just about all of them were dropping tips in his jar. As Vanderwall closed his eyes and sang from his heart, people were transported to the breezy Jamaican shores. Although, the song is a favorite Bob Marley tune, Vanderwall put his own touch on it. Those around his listened intently to the voice that could soothe a thousand waters.
A Humble Spirit and A Giving Heart
Some say that it is ironic that Vanderwall is a young man of Asian descent; yet, he can sing reggae music in Germany and attract the masses. It’s the heart and soul he puts into each song that is indescribable. His gentle spirit is infectious, and he has a method that can warm his way into everyone’s heart.
Raised from the bustling German streets, he now plays for sold-out concerts across the globe. He has recorded some of his favorite reggae songs, as well as critically-acclaimed songs he has written. Instead of falling to greed and allowing the spoils of fame go to his head, Vanderwall continues to give back to his community. He leads a project that helps struggling families in his homeland of Sri Lanka. To Vanderwall, life is more about making an impact than making an income.