Solid Soul

It's a little scary when a talent as huge as Shawn Elliot arrives so suddenly on the scene. Which is not to say that the longtime Floridian hasn't worked his way up: In a former life, the syrupy-flowed MC/songwriter/producer was a stock broker, a career he traded in 2001 for engineering school at Orlando's renowned Full Sail Academy. Since then, Elliot's been steadily crafting his self-released debut, Songs of My Life, set for release later this month. An effortless mix of funky bass lines, slinky guitar, and mellowed hip-hop breaks, Songs is that rare album that establishes a solid, unique style right out of the gates. Elliot wrote, produced, engineered, and marketed the album entirely on his own; the guy not only sounds like a local version of Jay-Z (check the club-ready bounce of "Shorty Look Good") but he does business like one too. Expect surprises from Elliot's full band and backup vocalists as he kicks off his first South Florida tour.

Shawn Elliot plays at 10 p.m. Friday, January 27, at Release, 311 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. The show is free till 11 p.m., then $5 for women and $10 for men. Call 561-366-9100.

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Jonathan Zwickel