Voices of HP: Shane Key

We are lucky enough to call this guy a friend, not just some musician on stage. We recently spoke with Shane Key to learn more about him and his passion for music so we could share it with all of our readers. Shane provides live music for events ranging from weddings, and birthdays to corporate parties. There is no doubt that Shane is a talented musician that is dedicated to give his audience what they want – whether it be dinner music, folk, rock and roll or even current hits. Shane typically plays solo, but he is able to give the performance of a full band by using live looping, recording short tracks and layering them together on-the-fly.  His strong passion has allowed him to create a blossoming career out of something he loves to do. Read below to learn more!

A pull quote that says: "Dream big. Aim high. At the same time, do the one thing you can do next with excellence." - Shane Key

Q. How did you wind up in the live performance industry?

A. I started playing solo back around 2006 as an outlet. I just enjoy performing. However, as the need to provide for my family grew I started seeking out venues around town that provide live music that are willing and able to pay their performers. I got a few gigs here and there and my career has blossomed. Ultimately, I attribute my success to the Lord Jesus. He gave me the talent and drive and brought the right people into my life to make this career possible.

Q. What type of career would you have in an alternate universe?

A. This is all I know how to do!  I can’t imagine doing anything else- acting, perhaps.

Shane Key holds a guitar and sings into a mic.

Q. What do you wish you knew when first starting that you know now?

A. I wish I had the confidence then that I possess now.

Q. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

A. I’m actually 87 years old. Seriously, I love mountain biking. I ride the trails around the Triad as much as I can.

Q. What motivates you?

A. I have a family to support! Also, I have this musical gift I feel compelled to share. I have been extremely blessed that the two can work together!

Shane Key sits on a blanket in leaves with his wife, his two daughters, and his son.

Q. Best career advice you have ever received?


  1. Be persistent.
  2. Always maintain your integrity; it’s never worth losing.
  3. Be generous. What you give out returns to you, multiplied.

Shane Key plays a guitar.

Q. Favorite book?

A. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Q. Best vacation you have taken?

A. My wife and I just returned from New York. We celebrated our 18th anniversary there and had the time of our lives.

Shane Key and his wife sit on a blanket in the leaves.

Q. Where will find you on a Sunday afternoon?

A. Hopefully, in the woods biking the trails!

Q. Your go-to cocktail (or mocktail)?

A. Ginger Ale with a slice of lime.

Q. What makes you truly happy?

A. My wife and family.

Shane Key and his wife and kids stand in fall leaves.

Q. As you know, HPU is right here with incredible students looking to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. What three pieces of advice would you give them?

A. Haha, I’m sure I could benefit from their advice! If I have anything to impart, it would be:

  1. Dream big. Aim high. At the same time, do the one thing you can do next with excellence.
  2. Show up. Be persistent. Sometimes, you’re just the last one standing and you get the gig.
  3. Find the thing you love to do and figure out a way to get paid to do it. You’ll never regret loving your job!

Shane Key sits on a stool in the leaves playing the guitar.

High Point Favorites

Q. Where do you like to grab a cup of coffee?

A. Debeen Expresso, 83 Custom and Foster Hobbs– I love them all!!!

Q. Restaurant you can’t get enough of?

A. Fixins’ American Craft Eatery!!! Chef Jason, August Rose and their crew are constantly creating crazy delicious food. Highly recommended!

Q. Local shops doing everything right?


  1. Yesterday’s Music. Paul and Cathy have always done their best to serve High Point’s local musicians and I appreciate that!!!
  2. Bicycle Toy and Hobby is another family-owned shop that has incredible service (and history!)
  3. 98 Asian Bistro has created High Point’s finest dining experience. You don’t want to miss eating here!

Q. Where do you like to unplug?

A. In the woods.

Q. Favorite place to grab a drink?

A. I don’t drink alcohol, so the coffee shops see me a lot! If you want to grab a beer after work, Brown Truck Brewery can’t be beat for quality and vibe.

Q. Excluding yours, what High Point company or business do you admire the most?

A. I’m excited about Cohab Space in West End. Their vision to bring renewed life to the area and provide space for creatives is inspiring!

Q. Where would you tell a first-time visitor to High Point to go and why?

A. I would recommend exploring Uptown. You might find Rickety Bridge Wines, Sunrise Books, a great library, Penny Path Crepe Shoppe or another new favorites you didn’t know about.

Voices of HP is a series where High Point Discovered asks questions to High Point business leaders and entrepreneurs to share their view. Consider it a peek into the heart and soul of our local businesses. We hope you will be inspired to investigate more. Past guests have included Lori Teppara and Chris Whitesell.

Keep Discovering our High Points,

The HPD Team

Photography by Maria West Photography