Performer raps heart around fellow Hurricane Sandy survivors

A resident of New Jersey’s Atlantic coast, Patrick Whelan ’06 has an alias: “ShoreShot.” It’s his professional identity, the name by which he is known as a rap and hip-hop artist. It’s a career that has come from the background to the forefront – and now to the shorefront.

Patrick Whelan

Patrick “ShoreShot” Whelan ’06 inspires — and is inspired by — pupils at the coastal New Jersey-area elementary schools where he conducts benefits for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

As a student majoring in communication, Whelan worked at WWCU-FM and Channel 62 while also producing original music from his dorm room. After graduation, he worked as production assistant and sales rep with CBS in New York City before taking a sales job with AT&T Interactive, where he earned enough to finance and produce his debut album, “Slowly but Shorely,” in June 2010. The label he formed the following year, ShoreShot Music LLC, produced his sophomore album, “The Progress Report,” in February 2012.

Whelan began showcasing his talents and promoting his albums by performing on university campuses throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Then, like many of his neighbors, he became all-too-well-acquainted with a force of nature named Sandy. “The hurricane hit at the end of October, and things took quite a bit of a turn for a whole lot of people, including myself,” Whelan said. Cleanup and restoration at his home, in Brick, N.J., became an unexpected source of inspiration.

“While I was pumping 4 to 5 feet of water out of my crawlspace and pushing out wet insulation, I came up with a song,” Whelan said. That song, “Sho Love (You Survived It),” soon was recorded with the help of Erich Wald of Waretown, N.J., and the children’s chorus of the Russell O. Brackman Middle School in Barnegat, N.J. A music video, available on YouTube, was directed by another local artist/cinematographer, Joey Salpietro, also a resident of Brick.

“Sho Love” began to gain momentum locally and on YouTube and then was made available for purchase through a number of online vendors. Whelan chose to donate all of the online MP3/single sales receipts to Holy Family St. Vincent de Paul Society in Union Beach, N.J., a charity capable of distributing the income directly to families in need. As of mid-June, Whelan had contributed approximately $670 to the nonprofit and has helped raise additional money by participating in other fundraisers.

“We wanted people to understand ‘Sho Love’ is more than simply a song title – it’s a call to action and a way of living,” said Whelan. “Even though this project highlights the devastation New Jersey shore communities endured, the commitment to show love to our neighbors and those in need should not be limited to times of crisis.”

Whelan currently is working on his third album, “Return of the Tides,” set to release this summer.