Meet Shota Adamashivili, (Republic of) Georgia’s Only Country Singer

The love of true country music respects no boundaries, and doesn’t recognize international borders. When it chooses a soul to burrow itself in—whether it’s expressed in a fan or performer—it can’t be denied. It is inescapable. For some, it may even feel like a burden, especially if they’re faraway from country music’s home, with no peers around to share their passion with.

The State of Georgia in the Southern United States boasts a strong stable of country legends from the past, and plenty of contemporary heroes as well. But the the former Soviet Republic of Georgia that sits at the crossroads of Europe and Asia is another story. This is where country music singer and songwriter Shota Adamashivili is from.

He certainly could have chosen an easier or more lucrative profession for himself, being some 6,000 miles from the epicenter of country music, and little if any appeal for country music among the native population. But country music chose him. In college Shota studied to be a sports journalist. But his priorities in life all changed when he saw the movie The Electric Horseman from 1979 starring Robert Redford, Sydney Pollack, Jane Fonda, and Willie Nelson.

It was the Willie Nelson song “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” written by Sharon Vaughan, and specifically the opening line that spoke to Shota Adamashivili in some deep, and ultimately, transformative way.

I grew up dreaming, of being a cowboy,
and loving the cowboy ways.
Pursuing the life of my high-riding heroes,
I burned up my childhood days.


It was these lines where Shota found his calling in life. But of course, there were many logistical problems. He didn’t even know how to speak English at the time, let alone how to be a country singer. So he learned both, and through authentic country music, to the point where now when he does speak English, he does so in an natural Southern accent, complete with Southern idioms and colloquialisms picked up from the country songs that taught him the language.

And yes, after years of practice, Shota Adamashivili plays country music for a living in The Republic of Georgia, both the old classics, as well as original material he’s written from his own experiences.

“A lot of people around the world try to identify you by your nationality, not your personality. And I’ve been struggling with that all these years,” Shota Adamashivili said in a 2016 TED Talk. “Speaking of nationality and country of origin, I am Georgian, and I’m sure as hell damn proud of it. But on the other hand, when it comes to music, I’m from Country … country music… And by the end of it, I’m not a Georgia country singer, I’m a country singer who happens to be Georgian.”

Along with his TED talk, Shota Adamashivili has also been featured on the BBC World Service, and many local programs. He recently released a new video for his signature song “Georgian Country Singer” (see below). He also has another original songs called “Last Call,” and a host of classic country songs in his repertoire. His singing reminds you a bit of Merle Haggard, and he’s even developed a clean yodel.

What’s undeniable is that his passion for country is sincere, and his capability of performing it is curiously skilled, despite all of the natural obstacles placed in front of him. If only many of today’s mainstream country stars sounded as good, and as country as Shota Adamashivili, and had the same passion for actual country music as he does.

“I don’t know if the U.S.A. ever gives me a chance to travel there, and go explore especially the South, go to Nashville and play the Bluebird Cafe. That is my dream, and I hope this dream may come true someday,” says Shota. And there’s perhaps no better was to illustrate the power of country music to speak to lonely souls no matter where they may dwell.

© 2022 Saving Country Music
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