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Sheldon Kozushko releases his first full album, 'Belarus,' under the Sheldoncole name

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Newberg native Sheldon Kozushko recently released his first full-length album, titled 'Belarus,' influenced by a trip across Europe to search for relatives in the country of Belarus.

Less than a year after he packed up and moved to Los Angeles, Newberg native Sheldon Kozushko released his first full- length alum this month.

Kozushko, who goes by the stage name "Sheldoncole," hit the road last September along with his younger brother Nic. Having converted his Mazda MPV into a tiny home since getting to Los Angeles, Kozushko released the album "Belarus" on June 14.

Speaking from the City of Angels, Kozushko said he this album was mostly about family.

Kozushko has always been a bit of a mover. He traveled across Europe while searching for long lost relatives in Belarus, then later returned stateside to attend college, initially intending to become a lawyer. But then the curiosity bite got him, which led him to the Midwest, and ultimately to Detroit, the place that revived his earlier love of music and songwriting.

Even one of the tracks from his new record is inspired by travel, being about his adopted sister from Russia. An idea for the record was how precious it was to have family, considering the loss his adopted sister had to go through. SUBMITTED PHOTO - 'Belarus' is the first album by Newberg native Sheldon Kozushko, who goes by the stage name Sheldoncole

His experience traveling the world, especially Europe, gave him the inspiration he needed for this album.

"That experience (of exploring Europe for his family history) gave me the … motivation to work hard and pursue my passions," he said.

Kozushko started an acoustic project after moving to Detroit in 2016. The result of that was his first EP, "Detroit," which yielded a song titled "Live for Love" which, before he left for Los Angeles, had been streamed nearly 200,000 times by people in more than 40 countries.

Kozushko also released a second EP, "Dark," after "Detroit." Prior to moving to California, Kozushko performed a 53-show tour across North America. After that, he spent time between the Northwest and Mexico City, where he wrote and recorded much of his first full-length album.

From here, he hopes to start touring again. He said he's done a few shows since relocating to Los Angeles, but it takes a bit to get settled.

"Hopefully I'll do some future touring," he said.

Kozushko continues to live in his van, which he said is a way to meet people from "all walks of life," but it's a long way from where he got his start. He remembered Newberg as a place of "musical growth," mentioning teachers he had along the way and the Coffee Cottage for being the venue for his first show.

"My first show ever was in Coffee Cottage," he said.

Arts & Leisure briefs

McMinnville library to host community forum

The group Community Advocates Protecting Our Water will present a community forum at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Carnegie Room of the McMinnville Public Library. The forum is titled "Community Rights: What They Are, Where They Went, How to Reclaim them." Michelle Holman, a founder of Community Rights Lane County and the Oregon Community Rights Network, will talk about how the now international community rights movement seeks to empower communities to protect local residents' right to make decisions affecting their lives and the environment.

Historical Society to host pancake breakfast

The Yamhill County Historical Society will hold a pancake breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center. The $7 event will also feature various demonstrations from 11 a.m. to noon and from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The band Freddy and the Stump Jumpers will perform from 11 a.m. to noon. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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