Smith has cited Freddy Mercury, Prince and KISS as early influences. Other influences he as noted are Steven Tyler, Bon Scott, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Andy Wood and Chris Cornell. It is easy to hear the impact of all of these varied performers in Smith's various projects.
In 2005, Shawn unveiled a musical project called The Diamond Hand involving many musicians. He also has worked with Thaddeus Turner (formerly of Maktub and many other projects including Brad) under the name Forever Breakers.
From The North is Shawn's newest band with core members of Malfunkshun (Regan Hagar, Kevin Wood, Cory Kane) and the lyrics left by the late Andrew Wood. The band has also been billed as "Power of Wings" and "Von Nord" ("From the North" in German). Hagar has since been replaced by Seattle drummer Mike Hommel. The band changed its name in July 2008 to All Hail the Crown and plans to release new music under this banner.