ARTIST NAME: Steve Young
SONG TITLE: Back to Mine
ALBUM TITLE: Troubadour
RELEASE DATE: 31.10.16
Steve Young is a globe trotting session guitarist, teacher and entertainer turned Singer/Songwriter.
Early TV appearances with Lionel Richie and Peter Andre soon led to full time touring duties with world-famous artists – most notably ex-Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes which took Steve on trips around the world performing at the Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Arena, Brisbane QPAC, LA Roxy and many more concluding as co-writer on Darren’s last album in 2012.
Since writing and releasing the ‘Little Things EP’ in 2014, and crowdfunded debut Album ‘Troubadour’ in 2016, Steve has performed at The London O2 – Country 2 Country Festival. Time Out London’s ‘Rising Stars of UK Country’ Multiple shows at the Edinburgh Free Fringe, recorded live for Bob Harris’ – Under The Apple Tree Sessions, opened for Carlene Carter (daughter of Johnny Cash’s wife June Carter) as well as opening sets for Broadway Star – Ramin Karimloo, UK Blues Artist – Jo Harman, Brit Award winner Tom Odell (Help Refugees), folk singers Charlie Dore, Reg Meuross and many solo gigs and tours around the UK.
His songs have enjoyed radio play around the world including BBC Radio 2, BBC Regional Stations, Radio Caroline, Chris Country Radio, and 100’s of community / online stations as well as a live performance on BBC Radio 2 to an audience of approximately 7M listeners in Nov 2017.
Last year, Steve was Caffe Nero’s ‘Artist Of The Month’ playing over 45 in-store-performances from Scotland down to Portsmouth.
Tracks are still playlisted in all 850+ shops UK wide.
Recent appearances include Country 2 Country, The Cornbury Festival, Buckle & Boots, TogFest 2017, Ventnor Fringe 2017, Liverpool’s Folk On The Dock with future bookings at The Black Deer Festival, Millport Country Music Festival, Togfest 2018, The Little Rabbit Barn, Hard Rock Cafe, The Great Escape and a UK Tour in Apr/May 2018.
After a 2nd successful Pledge Music Campaign Album #2 ‘A Little North Of Nowhere’ was released in September 2018. Self-produced and featuring many of the UK’S most exciting country session players and artists, the album is proving to be Steve’s strongest songwriting offering yet…
State your favorite instruments.
Obviously the guitar.
But as a teacher; I needed to learn drums and now I’m almost good enough to do a gig.
I borrowed my sister’s Saxophone for a year and really got into that. I can play Bass. I think my main instrument would have to be the acoustic guitar. My Takamine is so versatile – even if I plug into a regular amp and use pedals. I also love my Yamaha nylon guitar – Such a sweet sound.
List the names of those supporting you.
I have been sponsored by Gibson Guitars and Orange Amps in the past but I haven’t maintained those relationships as I have all the ‘stuff’ I need.
Tell us your preferred musical styles.
Blues, Rock – I struggle with the concept of ‘genre’ as for me it’s about the emotion, melody, etc. I can switch from Pink Floyd to Metallica to Muse to Hans Zimmer in a heartbeat.
List the name of five artists that have influenced you.
Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, David Gray, Johnny Cash, Chris Stapleton.
Tell us about your recording experience in the studio.
Gosh, years and years, hours and hours? I have been playing the guitar for 30 years and signed to Warners in 1996 so I have done A LOT of recording.
I worked with a producer in London for four years and we literally recorded hundreds of songs.
State your experience with the music industry.
I have been signed to Warner ZTT, Sony ATV and worked as a session player for lots of labels and major artists.
As an artist myself I don’t really feel that the music industry goes the extra distance to support artists like myself.
As always it’s always about age and beauty and pretty much all to do with experience and ability.
It literally pains me to hear ‘fantastic new signings’ slaughter a great song live or fail to write a single song by themselves.
I have kind of accepted that the ‘Music Industry’ is not for me anymore.
Explain vocal training.
Self-taught – I spent years battling through smoky venues then after the smoking ban my voice improved dramatically.
The biggest on-job training for me was on the passenger cruise ships between Copenhagen & Oslo. 7 x 45min sets every night for a month. I had to change the key of every song (>150 of them) to suit the ever-changing state of my voice. I became very versatile after that stint – nine months in total.
Discuss live instruments for recording in the studio.
Real, organic, good mics, well played. You can’t beat the sound of a beautiful instrument correctly amplified and played by a pro.
Discuss your songwriting.
Something I’ve struggled with for years as I always started with the music.
On the ships as stated earlier, I couldn’t play in the day as my fingers were too sore so I started writing lyrics and that changed everything.
If you have words, a context, an emotion the music can follow. I now run songwriting workshops and teach some very talented kids (and adults) how to develop their ideas into songs.
Tell us your other talents apart from singing.
I’m not sure I’ve stopped playing guitar long enough to discover any. I was a champion swimmer in my teens.
Tell us your plans in terms of your music career.
Well, I work full time as a musician. I perform over 200 private and public events each year. I run a school and teach at another. I have no plans this year for a new album but I do fancy recording a kind of ‘MTV Unplugged’ version of some of my favorites.
Tell us the worst experience in your music career.
Oh…I don’t want to do that; I would have to throw a few people under the bus. The drug scene in the ’90s in London was awful (and expected). I’ve had some horrible situations with singers but also some amazing ones. Just keep your wits about you, be nice, and walk away if you feel disrespected.
Discuss your music career in detail.
Ok – I’m going to have to keep this brief:
1989 – I bought my first guitar.
1991 – Started my first band. Played local radio and supported Peter Andre at the 1995 Isle Of Wight Festival (Jon Giddings took over in 1996).
1996 – Moved to London and signed to Warner ZTT as the guitarist for band ‘REHAB’ – we recorded an album, played some festivals, and did some tours.
2002 – Started work as a session guitarist – the first client was Lionel Richie then Gareth Gates, Peter Andre, and many others.
2007 – Became full-time band member for ex-Savage Garden singer Darren Hayes (2007-2012). Three world tours, 100’s shows, radio-TV including some cool venues like Wembley, Royal Albert Hall, The Roxy LA, Arenas in Australia, Abramovich’s club in Moscow.
2008 – Started working as Songwriter and Studio guitarist for Tom Nichols who wrote hits for All Saints (Black Coffee), Sugababes, Kylie to name a few. We wrote and recorded songs for artists from all over the world.
2011 – Began working as Musical Director and Band Leader for West End Star – Ramin Karimloo. Toured UK, US, Canada, South Korea playing Country/Bluegrass versions of his famous Musical Theatre Hits.
2014 – Released my first EP with self-written songs. Launch gig – Rockwood Music Halls NYC.
2015 – Country 2 Country, Edinburgh Festival, Played on BBC 2 by Bob Harris.
2016 – Released Debut Album ’Troubadour’ – Launch gig – The Chocolate Factory London.
2017 – Caffe Nero ‘Artist of the Month’ – 11 tracks playlisted in 850+ UK Stores (still current).
2017 – Live performance on BBC Radio 2.
2018 – Released Second Album ‘A Little North Of Nowhere’ – The Green Note Camden Town.
2019 – Opened Music School in Stevenage called ’SongMakers’ focusing on Guitar Lessons, Songwriting Mentoring, Band Coaching, and Recording/Producing.
Alongside all these I have been teaching on and off since 2005 as well as performing as an entertainer (Wedding Singer, Corporate Events, Pubs/Clubs/Restaurants).
Discuss your song and album.
Most of my songs are about my turbulent relationships – From divorce to being a victim of domestic abuse.
‘Back To Mine’ was inspired by the feeling of going to sleep without resolving a fight and that 10-20 seconds when you first wake up the next morning having forgotten.
Troubadour is an eclectic mix of songs, some of which had been around for a few years. It lacks the direction of a producer and I would love to re-record some of the songs one day for Vinyl.
Tell us what fans are saying about your music.
I have some very hardcore fans in the USA and Japan who love my songs.
My audiences are of an age that isn’t very active on social media and spread so far around the globe due to my touring with Darren & Ramin that’s it’s hard to get any of them to a gig.
When I launched my EP in NYC they traveled from Brazil, LA, Boston, and Minnesota.
When I launched my first Album in London fans traveled from the USA, Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Both my albums and EP were funded by online methods and my fans dug deep. That is what I need to prove that people out there like my stuff.
Elaborate on your music project.
They are what make me feel real. I sing a lot of songs every day and it’s easy to lose yourself in the world of ‘covers’ or session work.
My EP in 2014 was just a bucket list thing but the ball kept rolling and rolling.
I love singing my own songs but I hate the snobby world that goes with it.
Music is Music and when business gets involved it turns into something ugly.
I will keep making music and releasing as long as people are interested and I have subjects to write about.
2019 is a year of rest for me. I’ve just bought a house and I feel like I’ve burnt myself out a little.
Teaching and 200+ paid gigs will be good for me this year. 😉
Discuss multi-genre and switching from one genre to another.
As discussed earlier ‘Genres’ are a bit of a mystery to me. I can switch between blues, folk, county, rock, metal, classical without even thinking about it.
I love learning and teaching classical guitar but I also love the heavy rock that my teenage students are into.
A genre is a selling tool, a marketing technique. It has nothing to do with passion, emotion, melody, or lyrics. They all use the same notes from the C Major scale after all…..
Explain the title of the song.
‘Back To Mine’ – Falling asleep after a fight. Back to back and somewhere in the night a hand touches, a foot, a cuddle and then you wake up and remember…….