Carla’s Country Mile had the pleasure of speaking with country artist Stephen B. Lawrence about his life, experiences and music career. Stephen will be featured on Carla’s Country Mile on August 18, 2017.
Stephen is on our regular rotation at HGB. His music is very well produced and well written. His take on new country is fresh and original drawing the listener into his world of melody and lyrics. He is definitely a Hidden Gem and if we have anything to say about it, he won’t be hidden for very long!
We are going to go more in-depth with our conversation and play Stephen’s music. Until then, here is a touch of what to expect; a great sense of humour and interesting stories!
Carla Bonnell (Carla’s Country Mile- Hidden Gems Broadcasting)
(HGB) Let’s start by where were you born and raised?
(Stephen) Originally from Stephenville, NL. Yes I know Stephen from Stephenville, but we moved to Gander when I was just 13 years old. I lived in Alberta for a few years as well.
(HGB) Tell us about a time that was really embarrassing on stage if you have any. If you did, also tell us how you overcame it.
(Stephen) My favorite cartoon had to be The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show. Saturday mornings would not be the same without it.
(HGB) What instruments do you play? Which ones do you wish you could play?
(Stephen) I can play guitar but I do not consider myself a guitar player. I usually play bass when I perform live with the band, so that’s what I feel most comfortable with. I would love to learn how to play the harmonica or the Keys. Attempted learning keys on a couple of occasions but just couldn’t get into learning children’s nursery rhymes.
(HGB) Tell Us about a time that was really embarrassing on stage if you have any. If you did, also tell us how you overcame it.
(Stephen) I had the flu one time and started blowing snot bubbles on stage. Very embarrassing but my sleeve took care of that lol
(HGB) What concert did you see that was the most memorable and why?
(Stephen) I finally got to see my idol Mr. Kenny Rogers last year at Mile One Stadium here in St. John’s. I’m not gonna lie I had tears in my eyes. The last time Kenny was in Newfoundland I was 9, and I wanted to go but my parents couldn’t afford the ticket. I even cut out his picture on the back of the record so I can get an autograph.
(HGB) Do you have a day job? If so what is it that you do?
(Stephen) I have been recently laid off, I was working as a sales Rep/Warehouse worker for a furniture store. Although I went back to college at 40 to retrain myself as a safety officer because I wasn’t a rock star but unfortunately I never managed to hook a position in the safety field so I’m back trying to be a Rock Star lol
(HGB) What do you do first thing when you get up in the morning?
(HGB) Where is the most interesting place you have ever traveled to and where would you like to visit someday that you have not been to yet?
(Stephen) Myself and the missus went to Jamaica back in March of 2016 with a few of our friends. Although I spent most of my time up in the air conditioning in our room I still have fond memories of our trip. I found it difficult to breathe in the heat due to my heart condition so I took refuge when I felt overwhelmed by the heat. While everyone else were drinking and having fun I was having a nap lol I would love to travel over to Europe, to see where our ancestors came from. Like Newfoundland the history runs deep, ok maybe a little deeper hahaha
(HGB) How did you get into music?
(Stephen) Well I have always been interested in music as far as I can remember. From singing in the church choir to watching a neighbor play the acoustic and thinking wow that’s so cool. I was given a guitar by a family friend when I was around 7 or 8 but my father broke it over one of my brother’s head carrying on. I still remember that. Dad you owe me a guitar
(HGB) Who are your major influences?
(Stephen) Kenny Rogers. My mother would lay me down between two speakers and put a Kenny Rogers record on to soothe me as a baby. Being the youngest of 5 boys I think she just needed a break.
(HGB) Tell us why you chose to move into the area of music professionally
(Stephen) I have always wanted to release a country album. Even back in the 90’s playing in a cover rock band I was writing country music. I felt drawn to music and have no doubt in my mind that I would not be here today if it weren’t for music. Helped me through some very difficult times. Now I hope my music can someday help someone else through a difficult time.
(HGB) What makes Stephen Lawrence tick?
(Stephen) My Heart
(HGB) Do you have any tours coming up?
(Stephen) I have been trying to arrange a tour to promote my new EP which is due for release at the end of this month. I’d like to hit every province in the Atlantic province, but I think I may have to wait until next spring when I will be joining the Rise UP Tv Tour which I will be a featured artist. With stops in Windsor, Peterborough, Niagra Falls, London, Toronto with the finally in Montreal on June 2nd. Maybe hit up the ECMA’s in early May and then start hitting as many venues as possible before joining the Rise UP Tour on May 27th in Windsor Ontario.
(HGB) How do people discover your music?
(Stephen) My music is available on iTunes, Spotify as well as other online retailers or you can purchase my music directly from my products page at Stephen Lawrence if you rather a signed hard copy. You can also find me on The Facebook and @stephenblawr on The Twitter. I will also be launching a new website soon.
(HGB) Do you write your own music? If so what is your writing style? Do you co-write?
(Stephen) I have been writing since I was about 8 or 9 I guess, rewriting other people’s songs, then I started to come up with my own melodies and lyrics. I have also co-written with a few people over the last couple of years. Ward Pike and I worked on a few songs together and Jason Pike and I were writing about a song a week for a while. As of late I have been writing with Kelly Rose, my new single Behind Me was co written with Kelly and I feel it’s one of the best songs I ever wrote.