Steve Young is an English singer/songwriter who has worked with huge names including Tulisa and the legendary Lionel Richie, he also toured with Darren Hayes for five years.
Here Steve talks about going it alone with his debut album ‘Troubadour’, what it was like working with Lionel Richie and his experience with Darren Hayes.
The singer also chats about what he hopes to achieve with his LP.
You have worked with huge names including Tulisa and the legend Lionel Richie, how does it feel to be stepping out of the shadows with your own music?
Working with LR [Lionel Richie], even though it was just a week it changed my life. It was back in 2002, I had quit guitar and a call came out of the blue to do some TV promo with him. Playing for other people is a world I understand but inside I knew I always wanted to be centre stage – even if it was a much smaller one.
What was it like working with Lionel Richie?
I felt very much out of my depth and new to TV stuff but he was extremely nice. He always invited us into his dressing room to share his food and before the Graham Norton show I remember him asking if his clothes were appropriate and whether Graham would embarrass him or not.
Growing up did you always know you wanted to work in music?
Not at all. I hated playing music when I a kid because it was used as a punishment but I was always good at playing by ear. Looking back I can now see I had a very deep spiritual connection with music but it was a difficult time in my life so it didn’t realise it then.
Apart from music what other things do you enjoy?
Walks in the country, the sea, swimming, movies, being on boats, sitting in the sun with a cold can of something, cycling, and teaching kids music.
Who are your musical heroes?
David Gilmour, Eric Clapton, David Grey, Gary Moore, BB King, U2, Muse, Turin Brakes, Darren Hayes – its a long list.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would you choose?
Maybe David Grey, Eric Clapton or Guy Chambers.
Who are your favourite singers at the moment?
My last big favourite was Micheal Kiwanuka.
Your debut album is out the end of June what do you hope to achieve with it?
Not sure, its been a life long ambition and so just having it is a major bucket list event ticked off. I would love to get invited to play some festivals, maybe get a live agent on board or perhaps be invited to Nashville to co-write.
Describe the sound of the album in three words?
Raw, Loud, and REAL.
Do you think you have the chance to get a number 1 album?
I don’t know what that means anymore? #1 in this country seems like something only X Factor and YouTube stars achieve. It would be great to get #1 Singer/Songwriter on iTunes but they refresh the chart every 30 minutes so it seems almost impossible. It’s my first album, I have no label so its unlikely – I’m just happy it’s out there.
Do you think free music streaming is damaging the industry?
It’s stopping people like me from earning money selling music. The industry has to find new ways to support new artists. Music doesn’t represent rebellion or freedom anymore – it’s a money making soulless business. When all the existing artists are gone and the new ones gave up trying the industry will get back on its feet again. I only make money from playing weddings and having stuff on the radio.
Who has been the best person you have worked with?
Darren Hayes. He took me around the world for 5 years. I became a globe trotting guitarist over night and best of all I became a co-writer on his last album. He may be in the shadows now but this is the guy wrote the song that is still the US Billboards No1 song of all time – not to mention he knocked ‘Candle in the Wind’ down to 2nd place. He his a legend, super intelligent and very supportive and an incredible voice.
And who has been the worst?
You are supporting Carlene Carter at the O2 Academy are you excited about performing there?
Yes for sure. Last time I played there was with Darren Hayes on his Side 2 Tour. It was the last night of the tour and so very bitter/sweet. Most of the venues I have played have been as a session player so to come back under my own steam is always a real honour. Top of my list is The Royal Albert Hall.
‘Troubadour’ is due for release on July 1st and is available to pre-order now.
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