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Meet Mr. Steve

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mr. Steve.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Mr. Steve. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m a Korean kid born in Little Rock, Arkansas. Spent my youth there and after high school moved a state over to Tennessee to pursue a life in the music business. After my freshman year, I randomly asked one of my favorite bands if they needed a tour manager. They said they did and trained me on the road. Not sure why I randomly contacted them but it taught me a great lesson “it never hurts to ask.” During this time on the road, I learned that musicians have way more fun than people who work for them. It sparked something and after that, I started to write music. I had no idea what I should write about so I just picked up a random topic and that was Thanksgiving. Haha so I wrote a Thanksgiving song and then a song about waking up. Not like a spiritual song about waking up but a literal song about the process of waking up. I showed a few people and they commented that it seemed like a kid song! And that was my springboard to write the kid hits we hear today!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road. The path of a creative life is a struggle. The one thing you want to do full time means you have to do what it takes to keep it going. Some are lucky and strike gold early but the majority struggle financially and emotionally. The road is hard because often it’s lonely. You miss weddings or trips because you can’t afford them. You skip going to the dentist. It means having to hope your car doesn’t break down. The one thing from all the drama about living the dream is you have to rely on the love and support of others. It also means being that for other people. Showing kindness and empathy can make all the difference to someone. You never know what someone is going through, so treating everyone with love is the best way to live.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
My specialty is music for children. I have been writing and performing kid’s music for 16 years and have been a preschool music teacher for 10 of it! I get to write songs about such whimsical and ridiculous things. It’s amazing what a hollow box with six strings can take you! I do my best to make records that do not sound like your typical kid records. If you hire amazing musicians and producers it’s not hard. The goal is that everyone enjoys it and it doesn’t make the parents want to bash their heads into the ground. I am most proud that I have been able to be apart of so many joyful events. SO MANY BIRTHDAYS! Hundreds of birthdays! So many times where parents get to see their kids dance to music like they have never seen before. Other proud moments are that I have hosted a successful kid’s drive time radio FM show, opened for Jack White and even worked with the governor on a summer reading initiative. What sets me apart from others is that the songs I write are not as typical as other kid musicians, songs like “Trees are the Hair of the Earth” and “Don’t Text and Drive”.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of my career has been working with Musicians on Call. It is an organization that puts musicians into hospitals. You go into the rooms and you play a song. The goal shifts the room into positivity and provides levity. Some rooms the patients aren’t very sick but some rooms patients are very sick. Every time I enter the room, I say, “Hello. My name is Mr. Steve and I sing very silly songs. Do you accept? Are you ready?” Then at that point, you perform as hard as you can to get a laugh or a smile. If I am able to do anything to move to needle into a direction of healing with music that is an incredible feeling and I hope I’ve been able to do that just a little.

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