Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Q&A with Stephen Beasley"
Meet Stephen Beasley
The Stephen Beasley Project
So tell me Stephen where are you from and how did you make your transition to NYC?
Once upon a 2002, a bright-eyed, over-accessorized young lad of 22 moved to New York City. That young lad was me. I had 2 suitcases and a 7 month Williamsburg sublet to my name and was greatly anticipating my M F A studies
in Performing Arts Management at Brooklyn College, which I completed 3 years later in 2005.
Tell us a little more about your band...its evolution and focus/mission?
The sbP is a New York City based, 4 man Rock & Soul experience made up of 3 soulful, talented and amazing musicians from New England and me, Stephen, a former choir boy from the Derby City.... Louisville, Kentucky.
In the last 4 years, we've grown from performing in coffee shops, basements and bars to appearing at large sponsored festivals like the 2010 Summer in the Square in Union Square NYC, and landing a placement in a commercial for an HIV Anti-Stigma Campaign Ad which aired on radio stations across New York City during the Summer of 2010.
I connected with Ben Altman (Bass/Guitar) on Craigslist in 2006 and we began writing songs. About a year after that, I was preparing to escape the Perils of Quarter Life in New York City by working on a cruise ship and met Chris Conly (Guitar) while doing a gig with my friends Vermont-Based, Hippie Jam Band at Kenny's Castaways in the Village. I got off stage, and after introducing himself he said; "Wanna start a band..." and I replied; "Where were you when I was motivated!"
We stayed in touch as I worked as an Activities Host on the "Pride of Hawaii" and when I returned we added his friend, Drummer Dave Moore to the band and named ourselves The sbP.
Musically, Benis all about the SOUL, Daveis a Renaissance Man that gives me the beat I need when I need it... and Conly... Well, Conly is our BLUES BROTHA! Me? I'm just the guy who is doing everything he can, to keep doing what he loves to do, with the people I love to do it with.
On a personal level, all of us are about giving. The guys teach music to hundreds of kids around NY, NJ and CT, while I proudly work with a team dedicated to eradicating HIV Related Stigma, Diabetes and Obesity in the borough of Brooklyn through Federal and NYC Department of Health Programs.
How would you describe your music? What genre do you see you fit in, or not?
Our music is a blend of 11 Herbs and Spices with a secret sauce... Kidding... Its a blend of Rock, Soul, Funk, Blues and World Music.
"Mirror Love" is your new single. Intriguing title. What transpired this song...is it based on personal experience?
“Mirror Love”is about taking the moment to find sanity in all the insanity, and then… taking another moment to breathe. One day about a year ago, I woke up, looked in the mirror and it began to crack. When I looked at myself, I didn’t see all the successes I dreamt I would one day see. Many months later, I realized that I would never be able to improve my life from a place of self-hatred and that I could make my dreams happen one step at a time. So, I forgave myself for past mistakes and started moving one foot in front of the other towards a more positive place… This is my definition of Mirror Love.
Your debut album is called "The Music of Transition," yes? (Another moving title) Overall what do you want for your music?
The Music of Transition was a (mostly) live album of 9 songs, done in two takes at a club in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in September 2008, for an audience of about 40. The album was a collection of songs written from 2001-2008, a period of time that stretched from my salad years as an undergrad studying in Australia straight through Graduate School in New York and stretching into the quarter-life crisis of my mid-to-late 20s.
The Music of Transition was my declaration to the world (and to myself) that me, my music and my band are worthy contributions to the world. I cannot tell you the gratification I have when I listen to that music. Even though sales have been modest, they've been consistant and that music continues to be a blessing!
What I want MOST IN THE WORLD is to for The sbP to give audiences high quality live recordings. Music, in its purest form given from artist to audience is one of the world last great commodities. We've added all sorts of technology, gimmicks and glam to EVERYTHING. And even though I glitz it up in life quite often....I likes my music stripped to its core!
This a Future Favorite...Name 1 guilty pleasure.
Lil Kim Lyrics! The Queen Bee and Mister Cee had a jig for the 14th Anniversary of B I G's death and her Black Friday Release at Webster Hall this month. I took two of my BEST friends who were visiting from my hometown Louisville to see her (on a work night no less) and even though it was just an appearance and she didnt do all her verses... I lost my freaking mind, shouting every lyrics as if I was watching her for the first time on MTV's THE GRIND with Junior Mafia in my bedroom, when I was 15.
*DISCLAIMER: I am proudly a Christian and have been celibant for many years... but... that chick and her rhymes give me the Nasties... and are DEFINATELY my guilty pleasure!