Country musician Steve Young: ‘I had to strike out on my own to fill the void’

Musician Steve Young

Musician Steve Young - Credit: Archant

Ahead of two support shows for Ramin Karimloo at the Union Chapel and Islington Assembly Hall on January 19 and 20, the songwriter talked to the Gazette.

Hi Steve. What first sparked your love of blues, rock and country?

It’s been in my family for as long as I can remember. My dad worshipped Johnny Cash and played his records 24/7; my uncles were country fans right down to the outfits. They had lap steel guitars in the house but my upbringing was very ‘kids don’t touch’ so I never had the nerve to have a go.

You were a touring musician with the likes of Darren Hayes and Ramin Karimloo before you started recording your own music. What prompted that change?

These were my first professional jobs and also the first time meeting genuine music legends. I enjoyed five amazing years with Darren and also two years with Ramin driving across America but all good things come to an end. Darren moved on to other things and Ramin returned to theatre so I had to strike out on my own to fill the void.

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You’ve already surpassed the target for your pledgemusic campaign to fund your debut. How encouraging was that?

The whole thing has been a shock – I was so worried about hitting my target that I set it for 180 days. After 30 days I was at 108 per cent. It’s been enormously encouraging but more importantly I feel the weight of responsibility. These are genuine hard working people who have put their faith and cash in my music. The album is the best of everything I have written in the last 18 months. It’s going to rock with elements of blues, country, acoustic pop and a touch of melancholy. It will be edgy, atmospheric and heartfelt.

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Blues and country is often associated with Americana, so why does it appeal to British musicians?

I’m a bit confused by this to be honest. The TV show Nashville became a huge hit here and suddenly everyone was writing country tunes, myself included, because suddenly it was ok. At worst UK country is a parody of how some think it should sound and at best it takes an element of the style but keeps a UK slant.


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