ASHLAND Nashville artist Stephen Salyers has rediscovered his pop music side as an artist, while finding a new look to go along with it.
The Catlettsburg native has been living and working in Nashville since 2003.
“I moved to Nashville for the dream, but life happens,” he said. “I was working with a producer connected to country music and I built a great network of songwriters I collaborated with over the years, including Florida-Georgia Line and Dustin Lynch.”
He said he was finding success in the music industry and working in philanthropy but wasn’t satisfied.
“Everything shifted for me on New Year’s Eve 2015 when I was hiking a state park and wanted to know for sure why I was here,” he said. “I even asked for everything I was holding on to … to be taken away — relationships, visions, dreams — even if it meant the one I had been chasing my whole life.”
Salyers said everything in his life changed. He began working with a vocal coach and developed a richer sound; he formed a band and had an artist residency for nearly three years.
“My band leader is also my producer and guitar player. He and I develop the sound that best suits my voice and aligns with my style,” he said. “Now the production of these tracks and melodic structure and lyric align more with who I am as an artist and fall under the umbrella of current commercial pop music.”
While he said he has been inspired by Imagine Dragons, Panic At The Disco and Michael Jackson’s “HISstory: Past, Present and Future,” his own new music is authentic.
“The new music is written from my truth and it was really organic to keep the creative process minimal,” he said.
His latest single, “InterFEARance,” is his original work.
“It’s easy to say that each of us is fearless or faithful, but it isn’t simple,” Salyers said. “I lived untrue to my greatest potentials, until I liberated my truth — walking through the fires to free all this fire. And so I do live life alive in every experience.”
Salyers recently had an experience that contributed to his appreciation of life: His house was destroyed by a tornado that passed through Nashville on March 2. While traumatic, he has found a new place and expects to move in soon.
“I fell on an evening run two weeks ago around the Air BNB I’ve been staying in during transition and broke my finger on my prominent hand,” he said, adding he is scheduled for orthopedic surgery on his middle finger.
Meanwhile, he is braced for change.
“I think I always have known that my career would launch in an unconventional way; however, this wasn’t the way I had planned for,” he said, noting he’s OK with surprises along the way. “I have to believe there is value in art made and released during these uncertain times that far outweigh the measure of our limiting minds.
“People are starving for something that feeds their soul, a sense of connection again. My truth liberates all truth. And it’s exciting to remember it’s never been about me being able to control it or convince anyone to like it, but bring the imagination to life and trust it to find its way to those who need to hear it.”
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Stephen Salyers’ new single, “No InterFEARance,” is available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube. He also will perform live shows on Instagram live, Facebook Live and Zoom in the coming days.