STEVERINO HAYES album Sweet Perswazion
It's just Me, Myself, and I! I don't have a band and I'm not in one. I write my own lyrics, I compose my own music, I sing my own songs, I make my own musical and vocal arrangements, I set up my own "band" by programming my own musical creations on a multi-track MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) electronic keyboard, and I do my own recording, and do my own mixing and sound engineering. I engineer my MIDI keyboard creations into a multi-track recorder, and sing my lead and back-up vocals into it. I then equalize and engineer it into a master CD. Even though I use a guitar to start the creation of my musical ideas, I prefer to perform with a mic in my hand when I'm on stage performing with my finished production karaoke style.
The things I say in my lyrics aren't necessarily true about myself, but may be based upon my own wishful thinking and dreams, or upon anyone else's wishful thinking and dreams. My idea is not to tell any kind of story about myself, but to come up with good songs that many of us could maybe relate to.
It may be necessary to give you an idea of my background, talents, credentials, etc. I have a 2-year, and a 4-year degree in Electronics Engineering Technology. While this kind of discipline may be 'obsolete' in today's job market, the education and background is sure helpful for me in figuring out things, hooking up, improvising, and running my own music studio for my own musical works, along with my musical and creative talents, and writing saavy. I taught myself how to play the guitar when I was 15 years old.
I have a wide range of talents and skills,... a "jack of many trades, a master of none". I have a bachelor's degree in a 4-year technonlogy program at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. I am mechanically inclined enough to do my own house repairs, and build projects, and so forth. I was an electronics tech in the Navy. I was good at writing compositions in high school and college. Since I wasn't good at taking tests in high school and college, it was my writing, composition, labs, and research skills and abilities that spared me in the academic setting. I was told by an English teacher in high school, "You have a way with words". Singing was not my greatest strength in the past, but, I have aquired it later in life. I'm very closely observant of other artists techniques and I pick up on them. I listened to my own practice recordings of my own singing, and critiqued myself. I adapted to the patterns of vocal rhythm, synchronization, pitch-bends, vocal strength, breathing, relaxing, and dancing while singing. With a lot of hard work and listening to myself, it all has come together. With lots of practice, listening to my own practice recordings over and over, critiquing over and over, re-doing over and over, and lots of breathing and vocal strength exercise, I've made much improvement into sounding professional.
I bought my first guitar by taking a paper route job when I was 14 and 15. It was an acoustic I bought from a high school classmate. I played lead guitar in a rock band in high school, and I've never taken a formal guitar lesson. We didn't make it all that big. I quit the band and joined the Navy at the time. I figured out how to play the songs and taught them to the other band members. I had a keen ear for music, so, I've never bothered to read notes on music sheet, except for piano and guitar chords. At 15 years old, I had the whole guitar fret board memorized and I knew what keys are mixed together to make hundreds of the professional level guitar chords, beyond the ordinary major, minor, and seventh chords. Since I grew up poor, my parents couldn't afford to buy me music sheets for every song I wanted to learn how to play. I had no equipment such as a guitar amplifier or anything. So, I always sat out in my back yard on our picnic table in the summers for hours, just strumming guitar chords from a professional 1,200 guitar chord book, which my mother had bought me for Christmas. With this, I made up my own stuff. I found it to be awfully fascinating to hold down and strum all the different guitar chords as illustrated in this complete book of guitar chords. As I began to become more and more skillful at strumming and nimbly changing advanced chords, I started making up my own weird chord progressions, as never I've heard on radio or TV, and experimenting with many different mixtures of keys. I started doing it more and more rhythmically. It was all sounding "cool", and I was getting more and more fascinated at the sounds I was making.
When it comes to composing, I feel more comfortable with a guitar on my lap than sitting behind a piano or music keyboard. (However, on stage, I prefer my wireless microphone). I write my songs by writing structured lyrics with an idea on scratch paper, and a guitar on my lap. I think of all life's experince, whether my own (even though not necessarily my own), or some one else's, and put it into words. I put the words into rhythm and rhyme, I put the rhythm and rhyme into structure, then I come back and change/delete/add some words to make it rhythmic and to put the rhythmic structure into feelings, and/or, the feelings back into 4/4 rhythm structure.
Then, I take the poem with me to the guitar. I choose professional level chords to express each word or phrase of this well structured, 4/4 rhythmized poem. The lead vocal melody creation comes natural as I fit it into the rhythm and music. I make record on paper of each and every word and chord and put numbers above the words and chords to make the cadence to match the metronome which I will soon take to my MIDI programmable multi-track keyboard.
At the MIDI electronic programmable multi-track keyboard, for starter's, I program into it, the mixture of the keys from guitar that made every guitar chord which I have assigned to the lyric, as I choose a keyboard voice and sound for it. I come up with bass keys that make a beat along with the chords. I assign everything to different speakers for the stereo effect, even the bass keys. I experiment with sound effects I put in sycnchronization, until I come up with something that sounds cool.
Within the MIDI, I choose a drumbeat and a tempo to sing the song at. By now, a personality for the song is beginning to develop. Then, I fill it in with a few more sound effects, bells 'n' whistles, etc.
Now, I may be ready to hook the MIDI keyboard sounds to the 16-track digital recorder. This is where I do most of the sound engineering, though some sound engineering is done throughout and before I get to this stage. As I do so, I send different keyboard items in different digital recorder tracks, and adjust each of the digital recorder tracks individually, by volume, by frequency component, etc, to make it sound bright and rich. The details of this would get into a whole technology and engineering course.
In remaining tracks I will do my singing into. I sing as a lead vocal in one track. Then I come up with back-up vocal ideas, and sync and rhythmize them with the beat of the music and pattern along with my lead vocal in some unique way. I'll assign a tenor-idea to one track, and an alto-idea to another track. Then I assign the tenor track to one speaker, then the alto track to the other speaker. I adjust the vocal volumes, frequency components, and so forth...
I HAVE BEEN INFLUENCED BY
a wide variety of past artists, such as, Paul Young, Association, Sugar Ray, Outcast, Phil Collins, Enya, Nora Jones, Seal, Tears For Fear, Sting, Hall and Oates, Chicago, Tommy James and the Shondelles, Edwin McCain, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Smokey Robinson, Luther VanDrose, Al Jarreau, Annie Lennox, Jimi Hendrix, Heatwave, and many r&b and smooth jazz artists.
A well krafted karaoke of my compositions played in stereo on stage. It sounds like a band behind me, but there is no band. Just me singing alone. I prefer to use my wireless mic, sometimes with the mic stand, sometimes with no mic stand, but I don't hold a guitar on stage. Maybe that'll change some day.
A LITTLE MORE PERSONAL
I don't try to be like anyone else. I can only be who I am, and that's all I want to be. I just love to write and produce my own songs, and entertain, and hope that somebody out there can appreciate it. The words to the songs I write, aren't necessarily true about myself, or about anyone I know, but are based upon anyone's dreams, or my own wishful thinking. I don't try to please everybody, but hopefully, people who are in my league, or somebody, and that's all that matters to me. It's all for the love of music, and creating music to perform.
I'm a little more conservative than probably most artists in the music industry. I don't use any alcohol or tobacco, nor any drugs, and I'm not going to. Why should I? I don't use any medication for anything, and I hope that'll never change. I'm in perfect health, I'm physically fit, and I want to keep it that way!
Besides my music and songwriting, I like to take long walks, bicycle, ballroom dance, square dance, free-style dance, watch romantic comedies, listen to different kinds of music ranging from easy-listening to some hip-hop and soft-pop-rock to some country and r&b to smooth jazz, physical exercise, any entertainment that is positive and has humor in good taste. I have a silly side you'd enjoy once you hang out with me on a personal basis. The woman of my dreams will have to be able to take a joke or two. I tease 'n' cut-up with my friends, but it's all in good spirit. I tend to look for the good side of people, however, I also believe in responsibility for one's own actions.