Steve Carlson makes what can only be described as adult music. It’s a little bit country, a little bit rock & roll – to quote the Donny and Marie Osmond song – with a bit of funk, some R&B, and a lot of soul. His music is a fabulously crafted tapestry of genres, knitted together with Steve’s honeyed, passionately emotive, deeply textured voice and phenomenal musicianship.
And not only is he a fantastic musician, singer, songwriter and live performer Steve is also a stone cold hottie! And that is what this new ATG feature is all about – men who are talented, intelligent, interesting and undeniably sexy.
Steve is a native of the OC, and grew up surrounded by the sounds of soul, folk and the blues. And although he began playing the guitar as a child when it came time to go to college he was distracted by his passion for food and attended the Western Culinary Institute. Food, however doesn’t seem to have been enough for this talented and creative man and in the late 90s he began to work on his musical career.
“I think that love is what we all strive to find in our lives, and when you lose it or gain it, it’s worth singing about. If you’re a songwriter it is inevitable that love is going to inspire you to write either about the great things, and the beauty of it or the sadness of losing it.”
His new album Groovin’ On The Inside has a country feel to it, although anyone who isn’t a fan of country music – like myself – won’t feel it overpowering them. It’s a funky twist of rock with a dash of country smothered in soul. Steve’s ability to mix genres, his mellow, resonant, melt-in-your-shoes voice and his awe inspiring instrumental talents combine to make Groovin’ On The Inside a must listen.
Recently I spent some time in London with Steve getting to know this charismatic, witty man. He took me shopping in Camden and for dinner at an outdoor Chinese café. Over the afternoon we discussed his music, romance and the perfect woman.
Groovin’ On The Inside is your third solo album correct? Tell us about this album.
The album took about three months to record. Writing it… some of the songs are actually old songs that I wrote years ago. I basically put together what I thought were my best songs on this record. And I took one song from each of my previous albums and reworked them, produced them in a different way. All the rest of the songs are new to everybody. I basically chose from what I thought were my strongest songs and I wrote a few new ones specifically for the record as well.
Your lyrics all appear to be very personal, very emotional. And it sounds like you went through a terrible heartbreak at one time.
I’ve definitely had my heart broken more than once. I sing a lot about love. I guess it’s what I do. I’m kind of a balladeer I guess. I think that love is what we all strive to find in our lives, and when you lose it or gain it, it’s worth singing about. If you’re a songwriter it is inevitable that love is going to inspire you to write either about the great things, and the beauty of it or the sadness of losing it.
I know you’re not in a relationship now. What kind of qualities are you looking for in a woman?
Hum…. Well obviously personality. Charm, sense of humour, obviously beauty helps. I like girls that are down to earth. I usually kind of look at a girl and think, “When I bring her home to my mom and dad are they going to like her?” It’s kind of old fashioned but I’m really close to my family so I know any woman that I am going to end up being involved with, on a serious level, needs to be able to hang with the family.
So is that something you want in the future, to build a family?
Yeah. It’s definitely important to me. It’s not important to me right now cause I’m not there, you know. I’m still focusing very much on my life and figuring out who I am and my career. I want to be stable enough and secure enough financially to be able to over provide for my family. I figure that if I’m going to be gone all the time, playing music around the world, then they should probably be very well taken care of.
What do you want from your music career?
I want to leave a legacy of my experiences, of things that I am passionate about, in hopes that it will evoke emotions in people and inspire them in some positive way.
That and I want to be a billionaire. (laughs)
The video for Steve’s new single, “I’ll Remember You”, is below.
(Photos: Lorissa Shepstone)