In this interview spotlight, we chat with Bryan Stave about his latest release, influences, music consumption preferences, the digital world and much more.
Full Q&A along with links and streams below.
Let’s dive a little deeper into Bryan Stave, the artist, and your music. What attracted you to these genres and styles?
I truly enjoy just about every genre of music out there so I try to incorporate different styles into my work. All of my stuff falls under the umbrella label of “pop”, but I’ve written songs influenced folk, country, funk, reggae, and even hip-hop. From the emotional delivery of folk, to the happy, carefree feel of reggae, to the dance-inducing beats of hip-hop, most genres have unique characteristics that I love and try to pull from in my writing.
How long have you been creating and sharing your music with the public?
Honestly, it hasn’t been all that long. I started writing songs about 2 and ½ years ago but most of that stuff of acoustic folk music which is obviously different than what I’m doing now. I really decided to go all-in on music when I connected with my producer, Christian Davis, and we started working through some of the more upbeat, poppy songs that I had written. We’ve been working on my first album since the early part of this year and I released my first single, “Monday Song”, late last month.
Who or what influences your playing and writing? Also, what motivates you to keep going?
Undoubtedly, the biggest influence on my writing is Ed Sheeran. He’s just a freakishly talented wordsmith and does a great job of mixing elements of different genres into his work…which is certainly a goal of mine. I’m motivated first and foremost by creating music that I love and am proud of. Ultimately, the goal is to generate enough interest to who where I can tour and financial support myself as a full-time musician, but as far as what motivates me to continue writing…it’s just something I like to do.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific with “Shiny Toys”? Creatively or otherwise?
Absolutely! “Shiny Toys” is one of my favorite songs because it’s about priorities and valuing people more highly than material possessions. We see so many stories of folks that seemingly have everything but lead unhappy lives because they don’t have a sense of inner peace and contentment. That’s not to say working hard or having nice things is a negative, but if it comes at the expense of certain relationships, it’s time to re-examine priorities and determine what’s really important in life. After leading with “Monday Song” as my first single, which is basically just a feel-good, pop-reggae song with little substance in the lyrics, I wanted my second tune to have more of a defined message.
What was the last song you listened to?
“I Got You” by Jack Johnson
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
It kind of depends on what kind of music I’m listening to, but for the most part, I’d say MP3s just because you can store such a wider variety of music.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
Spotify…I’ve never used Apple Music but I’d assume it’s a similar setup. With Spotify I love being able to play pretty much any song from any artist and be able to listen offline. Finally upgrading to Spotify Premium has just brought me so much happiness!
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what are one or two of the biggest challenges you face when trying to attract listeners to your music?
I’d say the biggest challenge for me continues to be building me social media presence. I wasn’t really involved in any social media until last month so it’s a challenge for me to get engaged and build up my fan base that way. It’s coming along but definitely a bit of a learning process at times.
Do you gig, tour or perform? Do you ever live stream? Where can music lovers see you live?
I play writers rounds and stuff like that around Nashville, but since I have a full band sound and no band to play with, I’m not able to tour yet. I can’t wait to get a tour together and hit the road, but it’s important to build up a fan base first so I can afford to assemble a band and people will actually come out to see us play.
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more of your music?
My website it probably the best place to start as it has links to all of my social media stuff and will have my Kickstarter page linked when it gets launched in two weeks. “Monday Song” is also available for free download and all of my released songs can be streamed directly through Spotify on the site. Otherwise, following on Twitter (bryanstave), Instagram (bryanstavemusic), and Facebook (bryanstavemusic) are the best ways to keep up on new music and video releases.
Any last thoughts? Shout outs? Words of wisdom?
Um, nothing overly insightful…just want to say thanks to anyone who checks out my music and I hope y’all are digging the tunes! I’m definitely putting everything I’ve got into this project and there are many more songs in the pipeline so I hope music fans follow along with new releases and really get enjoyment out of them.