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"Taxi Raised Me in the Music Business"

Stasia literally had to wait until her 4th birthday before her piano teacher would begin giving her lessons, bus she clearly made up for that long wait. Now at a ripe 20-years-old, this month's Passenger Profile member has already achieved many successes as she continues to hone her writing craft and take her music to the people.

What musical instruments do you play? What first turned you on to playing an instrument?

I play the piano, the guitar, and I sing. I started piano on my 4th birthday because that's the youngest my piano teacher would teach kids and apparently I really wanted to play (I don't remember a whole lot from back then). I really liked music at 4, I know that much. I remember listening to Enya's "Orinoco Flow" with my mom... and digging it. I still love the song actually!

Do you come from a musical family?

My parents are not musical at all, so it's a mystery where the music came from. My sisters and I all sing; I was the only one who took up instruments though. My mom claims that her great, great grandmother or aunt or something was a famous opera singer... don't know how accurate that is, but my dad's mom has just begun indulging in her interest in music in her old age; perhaps we got it from her and didn't even know she had it!
Do you remember writing your very first original song? What was it called and what was the inspiration for that song?

I do! It was horrible. I was either 12 or 13 and was mad at my parents for not letting me go to the mall with my friends. Tragic, I know. It was called "Get Me Outta Here." Fortunately for everyone, it was never recorded and never sung outside of my room. But it definitely opened the doors to the development of my songwriting!

At what point did you decide on a career in music?

At 14 I told my dad I was going to be famous and that was the end of it. Whether or not I get famous is no longer the issue; the imminent need is to start making some dough with these songs! I would just love to make a comfortable living writing, singing, or selling my songs. I've found being in the studio or being on stage to be my favorite aspects though, and since I'm only 20, I'm not giving up on that getting famous thing just yet.

Explain the process you go through when writing a new, original song.

My process for songwriting changes every time I write a song. Some days I'll come up with a cool piano or guitar riff and decide I need some great lyrics to go along with it. Some days I'm singing random words in my car, yes, a little weird, but I'll be "flowing" and will sing something awesome amidst a lot of not-so-great stuff, write it down, and make a song out of it when I get home. Lots of unfinished songs though... I need to get on that.
What was your very first professional success story?

Wow... well I don't feel very successful professionally yet. I think my greatest achievement up to now would be winning the Kauai Music Festival Songwriting Competition in 2006. That was amazing and unexpected. I won a BMI showcase from it—pretty OK—but no deals yet. I met Steven Melrose that year and he got me hooked up with a producer/engineer named Andrew Williams, an incredible guy, who worked with my on my latest recordings. They're really good and I can't wait 'til somebody hears them and loves them and wants me to do other things for them, but until that happens, I've just got to keep workin' on my trade to get better at what I do.

Did you attend the recent TAXI Road Rally? If yes, what did you think of it?

Yes I did attend the recent TAXI Road Rally. It was awesome. I think what I've found is that it's not even so much about the classes anymore as it is about networking and meeting new people. I've found the business to be such a small little community that the more people you meet, the closer you get to meeting the one guy with the hook-ups that's going to love ya.

How did you first hear about TAXI and why did you join?

I was at In-and-Out Burger with my dad talking about music and a guy was sitting near us. Apparently he overheard our discussion and entered into the conversation, just going on about TAXI (as a good thing) and gave us his card because he worked there, etc. It didn't really faze me, I was only 15 or so and not all that interested in some "Web site" called TAXI, but my dad looked into it and signed me up. Let's just say, I'm glad it fazed my dad.

Are you satisfied with the services they provide?

I am satisfied. I think TAXI has the ability to be used for songwriters' and artists' benefit and I know that Michael has a big heart and a love for music and people that is undeniable. While there are no guarantees with forwards or call-backs, the insight is helpful whether we choose to take it to heart or not. I'm not die-hard and I don't send in tons of submissions per month, but I think TAXI is great, definitely, and I use it when I believe my songs have a chance.
How has TAXI helped you and your career?

So far TA - By Kenny Kearner at Taxi

"Teenager with 2 CDs Sings about Life"

A native of San Diego, 18-year-old Stasia Conger has been singing her heart out at churches and coffeeshops around the county ever since she recorded her first CD, Meant Only For You, two years ago, at only 16 years old. Only a year later, the ambitious worshipper/ folk-rock musician recorded her second album, Picture, in 2004.

Stasia leads worship for the youth group at her church, Canyon View Christian Fellowship, but the songs she records and plays at local coffeeshops aren¹t exactly worship. The lyrics aren¹t really Christian or secular she said.

³They are just about my experiences - about love and relationships, with God and with people,² Conger said.

Not wanting to alienate non-Christians, in fact, attempting to attract them, Stasia doesn¹t market herself as a Christian artist in all of the venues she plays. She wants to draw new listeners in with the relational and romantic aspect of her music, and then subtly lead them to the Lover of their souls.

Her musical influences include pop artists like Superchick, Michelle Branch, and Kelly Clarkson, and acoustic folk artists like Jewel and Bethany Dillon. Many of her songs are accompanied only by her acoustic guitar, and others are faster with heavy bass and electric guitar. Her voice is vibrant, young and energetic.

Perhaps the best song on Picture, is ³Kinda Like You,² a song about how love cannot be taught, only experienced. The chorus screams - ³kinda like You, something they never teach in school, how to get You, something so far and unreachable...nobody ever taught me how to get You.² And her next song implies that ³Without You² there is no meaning in life.

Her song ³Delight Myself² is an interesting paraphrase of Psalms 37:4 that leads into the lyrics – ³He¹s gonna come like a thief at night, so if you¹re not ready, be prepared to fight for your eternity, are you ready?²

³Think I Love² is one more excellent rock song that makes the album worth buying, about all the scary and exciting emotions that come along with first love.

Stasia has recently begun her college career as a music major at San Diego City College, a major which her great uncle wondered at when he heard about it. ³How would she make a stable living with a major like that?² he wondered. But Stasia has decided not to let things like money or stability worry her. She has decided that if God has given her the talent and desire for music, He will sustain her and give her the tools she needs to succeed in it - a hope she expresses in her song ³I Wonder.²

Listen to the surfacing songbird for yourself on or at one of her shows. Her CDs are sold only at shows or through the mail. E-mail requests for CD¹s to is under construction, but coming soon. - Sara Burrows @ The Good News

"Point Loma songstress takes first at Hawaiian festival"

Instead of relaxing with her family on vacation in Hawaii earlier this month, 19-year-old singer-songwriter Stasia Conger was winning awards at the Kauai Music Festival Aug. 1 to 4.

“We were just going on vacation the same week [as the festival],” Conger explained. “I entered the songwriting contest and figured, ‘What the heck.’”

Conger, who tied with Kauai local, singer-songwriter David Tamaoka for first place, said her winning song, “Our Story’s Got No End,” was inspired by an ex-boyfriend.

Out of 150 entries, judges ultimately decided on six semi-finalists who each performed their compositions live at the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center.

Of the festival, Conger said it wasn’t like any other music event she’s ever attended.

“It’s more personal - almost everyone is friendly and all the staff is actually available to just sit and chat during down time,” she said.

A four-day music workshop and competition, the Kauai Music Festival was created to increase the quality of the one-on-one time spent between instructors and attendants, according to a press release.

Richard McSheehy, president of the festival, said what stood out in his mind about Conger was her enigmatic stage presence.

“There were two things: her songs were really good songs and also her personality,” he said. “I think she has a great potential.”

With three albums currently to her credit, Conger said she was just 16 when she first started recording her own music.

“I started playing at my church when I was 14 and slowly it evolved into me writing my own music,” she said.

The first place prize, an appearance at a Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) showcase, was awarded to both Conger and Tamaoka. When given the choice to attend the event either in New York City, Los Angeles or Nashville, Conger said she chose a March 2007 event in L.A. because of its close proximity. She’s also planning a West Coast tour to coincide with the appearance.

Some of Conger’s local appearances include coffeehouse sets at Lestat’s Normal Heights, Cosmos in La Mesa and Twiggs in University Heights, where she performs regularly. Although she said she enjoys taking the stage wherever the opportunity presents itself, she does have her favorite venues.

“It’s definitely a tie between Twiggs and Lestat’s,” she said. “It’s like home there.”

Because of Conger’s young age - her Point Loma High School days are not too distant a memory - she has not found too many gigs in Ocean Beach, which has more bars than coffee shops.

“I wish there were more venues closer, but ... I'll take what I can get,” she said.

For more information on Stasia Conger and her music, visit

- Katie Kowsh: August 31, 2006: The Beacon


"Sweet, Sweet Music" EP 2006

"Adventure Me" Demo 2007

More to come...



San Diego native singer/songwriter Stasia Conger began playing music young, at four she was a devout pianist and loved to delight just about anyone with her voice. At 11 years old, she picked up the guitar. Teaching herself the basics, she began writing her own songs which she played for friends and family adamantly.

By 16, Stasia recorded her first acoustic compilation disc Meant Only for You. A year later, CD number two, Picture was recorded with 11 songs by a full band, put together solely for the album. She was very involved in playing at church and continued developing her skills in songwriting and began vocal lessons to help mature her voice. The summer after high school, Stasia released her third compilation, Sweet, Sweet Music, a seven song EP.

By winter 2005 she was playing regularly in local San Diego coffee shops and venues. In August of 2006, Stasia and her family went on a trip to Kauai that turned out to be the kick-start to a more promising career. While on Kauai she attended the Kauai Music Festival. The festival held a songwriting competition, so Stasia entered her songs "Our Story's Got No End", which won and tied in first place with Kauai native, David Tamaoka.

Staff at the Kauai Music Festival introduced Stasia to Andrew Williams, a platinum-selling songwriter/musician/producer/arranger/engineer and the producer of her up and coming demo Adventure Me.

Four songs are completed so far on her new demo, and a couple more are in the works. She currently books venues with Jon Estep (as a duet act with Stasia) and Beacon Tree, two talents originating from the islands.

Stasia's other successes include a placement in CBS' show "Moonlight" in April 2008, and she is looking forward to some potential music placements on MTV and Lifetime this summer and fall of '08. End of July 2008 she also re-claimed her status at the Kauai Music Festival as the first place winner of the songwriting competition with her song "Smiling Down," making her the only two-time first place winner of the festival. Jon and Stasia's song "Neverland" also won the Sandi Shaner's San Diego Songwriting Competition in Sept. 2008.

For now she says she will continue to pursue her music as an artist and writer. Stasia has performed with a variety of musicians, including Phil Wickham, Beacon Tree, The Format, Radio Racer, Alissa Moreno, Paula Fuga, David Pack, the first Hawaiian Music Grammy Award winner Charles Brotman, and others. Promising responses from her fans and the industry keep Stasia pumped to advance her talents and create the best music she can.

“Right now, I’m just going to keep writing my butt off. I don't think you can ever be your best because nothing can stop you from being better than your best. But you do have to keep trying to get closer. So... I’m going to do that!”