STEPHEN WESLEY

STEPHEN WESLEY

BandPopAdult Contemporary

Fresh new sound of Soul, Pop, and Rock that's unique and never been done before.

Biography

During one of the most poignant speeches in cinema history, Tim Robbins turns to Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption and says, "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." That powerful prison yard scene could very well be an outtake from Las Vegas singer/songwriter Stephen Wesley's life.

In 1997, a group of Stephen's friends nearly went on trial for armed robbery, and for reasons known only to himself, Stephen offered himself up as the culprit and took their punishment-a prison term of 8 years. At only 18 years old, Stephen Wesley found himself behind bars, seemingly at rock bottom and with no future or hope for personal deliverance. It was a chance encounter with a prison chaplain that started Stephen down a musical path he says turned his life around.

"I was sittin’ out in the yard, and I was teaching myself to play guitar and I was singing along," Stephen says, recalling the moment his troubled life changed for the better. "The chaplain heard me and he came up and he said, 'Hey, would you like to be in my choir and go out into town, and I'll take you around with the choir? You have a beautiful voice and I would just love for everybody to hear it."

Stephen says his first choir gig outside of prison was one of those pivotal life moments most musicians experience.

"Everyone lined up to ask for my autograph... young kids and older people; several hundred of them, all asking for my signature while I was in my prison uniform," he says. "Right then, it dawned on me."

Long before Stephen found musical salvation in prison he grew up in a very talented family.

"My father was literally the best guitar player I'd ever heard in my life," Stephen says, "and my mother was an amazing singer."

Except for being a fan of music on the radio and appreciating his parent's musical talents, Stephen leaned more toward sports than music. He and his brother played nearly every sport they could sign up for. One school activity Stephen didn't sign up for was choir-that was his mother's doing.

"I hated it at first, but my mom kept telling me it was what I needed to be doing and that it was in my blood." It also helped as Stephen got older when he realized that choir is where all the girls were. "I kept at it, and found that I loved it. I loved the singing, and people liked hearing me sing."

While still a young child, Stephen's parents split up, with Stephen and his three siblings moving with mom. Stephen says his sister served as a second mom while their mother worked to support the family of four. He credits his sister's vast music library with inspiring his wide range of musical styles.

"One day she's playing Metallica, and the next she's playing old rap and R&B. Living in the projects in Texas and Indiana and moving around so much... putting on headphones and listening to music was the only way to get comfortable," he says.

The family had just settled into what he calls "a great life in California with money and a new stepfather" when his grandmother back in Indiana fell gravely ill with little time to live. The family returned to Indiana, where Stephen found dealing with her approaching death to be "one of the hardest days of my life."

Stephen's older sister suggested an outing to the park to get away for a little while. While there, she played "Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers, a song that touched Stephen's heart and soul.

"Even though that song had nothing to do with my life, the lyrics were like a culmination of my few short years, and I understood everything at that point," he says. "I understood the difference between life and death, and how things work and how you move on from there and how you become a better person."

With family tragedy, constant moving from state to state, and bad neighborhoods bearing down on him, Stephen says music became “a getaway to a safe, comforting place.”

“No matter where we lived at... gunshots, the rundown neighborhood, the gangs, the crime, everything that I was involved in... music was always the way to get into my comfort zone.”

Stephen couldn’t always avoid the gangs and the crime growing up, a fact that eventually led him to the prison sentence he says he took in place of his friends. You would think that the experience made him bitter, or that he would at least have regrets.

“No way. That made me the person that I am, and I’m very proud of who I am, because I’ve come a long way.”

One of those prison gigs caught the eye of a representative for Christian recording Phil Driscoll. A couple of phone calls later, Phil and his son Jamie were present at the next prison choir show, and even joined Stephen and the band to sing several songs.

Prison is where Stephen says he got an education, became a better person, and where he grew from a child into a responsible adult. It is also where he got back on track with his mother’s musical prodding and guidance.

Stephen’s next big musical bre

Discography

1. Dance With Me - Currently playing on Magic 93.1 covering Utah, Colorado, and Idaho

Set List

Sets range from 45 to 120 minutes.

Cover performances include: Usher, Kanye West, and The Manhattans along with a wide varitey of orginal music.