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April 24, 2022

Interview with Stefano May

We had the pleasure of interviewing Stefano May over Zoom video!

Stefano is a singer, songwriter and piano virtuoso who fuses soul, pop and classical for an enthralling musical journey. The talented songwriter’s music is marked by hope, love and...


We had the pleasure of interviewing Stefano May over Zoom video!

Stefano is a singer, songwriter and piano virtuoso who fuses soul, pop and classical for an enthralling musical journey. The talented songwriter’s music is marked by hope, love and connection in the aim to heal.

Born in Soveria Mannelli, Italy, Stefano took to music at an early age and began classical piano training at age seven. He quickly gained notoriety by performing on popular Italian TV shows, and since then has collaborated with famed songwriters, as well as the famed director Franco Zeffirelli. Honing his craft further, the musician and singer has ultimately composed and scored motion picture soundtracks under the guidance of award-winning filmmaker Jamal Joseph.

2019 marked the beginning of his solo project, when Stefano began collaborating with famed producer Chico Bennett (Madonna, Lady Gaga, The Killers, Prince). His debut single “Prayer” highlights the songwriter’s warm and confessional vocals brimming with such passion, and yet such delicate vibrato tones. Stefano’s otherworldly vocal delivery glides with memorable melodies over intimate piano. The moving lyrics detail the act of loving again after hardship and disconnection. With comparisons to Sam Smith, Andrea Bocelli, and Michael Bublé, “Prayer” marked a graceful and exciting debut for this generational artist on the rise.

In Stefano’s latest single “We Are The Power,” the songwriter invites us all to take part in healing the world together. The glorious composition features soulful vocals, a soaring melody, and a vivacious chorus complete with a gospel choir for a most heartfelt demonstration of love, optimism, and vitality. Stefano confides, “It is a song that describes the importance of every person’s mission to use their individual gifts to unify the world in harmony and peace.” After almost two years of collective hardship and widespread disease, “We Are The Power” is the perfect anthem to inspire bright beginnings for the new year ahead.

Stefano aims to bring people together through the power of music. By sharing his gifts, he empowers others to do the same. “Music is made to heal your soul. People find commonality in the music they listen to and every song has the right time and place for each of its listeners.”

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Transcript

Hello! It is Adam, welcome back to bringing it backwards, a podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieved stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to chat with Stephano Mae. Over zoom video Stephano was born and raised in Columbia, Italy, and he talks about how he got into music. He comes from a musical household. His dad is a very talented musician. He actually got offered a record deal and he was growing up. So now he kind of lives through Stephano, which is amazing. <inaudible> learned piano at a very early age, ended up attending conservatory for piano. He talked about being on an Italian TV show, which is kind of the equivalent of what American idol or the voice here. 4 (2m 12s): When the show wrapped up, he ended up moving to New York, talks about his time in New York. Then he moved to Los Angeles where he met the producer Chico Bennett, who has worked with like Madonna and lady Gaga and the killers prince. And with him, he started to write some original music. He's got an EAP done. He's released three songs thus far, most recently the song called find my way. And he talks all about that as well. You can watch our interviews to follow on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It'd be awesome if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik TOK at bringing back pod. And if you're listening to this on Spotify, apple music, Google podcasts, Amazon music, it would be awesome if you follow Sarah as well and us up with a five-star review, 5 (3m 1s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 4 (3m 7s): We're bringing it backwards with Stephano may appreciate you being here. This podcast is about you, your journey in music. And we'll talk about the new record and how you got to where you are now. 6 (3m 19s): Okay? Okay. 4 (3m 21s): Well, where are you? Where are you actually at? 6 (3m 24s): In Fort Lauderdale? 4 (3m 31s): Non 6 (3m 31s): Tropical. I was born in Italy, Calabria in the Southern part of Italy. Should we just above Sicily? And I lived there for twenty-five years of my life. Then I moved here. 4 (3m 46s): Okay. Wow. All 6 (3m 47s): Right. I moved to, yeah. 4 (3m 49s): What took you to, well, actually we'll get to Florida, but I'm curious. So what was it like being born and raised in Columbia, ADA, Italy. 6 (3m 57s): In, in Columbia. Yes. So was, you have to know that Columbia is a, is a beautiful, gorgeous land. Not just because it's my, you know, where I was from, but it's the only place except the islands of the peninsula that is there as, you know, three different seats on the top, on the bottom and right. And it's a little bit like California, you know, there there's like, see Hills and mountains, 20 minutes away. 4 (4m 31s): I'm from California, I'm from San Diego. So I know exactly what you're talking about. 6 (4m 35s): It's actually, well, they used to call Calabria just because it's like, 4 (4m 41s): Wow. The 6 (4m 42s): Landscape. Yes. 4 (4m 43s): But yes, 6 (4m 46s): But the beauty is that essentially it's, it's, there's not really like a huge, huge CPS and that things are handled in a very simple way there. So growing up there, it was very important to me to be there in that condition because it made me be more focused on music, learning, piano, exercising myself everyday, going to nature, being in contact with, you know, really simple things that it's actually then where I come from and what I like to say with the songs that I write. 6 (5m 31s): I like to be close to simple people, simple people life. And, you know, I come from a family where my father used to play and play every kind of instrument. I just limited myself to the piano. That's very difficult. I'm very jealous of my father actually. And he used to sing when he was, when he was 18 years old, he had an incredible deal with a major record label, Sony music at the time, but his parents didn't have enough money to support him in the, you know, transfer. 6 (6m 15s): And, you know, it was going from Calabria to Milan that is in the extreme north of England. So I have to say that he was never able to achieve his dream, a singer songwriter, but he transfer me so much of his special that there was actually, let's say a way for him to realize his dream through me. And I think that's beautiful because I, me son and because, you know, there's, there's his blood running in my blood as well. 6 (6m 56s): So I think when these happen, it's so beautiful. And then from the other side, my mother more, more squared, very, very strong woman, always ready to surprise all of us in a very tough moments of our life as all the woman. I think all other women are, you know, there's, there's a beauty in what is like, you know, the woman world, they know how to make amazing sacrifices, supporting the most amazing, great veins and also food reserves in this case for my life, you know, reserves of money that we didn't know about Ben in the time that, you know, we had, you know, some tough time is money were there to support all of us, all of us, my, my three sisters, they were like, you know, going to university and me that I was, you know, going to the conservatory. 6 (8m 5s): So my mother teaching me all the discipline, all the, you know, like if you really want to be, you want to be, you need to any, to put yourself in the condition, not just of your talent, but also you need to give a discipline to the styling. So nothing will be very disorganized because, you know, people that deal with arts are usually very like, you know, crazy and actually get exactly. She gave me like, you know, the, she, she taught me how to organize all my thoughts and how to be disciplined in my life. 6 (8m 46s): So that was leaving there. And I, and I'm so thankful because I didn't have distractions at DNF, you know, the superficial, superficial things. I didn't have, you know, I had my friends, I had my piano, I had my music. I had my family 4 (9m 10s): When 6 (9m 10s): I was 18 years old. I couldn't wait to run away. I like, okay, now I have my basis. 4 (9m 20s): So 6 (9m 21s): Then when I was 18 years old, I moved to Rome When I started, yes. It was like, you know, Rome is exactly in the middle between Calabria and Mila. There are know the two, the two, you know, opposites. I moved to Rome and I, and you know, I was doing the conservatory there, but at the same time I was studying philosophy at the university. I was always fascinated by the development of the human thinking. You know, I think that's very important from a psychological point of view, from like a human being point of view, also in my music to know better about this mother. 6 (10m 14s): And so I started studying philosophy there and, and then other things happened because I remember like I was studying was in a class that day was a history of middle Eastern philosophy, something like that. And these professor was, was like, I mean, you, you had to take probably like 10 red bulls, if you want it to survive 30 minutes of this lesson. And Let me, there was a friend of mine told me, like, you know why you don't come with me and you do the audition for the styling show that it's called Amici, but it's exactly the equivalent of, you know, got talent. 6 (10m 58s): They've always kind of that in Italy. I said, well, like, I will just come with you, but I, I, I mean, like I'm surrounded by these lessons, the conservatorship and whatever. You're not, I really want to stay in these vibe. He, because, you know, when you then have access to TV shows or whatever, it's a complete different dimension. It's, there are a lot of different factors that play in, right, right. 4 (11m 30s): Show a equivalent. It was on television there and 6 (11m 34s): The famous Italian 4 (11m 38s): Music. 6 (11m 39s): Yes. Music show he's in right now, it's 20 years that he's going. Like, I mean, it's crazy. 4 (11m 44s): Wow. 6 (11m 45s): And so I went there, I did the night before I said, you know what, like I really want to do, I wasn't writing my music at the time. Or, I mean, I was trying to buy was really horrible. So I said like, you know, let me try to do something that even if it's not, mine can be in some way mine. So it was the ear that lady Gaga came out with poker face, you know, was the Lady Gaga, who is these bees? I mean, like, I really love her. I really love her. 6 (12m 25s): And I said, you know, this is like a disco song, whatever I want to do these acoustic. And I, and I try to do something different, you know? So I arrived there, audition in front of like very famous people, famous, some writer, singer, and the TV, all studies, like the it's like the Italian opera with Oprah Winfrey. And I started to do the song. And when I finished the single song, I knew that I was in, I had the feeling because I mean, like a said, fuck, where I put myself in. 6 (13m 6s): I mean, like my best friend who was with me in the time I was just there because he told me, just come with me. 4 (13m 12s): Right. 6 (13m 13s): And okay. You know, they interview me whatever. And after 10 minutes of leaving the studios, I receive a call. I was with my friend going back home. It's like, we are really interested. You're in. 4 (13m 28s): Wow. 6 (13m 29s): So I was on a phone and a friend, my best friend in front of me that I had to tell him, look, they called me, you know, it's, it's brutal. It's horrible because I was just there to be 4 (13m 43s): Poured him. Right. And then, so then he took the slot. 6 (13m 47s): Exactly. And, you know, like he handled it being in a, in a very amazing way. I love him so much still today. And he supported me so much during the six months that I was inside these TV shots. So, you know, I said, bye bye. To philosophy at that point. And you know, there was a set of me that was very happy not to hear any more of the professor, but, you know, I never lost the, the, the, the importancy of being, you know, like having, having a culture, you know, studying because it's, I mean, like we are here to try to heal the world with music that stain tend to, in my opinion of a songwriting, tell a story, but you know, it's healing. 6 (14m 34s): It's at the end, it's healing. Think about anytime Adele writes a song, she writes about, you know, her love story or like, you know, divorce or whatever, but she's healing. And a lot of people we sent her stories can heal as well. So I, I never lose these opportunity heal, you know, the world with music. But in order to do that, you need to, you know, have like a cultural substance with you, a cultural background. So you need to study everyday. You need to research, you need to read, you need to be informed and you know, most important thing you need to leave. Can you to make your experiences? Because like, if you don't do that, how you can you be believable when you sing something? 6 (15m 18s): Right. So that was fantastic. I was there for six months and being on a TV show for six months, or it kills you, or it, it, it gives you like a lot of strength gave me a lot of strength because it's not like a it's. It's like being in a kind of big brother. You're 24 7 with a camera, 7 (15m 41s): Susan. I'm sorry. I'm late. Traffic is terrible. 2 (15m 44s): Sure is what on top of that gas prices have been skyrocketing. 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Are you saying you actually get paid cash when you buy gas with a get upside app? 7 (17m 34s): Yes. I get real cash back. Every time I buy guests. And does 2 (17m 38s): That actually add up to anything 7 (17m 39s): I've made around $200? 2 (17m 41s): Wow. That's serious extra cash. I'm downloading the free debt upside app. Now 8 (17m 46s): Download the free, get upside app now to earn real cash back. Every time you buy gas, use promo code gold for a $5 bonus on your first tank. That's promo code gold. You can cash out anytime, right to your bank account to PayPal or any gift card for Amazon and other brands. Just download the free, get upside app and use promo code gold for a $5 bonus on your first tank. That's code gold for a $5 bonus 6 (18m 12s): Daddy's. 4 (18m 14s): Yeah. Was it a contest? So like every week you would do a different song and then the judges would vote and then it kind of dwindles down as it goes. Okay, 6 (18m 24s): Exactly like that. The only difference between the American version of the Korean version that every day goes like in the afternoon, an hour of the daily things happening in this school, because it's, it's, it's actually like a school. Okay. It's a, you know, TV school. So it's not 4 (18m 42s): Showing the school like you guys at school and everything. Okay. So this is like a ride like full on reality show. It's not just like, okay, we're going to show up today. You're going to sing whatever song the theme of the week is. You'll sing it in front of the judges. They're going to say yes or no, they're going to kick somebody off and that's it. So this is 6 (18m 58s): Preparation. Yeah. Preparation. There are tears that are a fight. I mean, there are, but everything is very natural, but it's just, you know, it's very uncomfortable when you're not used to, not that there's a camera everywhere. So, and also Like, you know, the first time. So it kind of like before you say something, you think 300 times, you know, because it's like, you know, should I say that should well, so it was, it was very weird at the beginning, but it was an amazing experience after that I started to tour Europe or Italy and to write my first songs I showed, because I felt that there was a moment where I, you know, there were a lot of different, some writers, very important to giving me some of their songs that I really appreciated. 6 (19m 54s): But instead of me, there was the, you know, I really, I wasn't really happy because I wasn't telling my story. And I had some difficulty on be believable in that case because they said, okay, that's your story? And it's beautiful, but I need to be able to write my stories with my sound, with my way to sing to the world who I am. So, you know, I started with the first songs really, really ugly. My God were really ugly, but there was an exercise it's like, you know, certain to play piano, you start from the little things to the stories, the most, the bigger words. 6 (20m 38s): I mean, before to the Chapin, you need to do a lot of like chopsticks. So I started, you know, to write songs and, and actually the, The first time I really brought something that made sense, not just for me, but also for who was around me at the time. It was the equivalent of a very painful moment in my life. So I understood that it doesn't really matter, you know, you know, really trying to do your best every day, but there are moments of your life that just, you know, open files, open channels of your, you know, life where you can actually, you know, come with with something that it was really simple to, to, you know, to, to write. 6 (21m 40s): But just because there was pain behind, there was a strong experience behind, and there was the case of a song that I still didn't release, but they got the attention of actually very important singers, even which I leave for example, And cl released the song. And 4 (22m 6s): How did these people find the song? And actually I'm curious to know, did this process start after the show had wrapped up or are you, is this happening during the show? 6 (22m 16s): Yeah, it was after, because actually during that specific show that year, they didn't really allow us to, to, to sing your songs. You know, there are 4 (22m 26s): Just whatever covers the 6 (22m 28s): Deals between the recording labels. There was Sony music. There was like behind me at the time, then like what happened? You know, I started, you know, to, to keep writing, writing, writing, writing, and I was finishing the conservatory at the time. I was like keeping, writing, touring and, and do a ton of different experiences, like all over Europe. They, a friend of mine said I was really, really struggling because you know what, America lead here in 2008, we started to leave in Italy around 20 12, 13. 6 (23m 14s): So it was very frustrating because culturally, economically, it was just like, you know, sinking the entire country. And there was an, any other stimulus that I found there was, you know, really like, you know, inspiring to me. So a friend of mine told me let's go to New York and I, well, I really like, Hey, if this is it, I want to go to UK. When I go and study in London, I want to keep with my studies. I want to go on one of these beautiful college because I studied when I was 17 years old, I won a scholarship and I studied there at the St. 6 (23m 60s): John college in Cambridge. So I was in love with the place and my friend said, oh, let's just go. Let's just take, you know, a week of, you know, let's go in a big city and let's have fun. I was like, okay, let's go. Well, when I landed, I tell you, I was bumped saying that I felt that I always belong to the place I found the I never visited before America. So like, and you know, New York is New York. He's not really America is. I mean, it's the land of the, I mean, where everything can happen, but it's then I discovered the America was also something else. 6 (24m 44s): So I was into these, you know, game, you know, like we, the people everywhere, we lights everywhere, we, everybody that didn't actually give a shit about anything else. Everybody was like beer to leave their specific moment. And I was like, I laughed. I mean, like I was used to, you know, through Italy that there's th th th the culture was a little bit different, but I really felt like, you know, free there. And so, like, I can express myself in the way that I want here. Well, the Providence that I've been in that, you know, I, I, my English wasn't good, but I say, you know, I want to start to come here often and see if this is the place where I want to build my future day. 6 (25m 31s): So 20 12, 20 13, 20 14, I came to United States very often in just New York, never been in any other place. I, you know, like these were the moments where I, I, there was something new in my life that I, that I knew that when the moment was when I was ready, that place was there. But actually, like, I came back to Italy and the, in a moment of strong desperation, let's say like that. 6 (26m 10s): I remember, like, I, I expressed the desire to have a big cultural stimulus, because I said like, you know, between me and me. So like, if I don't get something really cool, I'll leave Italy right now. And actually a week after that's crazy, my sister calls me, she's a doctor. And she says, I am visiting <inaudible> team. I show you, I have that seem. So he, he is the most famous Italian director of movie theater opera. 6 (26m 55s): I mean, he was the one that opened the met in New York in 50. Wow. He was the one that discovered the copy was the one that discovered like a tan, like the ambulance, the Jesus of Nazareth, all these kinds of movie, all Hollywood was able to come in Italy because of him. Wow. He was a best friend, really stale, or Michael Jackson. I mean, like, so she said he wants to meet you. And I was at the conservatory, take a taxi. And I go to Islam. There was the most amazing moments of my life. Two hours with him talking about, you know, music, classical music, Maria, Carlos, there was, you know, one of these best friends and the end of the meeting after two hours, he said from today, we will never leave each other. 6 (27m 55s): I want to see you every day. So I started to work with him and I had the, I mean, the, the honor, the pleasure to work with him, think about when he was 23 years old. That was my age when he was, you know, working in the streets of Paris with Coco Chanel. So whether he was able to be witnessed and creator of a world that cannot exist anymore. And I was there witnessing his story. So I worked with him for, you know, a lot of different years. And, and when I finally decided to move to New York, he supported me. 6 (28m 39s): He was kind of upset at the beginning because, you know, he wanted me to stay there, but I say, you know, I need to build my future. Any really support me. He helped me also in this decision. And it was because of him that when I move in the United States, that I also was be able to meet Cher actually, and become friendly with her as well. Yeah. Because she, he did with Mussolini also with share. It's a beautiful movie, which share jumper, right? Judi, Dench, Maggie's me the amazing movie. So I moved to New York in Harland. 6 (29m 20s): There was the place where I was so lucky to be in contact with all the music that I always listened to since when I was a child, no more town. So gospel and I learned a lot from, from the people living there because in Harlem, they're still like, you know, music happening in the streets. You still see like, you know, people carrying their, you know, stereo cassette and walking like that, like in the eighties, it's, I mean, it was just like, you know, a movie for me, I started to go to the first, you know, gospel functions, listening the real gospel. 6 (29m 60s): Choir's no Apollo theater. I mean, I was in heaven. That's when I started to, to write, you know, in English to, to start writing English. And also to understand that my music was taking a different direction, but also different sounds. So it's, it's weird because sounds is really affected by the things that you leave. And I noticed this when I go back to Italy and I play for my friends, the songs are not released yet. They say, oh my God, this song has an international sound. I don't see that as international sound. 6 (30m 40s): I see that, that as like, you know, the sound that I'm creating, probably because of what I'm leaving, you know? So I started to work for Columbia university, Jamal Joseph, Jamal, Joseph, that I met in gala later in, in, in Harlem, he, he had an incredible story and he became professor with black punters, think about, and he became professor of law at the Columbia university and he was writing movies for them, you know, August rash, if you ever seen August rough, their movie was written by him. And I remember watching that movie and crying myself like in, like, it w it was beautiful. 6 (31m 24s): Anyway, he helped me to write soundtracks for the movies produced by Columbia university. So that was my first, my first 4 (31m 33s): During the movie. 6 (31m 34s): Yes. Yes. That's another of my patient because, you know, helps a lot train by classical, you know, with classical music for me, it's like, I close my eyes. You tell me a theme. And I just started to compose for piano, piano orchestra, a string course. Like, I mean, it's, it's, it's something that is really inside me. And, and I feel that really beautiful to make it. And then I moved to Los Angeles big why? Because musical obviously called me there. And, and I found, I found a different America to Los Angeles because I was, was used to, you know, to see people walking everywhere as that first time I went to, wasn't it. 6 (32m 17s): I said, where are the people walking here? 4 (32m 20s): The cars and traffic. 6 (32m 23s): Exactly. So I wasn't used to like, think about the first time I started to live in Los Angeles was the beginning of May, 2016. I took an Uber to go to another place of the, of the town. And I said, okay, I take just, you know, Uber, it leaves me there and I'll start. Well, I mean, like I noticed that these blogs where like, if there are no, and there was nothing really to, to be, you know, like they were like just blogs, concrete, blogs. And I said, okay, there's probably a different way to leave the city here. So it was really difficult for me at the beginning to get used to the reality. 6 (33m 7s): And it took me actually different years kill the moment that I, it's also very difficult to make friends in Los Angeles, because it's so big that it's, it's really almost impossible if you don't have connections, friends of friends and friends, the percent that they, you know, like put you in contact with other friends, it's really impossible to not anybody there. So I, through charity events, I met will became my producer, Chico bandits, and Chico Bennett. You know, like he, he wasn't 18 years old when he started to work with prince. 6 (33m 53s): He, he worked all his life with greens and Madonna lady Gaga, and I mean a ton of killers and a ton of people. And I was there saying like, you're good. Okay, there's me too. Now just working on some little stuff. We started to produce one song. His song is called broken, and he really loved this record. And this was September, 2018. But, you know, I was, you know, let's start to work together and see how we feel about each other. It wasn't actually till March of the following year that we really started to work on not AP because he really loved the project. 6 (34m 38s): And he said, let's work on AP. Let's do that. And in that moment there, I realized that Chico wasn't just, you know, like a great musician, great producer body became really a great friend. He ease my, you know, like we, we call each other brother from another mother because really their connection between us, it's huge, huge, huge. And, you know, we worked on these AP, there were supposed to come out March of 20, 20, March 7th, 2020. Does remind you something, 4 (35m 19s): Wait, what happened in March of 2020? 6 (35m 24s): Well, you know, like, so we started showcase the AP, like the November, 2019, we were ready to launch DCP March, 2020. And, and then it starts, 4 (35m 39s): Right. 6 (35m 40s): So, you know, the world was very, very confused. Where are we going? What is going on? What is happening? And a music industry was stolen. I mean, like there was probably, you know, no, no other industry that actually struggled so much like music industry, the only people that were able to really something where, you know, like, you know, from lady Gaga, Elton John, Miley Cyrus, 4 (36m 11s): Two records out 6 (36m 12s): Think the people that can just, you know, do these and their Instagram, their followers, or they, you know, like everything is like, they are ready, but for people that are trying to, you know, start 4 (36m 25s): Their journey. 6 (36m 26s): Yeah. It's very difficult. But when I said, I said like, you know, let's do what I did when I started the talent show, I'll take callers and I will change completely these covers. And I will publish this covers every day on YouTube actually was able to make in one week, 1.8 million people there, like following or reaching out, watching that, and that you can not do any more these numbers because people are no longer, You need to be somebody else to make it. But 4 (37m 2s): Yeah, they burned out on watching people online. Now 6 (37m 6s): I was so happy and, you know, also gave me start to give me the possibility to have an exchange with the American audience and not just American extra discovered that the south American audience was going crazy. And it still today, like, so I'm actually like, you know, I, I'm thinking about doing a Spanish song as next release that I, I speak different language in Spanish is one of these I love, I love singing in Spanish. I think it's very beautiful. And, you know, at the end of like, we are, we are people leaving the world. 6 (37m 48s): I don't think about, you know, country or combines or whatever we are all here. And if we can, if we can do these also in different language for different market, why not? Right. Right. So nothing EPS not released yet, but on December, 2021, I, I was so, so other all these allow me the word bullshit that we were leaving, you know, like giving us excuses for not to do something that I said, I don't care. 6 (38m 30s): I want to release a song. I want to, as I said, at the beginning, trying to heal what, what it might opinion is important to heal. So I just with tests that are working was going to be fine. I released the first song, just got invoiced. It was prayer. It was actually a moment of these one where you talk with yourself and you just pray for something better account. Okay. And there wasn't supposed to be, you know, the first real release, but I wanted to be sure that everything was working nice when my first real release was coming. 6 (39m 13s): And actually there was, this was, we are the power that came out from December 17. We are, the power is a song, a debt. It really unites everybody on the deal. That is just without all, you know, the, the single strengths of this, you know, everybody that we can make something happen in this world. Something really nice. And I said, I want to release these. It will be also a good way to be received probably during the holidays. You know, everybody during the holidays, not just during the earliest, but like is trying to find a way to think better. 6 (40m 0s): And so I decided, you know, what I will do in this song? What I always dream to do gospel bringing all my patient is soul 7 (40m 18s): Susan. I'm sorry. I'm late. Traffic is terrible. 2 (40m 21s): It sure is. But on top of that gas prices have been skyrocketing. I can't believe how expensive gas has gotten recently. Right? 7 (40m 28s): He says that the pumper up, but I never pay full price for gas anymore. I just use the free get upside app that pays you cash back for every gallon of gas you buy 2 (40m 36s): A minute. Are you saying you actually get paid cash when you buy gas with a get upside app? 7 (40m 41s): Yes. I get real cash back. Every time I buy guests and this that 2 (40m 44s): Actually add up to anything 7 (40m 46s): I've made around $200. 2 (40m 48s): Wow. That's serious extra cash. I'm downloading the free get upside app. Now 8 (40m 53s): Download the free, get upside app now to earn real cash back. Every time you buy gas, use promo code gold for a $5 bonus on your first tank. That's promo code gold. You can cash out anytime, right to your bank account to PayPal or any gift card for Amazon and other brands. Just download the free getup site app and use promo code gold for a $5 bonus on your first tank. That's code gold for a $5 bonus 6 (41m 18s): In a church. Like my journey started in the United States in Harlem. And that was a, we are, the power came out December 17th was beautiful, was received really, really, really well. And, and, you know, the message arrived. It was my first release. So there's a lot of way, you know, a lot, a lot of things to build still is just the beginning. And there will be, I mean, like, I always am very convinced that when you do art, there's never like, you know, you know, I arrived there because in the moment they arrive, you see like, there's another huge mountain to climb. 6 (42m 6s): And okay. So, you know, January, February usually are kind of like February, everything really restarts. Generally people are still kind of slipping from the holidays. I wanted to release the second single, and I want it to be a bridge in between. We are the power and the EPO. So I said, you know, like I, this time, you know, I want to something more upbeat. I want to still have the Motown inside, but I want to bring this Motown to a much more contemporary world. And, and I wanted to, you know, like we are still living in very, in present time. 6 (42m 50s): It's like we are going, you know, from pandemic to worst to I, and there's something interesting this morning, I was reading an article and there was these, these persons that were saying like, you know, I feel that the people that are leaving in the world right now are people elected because these are really unprecedented time. And if we are leaving this right now, it means that also we can make something good coming from this mess. And I said, you know, that's very inspiring. I didn't think about that. 6 (43m 32s): So I find here, it can be that I will be able to change the story in some way, any think about your family, human beings, think about that thing in this way. It can be a huge change. Huge. So I said, you know, thinking about finding my way, it doesn't matter. The surrounding the challenges that are always there ready to, you know, be in our lives as obstacles as science. But if we really want what we desire, we can make it up. 6 (44m 14s): And I, these was fine my way. And I told the story through my mothers, my, my mother teaching me that, you know, like the discipline that anything I want, I can get adjust if I open my heart. And if I, you know, like if I, yeah, if I opened my heart, essentially, and if I, if I'm very disciplined, so that was fine. My way they came out March 24th, it's going really, really well. Actually, I let's see. I'm not usually somebody that is obsessed with numbers, but the industries, it's 147,000 views. 6 (44m 58s): So it's good. Let's hear somebody that is just a second release is good. And, and there was a beautiful production with Chico kind of long month. Cause actually the song was keeping changing direction all the time, but I'm really, really happy or what their Soul-Ties. And I'm already looking forward to the next, that really is the probably will be DP or in Spanish song. 4 (45m 31s): Amazing. Very, very cool. Well, I love it. You got going on currently Savannah and I appreciate your time. This has been awesome. What took you then to Florida? When did you move to Florida? I'm just curious. Now 6 (45m 43s): I moved to Florida. We were not before the pandemic and thing. I, you know, like Florida was very kind of liberal during the pandemic. There wasn't any real lockdown and the letter, a lot of people actually die for that, but it also let's say, you know, there were people dying during the pandemic for the health issue. And there are people too, this struggling with health, psychological health issues, because they were caged in apartments. They were caged in, you know, like, and Los Angeles and New York were probably the two worst reality believing in that time. 6 (46m 28s): So I was really, really happy to be here really fast. I have to say, I love Florida. I love the heat. I am. It makes me very happy. It makes me more vibrant. I have my studio here. I love people. You know, I think a lot of time the sun gives people, you know, more happiness. So everybody's Like when you go to a Y they, you see that everybody's very smiling. We lay flowers and then whatever I say, like why people are so nice here? Well, you know, it's part of that if you 4 (47m 4s): Live in paradise. Exactly. 6 (47m 6s): So, but I, you know, I never still been in Nashville and wait to come. It was actually, it was actually one of the first place I wanted to visit, but the pandemic started then at the end and do it, but I really, really want to come there. 4 (47m 21s): Yeah. We just moved here. I mean, I grew up in Southern Cal and San Diego, so just south of LA and then my family and I, we moved here February of last year. So we've been here a year, a little over a year now. We absolutely love it. 6 (47m 35s): 10 gig was beautiful. 4 (47m 36s): Yeah, it is. 6 (47m 38s): I 4 (47m 39s): Live here. 6 (47m 40s): It's so funny. There was that happenings in Diego last year in September. I, I like to, when I go to California, I lived there for five years, but when I go to California, I always like to do a stop in Tijuana 4 (47m 57s): All the time when I was crying. 6 (47m 59s): There's the restaurant, the very famous restaurant where like, it should, the sister salads, They do some taco mean Tijuana is one of the best place to eat for me. So I go there and when I come back, you know, I think the train from union station in San Diego, and I always stop a little Eataly Italian procession of a Saint that is really like Italian stuff that I always been there since when I was a child 4 (48m 33s): And 6 (48m 33s): I was there. So like, I have no it's new. I mean, Eataly here. 4 (48m 38s): So it actually does. It holds up, was somebody born and raised in Italy, comes to San Diego, goes to little Italy and that's cool. That's cool to now. Cause I'm like, oh, you thought about that. I'm like, if somebody from Italy came here, are they going to be like, what is this noise? Like, what is this? But no. Well, awesome. Stephano thank you so much. I have one more quick question for you. I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists 6 (49m 9s): Always be inspired by something, always follow your dreams. You know, be always concentrated in what you know your dreams are and you will be able to find a way to make them. I promise

Stefano May Profile Photo

Stefano May

Music Artist

Stefano is a singer, songwriter and piano virtuoso who fuses soul, pop and classical for an enthralling musical journey. The talented songwriter’s music is marked by hope, love and connection in the aim to heal.

Born in Soveria Mannelli, Italy, Stefano took to music at an early age and began classical piano training at age seven. He quickly gained notoriety by performing on popular Italian TV shows, and since then has collaborated with famed songwriters, as well as the famed director Franco Zeffirelli. Honing his craft further, the musician and singer has ultimately composed and scored motion picture soundtracks under the guidance of award-winning filmmaker Jamal Joseph.

2019 marked the beginning of his solo project, when Stefano began collaborating with famed producer Chico Bennett (Madonna, Lady Gaga, The Killers, Prince). His debut single “Prayer” highlights the songwriter’s warm and confessional vocals brimming with such passion, and yet such delicate vibrato tones. Stefano’s otherworldly vocal delivery glides with memorable melodies over intimate piano. The moving lyrics detail the act of loving again after hardship and disconnection. With comparisons to Sam Smith, Andrea Bocelli, and Michael Bublé, “Prayer” marked a graceful and exciting debut for this generational artist on the rise.

In Stefano’s latest single “We Are The Power,” the songwriter invites us all to take part in healing the world together. The glorious composition features soulful vocals, a soaring melody, and a vivacious chorus complete with a gospel choir for a most heartfelt demonstration of love, optimism, and vitality. Stefano confides, “It is a song that describes the importance of every person’s mission to use their individual gifts to unify the world in harmony and peace.” After almost two years of collective hardship and widespread disease, “We Are The Power” is the perfect anthem to inspire bright beginnings for the new year ahead.

"Find My Way" was born as a musical tribute to the Motown world that has been highly influential to Stefano's musical taste and sound since he was a young child. Thematically, the song was inspired by his mother, who raised Stefano to pursue big dreams and share his gifts with strength, patience, and heartfelt dedication. "Find My Way" is an upbeat, danceable song which celebrates elements of funk, jazz, and soul reminiscent of legendary Motown hits. The song was written starting in the mountains of southern Italy in December and was recently finished in Miami, after a period of deep introspection and gratitude for his family. The result is a collaboration between Travis Mazza, John Smallwood and Stefano May under the production of legendary producer Chico Bennett. In the powerful video, Stefano narrates daily life in Los Angeles during unparalleled times, ultimately alluding to profound messages of compassion, grace, and hope for a brighter tomorrow. Stefano confides, “No matter how challenging your surroundings can be, you will always be able to find your own way..."

Stefano aims to bring people together through the power of music. By sharing his gifts, he empowers others to do the same. “Music is made to heal your soul. People find commonality in the music they listen to and every song has the right time and place for each of its listeners.”