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Sept. 27, 2022

Interview with Stephen Sanchez

We had the pleasure of interviewing Stephen Sanchez over Zoom video.

Emerging as one of the year’s fastest-rising breakthrough talents, buzzing Nashville-based singer and songwriter Stephen Sanchez debuts his highly-anticipated new EP, Easy On My...

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We had the pleasure of interviewing Stephen Sanchez over Zoom video.

Emerging as one of the year’s fastest-rising breakthrough talents, buzzing Nashville-based singer and songwriter Stephen Sanchez debuts his highly-anticipated new EP, Easy On My Eyes, today via Mercury Records/Republic Records

In addition to Stephen’s global smash “Until I Found You,” the seven track EP includes his luminous new single “See The Light.” On the song, acoustic guitar brushes up against his swooning vocals. A gorgeous hook takes flight above handclaps highlighted by a powerful crescendo with timeless grace and palpable energy.

Across Easy On My Eyes, Stephen recounts an unbelievable year since his emergence. He wrote nearly all of the songs on the EP himself and teamed up with Jamie Hartman [James Bay, Lewis Capaldi] and Jon Green [Lady A, Little Big Town] on “Hey Girl.” He then worked with producers Ian Fitchuk [Kacey Musgraves, James Bay] and Konrad Snyder [Madi Diaz, Rainbow Kitten Surprise] in Nashville to bring the EP to life in one-take performances. The project illuminates his talent both as a vocalist and a songwriter.

Stirring up excitement for the project’s arrival, Stephen continued to reach new career highs throughout the summer. “Until I Found You” has amassed nearly 640 million global streams to date across all platforms, is RIAA Certified Gold, just hit #5 at AAA Radio this week, and continues to climb up the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Recently, he shared the 1950’s-inspired music video for the single, which Rolling Stone exclusively gave a first look to and has collected over 20 million views since its release. He also delivered show-stopping performances of the song on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Late Night with Seth Meyers, and meanwhile, sold out headline shows in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Nashville, and more.

This episode is sponsored by American Musical Supply. Go to https://ter.li/AmericanMusicalSupply-BACKWARD and use promo code BACKWARD to receive $20 off a purchase over $100.


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Transcript

What's going on? 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 achieve stardom. On this episode, we hung out with Steven Sanchez over Zoom video. Steven Sanchez was born and raised outside of Sacramento, Sacramento, California, and he talks about how he got into music, doesn't really come from a musical household, although his grandfather would play guitar for him and he would sing songs. So that was kind of an inspiration. And then he had another grandparent of his that lived in San Jose, California who had a barn full of vinyl records that he used to dig through. 0 (4m 18s): He started learning guitar around 14 and he started writing songs right around the same time as well. He talked about winning a song contest in his hometown, which gave him the opportunity to open up for Ben Rector. He was still in high school when the pandemic hit junior year of high school. And he went on TikTok, did a cover of cigarette daydreams by Cage the Elephant and the thing went viral. He then puts up a version of his song Lady by the Sea and that one goes viral as well. So the attention of that song got him a manager, which led him to recording the song, got a producer, recorded the song, sent that out to a bunch of record labels, and then eventually sign with the Republic Records. 0 (5m 3s): We hear that story. He talks about putting out his first EP last year, what was not now writing and releasing his massive song until I found You, which has nearly 300 million streams on Spotify, which is absolutely just mind blowing. So he talks about the success of that song and all about his most recent ep, which is called Easy On My Eyes. You can watch our interview with Steven on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It would be awesome if you subscribe to our channel, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and talk at bringing back pod. And if you're listening to this on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Podcast, it would be amazing if you follow us there as well and hook us up with a five star review. 3 (5m 52s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen 0 (5m 57s): To podcasts, we're bringing it backwards with Steven Sanchez. 4 (6m 1s): Hey, what's up? Sorry, my connection was whack. 0 (6m 5s): Oh no, no need to apologize. I appreciate I 4 (6m 8s): Got it to work. Yeah, I mean anytime. What's up Adam, How are you? 0 (6m 11s): How are you man? It's so great to meet you. I appreciate you taking time to do this 4 (6m 16s): Dude. Anytime man. 0 (6m 18s): Awesome, awesome. Well this is a podcast about you in your journey in music and I'd love to talk to you about the new EP and all the successes you've had. 4 (6m 28s): Sweet. Yeah. 0 (6m 29s): Cool. Awesome, awesome. I love dude, I love that your style man, like the the, the way your record sounds like it's, it's so cool. It's like this got this total like old nostalgia feel to it, but it's like a hip and new. It's such a cool, 4 (6m 42s): Oh man. 0 (6m 43s): Like blend. 4 (6m 44s): Thank you, I appreciate that. 0 (6m 46s): Yeah man, it's awesome. But you're in, are you from Nashville? Born and raised in Nashville? 4 (6m 52s): No, so I'm originally from northern California up in Sacramento and then move 0 (6m 56s): Oh, awesome. 4 (6m 57s): Two years ago in the middle of the pandemic, which is like in itself and like that move in general is like insane, but with pandemic in the mix of that, it's just like, it was like, it was ridiculous. It was crazy, man. That's, 0 (7m 13s): Well, do we have so much in common then? I'm actually from Southern California. I'm from San Diego and I moved to Nashville in February of last year. 4 (7m 21s): Dude, I'm in LA right now, so like an hour away or two, I don't know 0 (7m 27s): How far, depending on the traffic, it's not bad. It's, it could be an hour to two hours. Yeah, that's crazy though. Okay, so you were born and raised in, in Sacramento then, and then you didn't move to Nashville for up until a couple years ago. So what was it like growing in Sacramento? 4 (7m 43s): It was great. I mean it's like, it's like city and then farmland and then like outside of the farmland it's just a bunch of, you know, very suburban, like classic movie, movie suburban towns and all that. And I lived, actually, I lived in Sacramento County and so I was up about 30 minutes north of Sacramento in a town called El Dorado Hills. Okay. And so, yeah, it was like, like very suburban area, like with like two high schools, you know, that were competitive. Sure. It was nice, man. It was like a, it was a good, it was a good area to grow up and everybody kind of, you know, went to the same, you know, elementary school, the middle school together and then high school and yeah, it was sweet. 4 (8m 27s): So you kind of grew up with everybody that you know, lived there, which is, which is really cool. 0 (8m 31s): Sure. I mean, how far were you? Cuz Sacramento's fairly close to what, like Tahoe and stuff, isn't it? Like Tahoe or Not really. Yeah, 4 (8m 39s): Yeah. I, so the town I lived in was like an hour away from Tahoe. Okay. So it was way, way closer to Tahoe. Yeah. So I was like, I mean, 20 minutes from Plasterville, if you're familiar. 0 (8m 49s): Yeah. I just, I lived in the Bay Area for about five years and Okay. So we, I ca I went up to Tahoe only a few times, but I remember, I think we drove through Sacramento. We're close to Sacramento doing it. 4 (9m 2s): Yeah, man. 0 (9m 3s): Yeah. That's cool. Yeah, that's a cool spot. Did you guys go up there and like snowboard or anything? 4 (9m 8s): I, I have never snowboarded. I'm not like a big, 0 (9m 11s): I'm not a big like, stream sports guy. 4 (9m 15s): Dude, I wish man, I, I feel like, like shaking my buns on stage for 45 minutes and like slamming my knees on the ground is, is enough. Physical. Physical, anything for sure. 0 (9m 29s): Okay. 4 (9m 31s): Yeah. So I can get injured like plenty doing that over snowboarding, so. Right. Yeah. 0 (9m 37s): Yeah. I just, I didn't know since the mountain was close, like in San Diego there was a mountain, the big bear mountain, which was about an hour and a half. So people I knew would go there in snowboard. I personally didn't, but I didn't know if it was a similar like, commute as far as like people going up there and doing that. 4 (9m 53s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm, I'm familiar with, with Big Barretts. It's great one, I, I think I went up there one time for like, like just like down, like there was like a hill and like I got like a sled and like sled and that's, There you go. That's as far as that went. 0 (10m 9s): Rad. Well how did you get into music? Do you come from a musical household? 4 (10m 14s): No, not all. I, I think there were, you know, every time, you know, I ask this question I have to like pick through and there were only three people that, you know, did anything musically in my family. I had a great-grandmother who sang, apparently a great-grandfather who played on the radio one time and then my grandpa, he used to like write and sing and play for us like all the time when we would go and visit him in Oregon. Yeah. And so there was like, that was kind of my introduction into music, you know, and just like, it wasn't even the singing part of it at all. It was like just being impressed by like the musicianship and like just watching him play and you know, and how he would move his hands across the fret board and just how like effortless it was. 4 (11m 4s): And I think for me that was like just the, I don't know, like it was the thing that like kind of pulled me into it, you know? And yeah, cuz like, I mean singers are great but like watching someone play really well is like impressive in itself, you know? Sure. And so, so yeah, so that was kinda the only thing I had growing up. And then my other grandpa, you know, he had like this large lot of land in San Jose and so he was like up the hill and so he had just a massive farm and two barns on either side of this farm where the house was sat right in between. Oh cool. And, and the barn on the right there were just like thousands of boxes full of LPs. 4 (11m 49s): LPs Wow. Test prints, like 40 fives. And he, he'd been collecting them for a number of years cuz he would, I mean, record sta like stations back in the day, you know, when they were done playing a record, they would just throw it out like there'd be no yeah, 0 (12m 3s): Like the radio stations back then. Yeah, yeah, 4 (12m 5s): Yeah, yeah. And so he would go to those radio stations and just grab a random box and take it with him. Awesome. 0 (12m 14s): And 4 (12m 14s): So, and so he, at some point during the, the weeklong trip that I'd be up there, he would send me out and have me pick through vinyl and I'd pick anything from Elvis to the platters to Frank Sinatra, Na and Cole, Jimmy Duran, Dean Martin, all these big croner and you know, five person groups and, and that was like, that was it growing up. That was what I had. It was just 0 (12m 37s): Those vinyl guitar 4 (12m 38s): Playing grandpa and vinyl. That's it, man. 0 (12m 41s): Did your grandpa kind of watching him do that drive you start playing guitar? 4 (12m 46s): Yeah. Yeah. I mean it was like, there other dumb influences too. Like there was this girl in my middle school, or no, sorry, excuse me, elementary school. She used to play classical guitar like extremely well and it was so good and I was so bad that it like angered me to like wanna be that great. And so it was like a, it was like a weird like jealousy thing that like pushed me to wanna play guitar. And then I like grew up in the church and so watching like gospel music growing up and watching, you know, the band play on on Sunday mornings, like really like draw me into and like watching people get impacted by a feeling, you know, for music and there are a bunch of different weird things. 4 (13m 37s): But like, yeah, that kind of all came to me and then I started playing guitar. And 0 (13m 41s): How old are you when you started playing guitar? 4 (13m 44s): Oh, Jesus. I like 14 I think. Okay. Yeah, I, yeah. 0 (13m 50s): So when you start, do you, did you wanna learn like classical guitar, like the finger picking and all that? Or was it just like, Oh that's cool that she can do that? I I I just wanna learn how to play guitar. 4 (14m 0s): Oh yeah. No, it was just like, I just wanna play guitar. Like I just wanna be able to make sounds with this thing and have it be good. It was like independent radio, you know, like back in the day. Oh yeah. When like Cage the Elephant and Foster the people were like hitting the ground running like really hardcore with like the Oh God. Yeah. Just like they, they were just great and so those and like fun 0 (14m 25s): You 4 (14m 25s): Were that 0 (14m 25s): Band? Oh yeah man. And 4 (14m 27s): Yeah, so like all of these bands were getting like double played on, you know, independent radio like multiple times a day. 0 (14m 36s): You were in Sacramento, you, I've, I did radio for 17 years. That's, it's interesting you talk about radio. I, I was online in the five up in San Francisco for a while. Oh shit. Yeah. Sick. And that's when those bands are doing stuff like KG had no, Ain't No Rest of The Wicked had just came out and Yeah. Busted the people pumped up Kicks was like new at the time. Oh 4 (14m 59s): Yeah, dude, I remember that's crazy 0 (15m 1s): To 4 (15m 1s): Hear that. I swear to God I have the most distinct memory of hearing pumped up kicks on the radio and like pulling up my shitty Dell computer and like typing in like, cuz I used to watch music videos all the time cuz like I love just the visuals with the song and, and yeah and like freaking like they just hadn't released it yet. It like wasn't a thing cuz it was like just put out on the radio and, and yeah. And so like listening to songs like that growing up and like other songs I'd find cuz like I didn't have access to Apple Music or Spotify back then and it wasn't like a big thing I feel like. 4 (15m 41s): And so, yeah, so radio was great. Were 0 (15m 44s): You playing or were you learning songs aside from the, those type of bands? Like did you write your own music at that time or were you thinking about doing that? 4 (15m 53s): Yeah, I mean I didn't start writing to like, like seriously like taking it very serious my till my freshman year of high school because I feel like there's not, there's not a ton to say as like a middle schooler I feel like. 0 (16m 6s): Sure. You know, I 4 (16m 7s): Mean, and like you get 0 (16m 9s): Into high school, you know, you 4 (16m 11s): No, you haven't really, I mean you've had like your, your melodrama moments where just like, oh this is like the peak of like pain in my life. Like Right. But then you get to like your freshman year of high school and you know, you go to those first dances and you meet that girl for the first time and you know, you're with people who are older than you who've experienced life and then, you know, I don't know, even even that in itself, like high school, like there's like a very specific like, list of information that you, you retained during that time and then, you know, you get out of high school and there's even more shit that you have to deal with. Sure. But, but yeah, like, I mean I was writing like songs about, you know, the first girl I ever laid eyes upon. 4 (16m 57s): I was like, oh my God, like I'm gonna make her my muse for three months and then, you know, meet somebody or they break your heart and you're like, oh, that was the word. 0 (17m 5s): Sure, sure. 4 (17m 7s): So 0 (17m 7s): Did you, did you, like, when did you realize you could sing? I mean, you have an incredible voice. Is that something that just kind of came naturally when you started playing guitar? 4 (17m 15s): Oh geez. Well, well thank you. I appreciate that. I honestly, like, I was singing like when I was really little and just like, just for fun cuz like music was just fun for me growing up and I, I think it was just like, I think it's, I think this is a universally felt thing where it's like you, you don't feel like you're that great until like, something like validates it in like a pretty grand way. Sure. You know, I I I feel like for me, like I was just kind of like, music just became this like extremely convicting thing where it was like, that was the only way I could convey how I felt. 4 (17m 56s): And so I had to be good at it. Like I, I could not be bad and yeah, it was just like this just refusal to like be bad. I was just like, I have to be good at this. And so I, I feel like I definitely sucked for a really long time. I feel like I'm pretty alright nowadays, but I feel like in those early years I was really, really trash and then, and then, you know, I feel like that's for everybody though, you know? Yeah. I don't know. Well, what 0 (18m 24s): Was that validating moment that you was like, okay, did that come much later with the success that you've had currently? 4 (18m 31s): I don't know, man. I, well actually maybe my statement that I just, Isn't that true? I, I think it's a lot of different moments, you know? Sure. You kind of just like, you have something like you get to experience and like an opportunity that you get to live through and you're just like, Oh, like that, that's kind of cool. Like I feel like if I was bad I wouldn't have gotten to do it. 0 (18m 51s): Right, Right, right. Yeah. So what would you say, like, you know what I mean, you know, when you start writing songs and are you showing people your songs yet, or like what, when do you start doing that and then how does that kind of lead into you eventually moving to Nashville? 4 (19m 2s): Oh man. Yeah. I, I mean I think like, oh geez, that's a great question. I, I think obviously in the earlier years my parents were like very supportive and encouraging of me and my songwriting and so they were doing everything they could to financially support that as well. And so, I mean like that's awesome. My mom bought me a guitar when I was growing up like a Gibson J 45, which is like, you still 0 (19m 25s): Have it? 4 (19m 26s): I don't, I I I passed it down to That's good. Somebody who I care about like that, 0 (19m 32s): That's all that matters then. Okay. Sorry. So 4 (19m 33s): Around that and they start, they wanna start writing and singing too. And so I was like, man, like I have to, like I feel like this should be something that they 0 (19m 41s): Should Yeah, that's cool of you. Okay. Sorry, go ahead. Yeah, and, and so 4 (19m 44s): No, you're cool. And so there was that and then, you know, like I'd get like different opportunities I got to open up for Ben Rector in my hometown when I was growing 0 (19m 51s): Up. Oh wow. And 4 (19m 52s): This is like pre any sort of like label or like songs doing anything or even music being released. And so I got to do that cuz like I won like a singing competition or whatever in my hometown that they had. I think it was just up until, you know, like when to, you know, became a thing, you know. And like I'll never claim to be a TikTok artist in any way cuz I feel like, I feel like everybody kind of is like no one wants to give the full credit to TikTok for like the hard work they did behind the scenes. Right, Right. You know what I mean? And so, but I do give a massive amount of credit to TikTok for just like putting me like in front of the right people, you know, cuz like everybody started jumping on that and I mean that wasn't until like my, like the start of my junior year of high school, you know, and, and it was like summer and later by the sea became a thing. 4 (20m 49s): And I think once that became a thing and I got connected with my previous manager who then sent that song out to labels and all of those labels wanted to meet with me. Like that was kind of that moment of, oh shit, like this is like, yeah happening. I might be alright. I might be right for this. Like, I don't know if I'm cut out for it. We'll see. And then, but 0 (21m 9s): Before that you had the viral moment though with Kg Elephant didn't you? Or was that pre prior to that or was that after? Oh 4 (21m 15s): Yeah, yeah. So that was that. It was like that little nugget I feel like, cuz I mean TikTok was so fresh. Like it was so fresh. Like people were like just getting on it like that year. Cause 0 (21m 28s): This was like when the pandemic hit or No, before pre 4 (21m 30s): Oh yeah Pandemic. Pandemic just hit okay. And then everybody was home and so this like, this app became like a, like 0 (21m 39s): A yeah it was insane 4 (21m 40s): People, 0 (21m 41s): It was like a dance challenge thing for like a minute. Right. Music discovery thing. 4 (21m 48s): Yeah, it's crazy. I think everyone was like stoked about it beforehand and like that's what it was and then everyone just got stuck at home and it was just like, oh we can do whatever with this thing. And yeah, I don't know but like, just to have, you know, a lot of different people wanna talk to me about like music and my craft and like wanna work together. Like that was extremely validating early on. And I think like really intimidating too cuz like, you know, I, it's one thing to like wanna do have music, be your career and then to like realize how big the shoes of your heroes are and to like feel like you can fit those. Like that's that's wild. 4 (22m 29s): So yeah. 0 (22m 30s): Yeah. But I mean to like you said, you don't wanna give too much credit TikTok, which I understand cuz you obviously been doing this for a long time and you have a ton of amazing songs and it's like when you get the moment like Kg Elephant and it blows up for, you know, was that kind of your first viral thing that that happened? 4 (22m 46s): Yeah, it was the first viral thing and then it went to Lady by the Sea and then from there went from holding Y Can and then we started making the record cuz we signed with Republic and then months and months after that, you know, until I found you became a thing that exploded. No, 0 (23m 1s): Yeah, yeah. We'll we'll get that. I just wanna just, just cuz I'm curious like, or I just wanna say too like yeah you had that K Elephant thing happened, a lot of people might have a viral moment with a cover and then no nothing follows up and then you put out Lady by the Sea and then that lands and it's like your own. So I feel like you aren't really giving credit to TikTok cuz there's so many people that have had a half of a second, you know, viral success and then there's no nothing to follow it up. Like you've continually followed that up with more and more and bigger and bigger until, you know, the recent one, which was, I mean, you know, you have like 200 over 200 million plays on the song. I mean it's insane. 4 (23m 42s): It's Wild man. 0 (23m 44s): Like that's 4 (23m 46s): Validating itself too, 0 (23m 47s): Right? I mean, so like Lady by the Sea hits, that must have been a totally different feeling than having the Cage The Elephant won land. Cause it's your song, right? 4 (23m 57s): Yeah. I mean I watched it like, and you know, it's funny too, like I just, I just kinda, it wasn't a song I was emotionally tied to in any way. I was just like, duh, this is cool. Like I'll just post this cuz this is something I just wrote. And then it just went and just became its own thing and, and there was like a minute there where like we released it and I was like, I freaking resent this song. Like why this have to be the one that did it? And then because it just didn't mean like it emotionally like I was like disconnected from it cause like it didn't mean anything to me when I wrote it. And then, and like over the years, like seeing people like connect with it, I think that's a cool thing too. 4 (24m 37s): Like it, you know, I feel like for some songwriters that was like a very rare case for me personally. But I feel like for people who write songs for the sake of just writing them, you know, to have people like give them meaning and like purpose is like, oh, it makes you love this song. I feel like, you know, a lot more. Yeah. And 0 (24m 56s): And you were in high school when this was happening. You were a junior in high school? Is that what you said? 4 (24m 60s): I junior in high school. 0 (25m 1s): Oh my gosh. So I mean, aside from like being a kid in school, in high school, I guess you were home with the pandemic, but to see this thing happening where people like, you know oh, oh, like I know Steven like this like, like kind of trying to to hit you up just on that side of things just because of the success you're having like via like an app that everyone wanted to gain some sort of like viral successful Sure. 4 (25m 27s): I mean sort of, I feel like nowadays, like, like now it's very much like a, oh hey I know this guy. Like I had somebody like, like put me on their story from like six years ago and be like, this is just evidence that him and I knew each other and like, like 0 (25m 46s): My like, 4 (25m 48s): Oh 0 (25m 48s): God. 4 (25m 49s): But it's cool. I mean it's like, I mean I grew up with all those people and like, you know, they're, it's totally cool but it's, it is funny, like, it's definitely like a true statement that people have said to me. They're like, Oh yeah, like people are gonna like come outta the woodworks and be like, ah, like I knew that guy. Sure. I've like seen it a couple times. I'm like, Ah, they did. And now they know like 0 (26m 13s): Right, right, right. Oh man. Yeah. That's incredible. So like, okay, so after that song hits to, and then that's when the labels start coming or that's when you started kind of reaching out to people. You had a manager you talked about at that point. Yeah. And then when do you end up moving to, to Nashville? Like where did you graduated high school at that point? 4 (26m 36s): So like I, I'll lay it out, This is exactly how it went. So I post this, I post the song in May that goes viral, Get connected with the manager late May. 0 (26m 50s): Okay. 4 (26m 51s): Manager 2020. Okay. Sign with that manager. Oh wait, no, this may have been 2019. 0 (26m 58s): Oh God, 4 (26m 60s): I don't know. Yeah, 0 (27m 1s): No. Is a pandemic been 2020? It was, Sorry. 4 (27m 6s): No, you're okay. 20 happened that song, that song goes viral, Get connects with manager, Manager flies meet to New York 10 days after we meet, we record the song, send the song to every label known man, 35 labels, come back all of June. We just have meetings with every label ever. And then July we like go whittle it down to like five. So it's like Columbia Republic, Interscope and, 0 (27m 35s): And all the heavy hitters. 4 (27m 37s): Yeah. Like RCA Electra. And so we, we were doing that. And then finally we land between Columbia Inter Republic, ended up rolling with Republic August 5th we signed with the Republic, take that month, pick a producer land with I Fit and Conrad Snyder who have worked with me ever. Yeah. And, and yeah and with everyone the, and then we record the EP in October, finish it in December. I moved to Nashville December 5th and then I'm 0 (28m 17s): There 20 4 (28m 18s): Of 2020. 0 (28m 20s): Okay. 4 (28m 21s): And so I'm there and then, you know, keep making music and that whole thing. And then we release it the following October, this last October. And then I write until I found you in the summer of last year released that September. 0 (28m 36s): Yeah. Game changer. Or not game changer. Game changer. But just, Well, I mean, to follow up the success, like you have this EP out and you sign this big, you know, you have a deal with a major label. Are you, or not confused, but are you concerned at all with like following up that success? Like, oh, is the next thing gonna hit? Like, am I gonna be able to continue? Or was that not even a thought in your mind? 4 (28m 57s): Oh God, not at all. I was just like, I was just concerned about making sure that like what I was saying was true. You know, like I love 0 (29m 4s): That. Yeah. 4 (29m 5s): You know, like I feel like that should, that should only be the concern for like an artist. Like of course like you wanna be able to do this for a long time, but like, if you're not saying something that's true that people can, you know, objectively look at and like, I don't know, like make tangible within their lives, like what's the point of doing this thing? You know, like, like I would rather, I would rather fail at this thing and like have said everything that's possibly true about like, the love in my life or like moments in my life than to like write something that like, be like is just a hit. And I like, don't believe what I'm saying, you know? Sure. And be like successful at that, you know, like, but I'm glad that it's, it's that happy medium where it is true and it is doing okay. 0 (29m 55s): That's, Well I think that's thing about too and not, and just your music in general, that why it lands with people is it is authentic. You can, people can sniff out if it's not an authentic, you know, thing. Like I feel like that's what really blew up with, with TikTok is just the behind the scenes kind of like, oh, this person's being real. It's not just like some attempt to, to write something that people are gonna like, like, or whatever. Like a pop song or something like 4 (30m 24s): That. Yeah, a hundred percent. Yeah. 0 (30m 26s): So when you put out until I found you, you put that up and does it go like quick, like is it like, okay, I'm gonna put this piece up and then it does well fast? Or was it kind of like a slow burn? 4 (30m 36s): It was a really slow burn actually. Yeah, I was like, so the, I wrote, I wrote that song about my, my ex-girlfriend and at the time when it was released in September, oh wait, no, I'm sorry. When we recorded it together, she did the background vocals on it and like obviously her name is in the song and I wrote that for her. And then when we, when I released it, we, we'd already been broken up for about a month and so I was like complete distress, like having to advertise that song for like five months and it was just like, at this horrible, horrible standstill. 4 (31m 23s): I, and I think like, yeah cuz it, it was September and then October and then November and then December and, and finally it like started to, to move a little bit and like became like a trend for a moment. And, and then, and then it kind of died out and then it like really went outta nowhere. Like, I don't know what it was, but you know, as TikTok does it, people create trends and then it does this thing and then people make different sounds and like a different, you know, a slowed version than a fast version. Then all these things started just happening with the song and it just kind of, yeah, it went from like 20,000 a day and then it went to 50 and I was like, oh shit. 4 (32m 7s): Like this is, this is huge 50, oh my god, I've seen that number before. Oh my God. And then it went from 50 to 80 and I was like, oh my, oh my God. And then it went to 150 and then 200,000 and then 300,000 and then it hit a million and I was like, this is like, this is going out of control. And then now it's like 2.2 million a day, which is just dumb. 0 (32m 27s): Oh man, that's so wild. That's so, but that's so amazing man. Like that's that. Yeah, I can't even imagine to, to see those numbers just like, oh my gosh, like this is crazy. For me, I'd feel like it'd be like the, like a slot machine. Like, like I'm gonna watch this. Okay, let's see what it's at now let's, let's see what's at. Yeah, yeah. No dude, 4 (32m 50s): It's like, it's the, it's the greatest and worst, you know, visual for an artist to like look at their numbers and be like, when it's doing well you're like, yeah. And then when it goes down you're like, no, what 0 (33m 1s): Happened? 4 (33m 1s): Like what happened here? It's cool. 0 (33m 5s): Earlier you, you mentioned how you love like music videos, how like the, the visuals go along with the songs. Like is that something that was important to you with when you put out a, a song or you know, something like, until I found you like the video for it, was that something you spent a time on? Yeah. 4 (33m 21s): Oh yeah. I mean I think like, I'm like, yeah, I'm a big visual person when it comes to songs and I feel like it's even dangerous sometimes. Like, cuz like visuals can pull you into a completely different feeling of the song. You know, like you could, I mean if you're listening to, I don't know, Stand By Me and you're looking at like the beach, like you're gonna associate with the beach and like you're gonna think about like a scenario where you're on the beach and like you're gonna soundtrack that visual like with the song, you know. And so I think with, you know, cover art and like anything that like video wise has been released, like until I found you music video, like I really wanted to make sure that it brought people back into that old time, you know? 4 (34m 9s): And yeah, I feel like that was extremely important. And even like to go as far as like the color treatment of it. Like we referenced like the color palettes for singing in Lorraine and like that whole like pastel like extremely like bright contrast like and and saturated vibe, you know, of that movie and then applied that to, you know, the colors of the music video so that it truly did feel like it was like a music video filmed and shot like in the 1950s. And yeah. And I think that was like the most important thing and I think that will always be like a very important thing to me for future stuff. 0 (34m 48s): So yeah. That's awesome. Well you just, I mean the EP didn't come out very long ago and No, you have, you have a tour, big tour coming up, but do you, are you constantly writing? Like do you I'm do you have a bunch of songs already in the can like waiting to, to come out? 4 (35m 6s): Yeah, there's a, there's a couple in there I think right now it's kind of just, I'm just trying to figure out what that looks like. Cause there's a couple different, like it's exciting cuz there's a couple different avenues in which this debut record could go. And I think it's trying to find like a way to make the directions feel cohesive, you know? And I think with this last ep it ended up being cohesive thematically but sonically it felt entirely all over the place to some degree with some of the songs. And so I think, yeah, I'm just interested to see like what that's gonna look like. 4 (35m 46s): But yeah, there's a lot of songs being written before this tour and a lot of them are in the can and they're gonna be really great. 0 (35m 52s): That's awesome man. Well congratulations on, on all this and the tour and everything coming out and I appreciate you taking time today to, to hang out with me. This has been so much fun 4 (36m 1s): Dude. Thanks for wanting to talk to me man. It's a pleasure. 0 (36m 4s): Yeah. You said you're in LA now, are you, do you still stay in in Nashville or are you in LA permanently? Oh 4 (36m 11s): Yeah, no. Yeah, so I'm still living in Nashville. I'm just here like going to the beach. 0 (36m 16s): Oh, there you go. 4 (36m 18s): I 0 (36m 18s): Love, 4 (36m 19s): Yeah, just taking a breather. Yeah. You know, like 0 (36m 22s): Getting outta the rain 4 (36m 24s): Dude. Yeah man. Yeah. Getting into the hot dry smog, like that's even better. 0 (36m 32s): Dude, thank you so much again for doing this. I have one more quick question before I let you go. I wanna know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 4 (36m 41s): Dude. Yeah, I mean write what's true cuz that's what people care about and like just make sure like you hold onto your words like with conviction and make sure that you know, you keep your emotions entirely in mind when you're writing your songs.

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Stephen Sanchez

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