Welcome to the Music Inspirations blog
Whether you enjoy singing, writing, performing, listening to music, or whether you are inspired by gospel, jazz, country, R&B or blues, we want to hear from you. Our goal is to build a diverse music community that shares news, exchanges ideas and provides resources for its readers.
Share on our blog the music and artist that inspires you. Your music inspiration may get featured in our next article.
Subscribe to this blog today!
A Message from Stephen
Stephen B Steward
Welcome to my Music Inspirations blog! I am excited to share with you music that I love, my own music, and information surrounding music that will improve and enrich both of our lives. Before we get started, I wanted to introduce myself and my experience with music.
When you are the ninth of twelve children, all of whom love to sing and/or play instruments, and have parents that readily encourage these pursuits, you are almost born with an innate love of music and the power that it has. It becomes more than a pastime and just part of who you are as a person.
By the time I went off to college, I was listening to Andraé Crouch, The Hawkins, The Imperials, Andrus Blackwood & Company, Larnell Harris, Michael W. Smith, and Danni Belle Hall. It was songs like I’ve Got Confidence, Great is the Lord, I Go to the Rock , Praise the Lord, Soldiers of the Light and Jesus Christ is the Way that sustained me through some of college’s most difficult days.
To say that my family’s only passion was music would be extremely reductive. Though there were fourteen of us in all, we were a tightly knit bunch. Strong ties to my family and a love of church and community are what propelled me towards a career in music, as much as my love of just music did. I began writing music as a young man and often used those skills as a worship leader at my local church.
Though I had moved to California, far from my family’s home in Mississippi, their influence stayed with me, even as I married my beautiful wife Onesha and started our family. I knew that no matter where I went and what I did, music would have to be a part of it. It was part of God’s plan for me, and I knew that the gift he had given me could be better utilized than just for one congregation—as amazing as they are.
There were obstacles, of course. Music is not always a practical way to provide for a family. I needed Onesha’s support, but she was not excited about pursuing my passion for music as I was, even though she was born into a musical family. It was the business side of the music industry that she was uncomfortable with due to our lack of experience. At the time, I was working in law enforcement, and becoming an artist felt like a far cry—not just for her, but for both of us.
I would need her support and some direction from God before I truly set out an attempt to make a career out of music, especially if I wanted to honor God as much as possible with the music I would create. It was in asking for God’s direction that I saw the connection between my life as a parole agent and my desire to make music. They were both a form of ministry!
I have seen hardened criminals return to God through what I call “raw redemption, deliverance, and healing.” Even those who had addictions to drugs and alcohol could find their way back to happiness—their experiences, their past, their growth, and their healing made my heart fertile ground for writing more songs.
Though I wanted to start my career when I was much younger, I realize now that being present for my children was the best thing at that time. I needed to be there for my kids. The music industry, even the fraction of it centered on gospel/Christian music, can take a lot of time away from a family. It was not the route I needed to follow at the time, but it was definitely the path that God ordained for this time and season.
Now having written over 200 songs, I have released my first project, Enter Your Gates, which debuted in the top ten on the Billboard Gospel Charts. “With My Whole Heart,” the first single released from the project, allowed me to work with the legendary gospel icon, Andraé Crouch himself. Andrae’s music has had a big influence on my life. We have been friends for the past 20 years, collaborated on several songs, some of which I hope to share in the future. Music sometimes has a special way of meeting us where we are in life and catapulting us into our destiny.
There are many styles of music and artists that inspire me. For example, Pop Music crooner – James Ingram, Jazz great – Al Jarreau, Country Artist – Darius Rucker and many more. The blog will be about all the different kinds of music that I find inspiring, and hopefully what you find inspiring, too. What music inspires you? Your music may just be featured in the next article. Let me know in the comments!