Optimism, affirmation and gratitude: the music of Joe Steven is an invitation to joy. With Relentless Love, his full-length debut, Joe Steven avows a powerful connection to love in all forms: romantic, spiritual and universal. “I love to write music that moves my heart and soul,” he says. “My mission as a songwriter has always been to write songs with heartfelt messages that can bring hope and inspiration to others.”
Joe Steven showcases a consummate musicality on Relentless Love. An accomplished guitarist and keyboardist, his talents as an orchestral arranger are revealed in delicate details and immense anthemic choruses. At the forefront of the sound is his distinctive voice, expressive and genuine.
Originally from Texas, Joe Steven was captivated by the piano from age eight. In his early teens he gravitated to guitar and played in rock bands, and after discovering the keyboard synthesizer in middle school, began penning his own songs. Adding trumpet, French horn and percussion to his repertoire of instruments, he studied classical music while being deeply influenced by eighties and nineties rock-pop music. “Every day after school I would go home and record my music on an old school cassette player. Soon after, I was able to make demo CD’s of my music with an analog mixing board. Now looking back, music was my great escape — it transported me to a world where anything was possible,” he recalls of his teen years.
In his senior year of high school, Joe Steven orchestrated a concert for the entire school, performing his original music and cover songs. A symphony comprised of his friends from band and orchestra joined him onstage to deliver a historic performance. Meticulously writing each arrangement and conducting dress rehearsals leading to the live performance, he became the first student in the school’s history to stage a full-length original production. “To perform the music I had written throughout the years onstage with my closest friends was such a memorable experience – it will always hold a special place in my heart,” he remembers.
Intensely goal oriented, Joe Steven invested funds from his collegiate years to purchase musical instruments and recording gear. In his well- appointed project studio, he arranged and tracked the instruments on Relentless Love, then headed to Sound of Rain Studios to add vocals. Expanded from what was originally a five song EP, Joe Steven worked on the project with recording engineer/producer Charlie Vela and Grammy® Award-winning mastering engineers Randy Merrill and the late Tom Coyne to polish the sounds with a sparkling sonic sheen, bringing the amplified songs to life.
Since Joe Steven grew up with classical music, his arrangements reveal deep cinematic colors. “I use the orchestra to add emotional depth,” he says, “These beautiful and timeless sounds allow me to freely express myself.” The final track in the collection is an unexpected addition: a gorgeous and emotional orchestral instrumental titled “The Rose.” It is on this closing song that Joe Steven brings the album to a close by leading a symphony orchestra as he performs on the grand piano, his principal instrument.
With Relentless Love, Joe Steven says that his goal is to be authentic as a creator. “I realized a long time ago that it’s not about me,” he concludes, “it’s about helping other people. Love, hope and the triumph of the human spirit — these are the touchstones to describe my music. I will always believe that music has to ability to speak through language barriers and transcend logic by directly touching the heart and soul.”