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A few months ago, Steve Grand was introduced to me by my cousin Derek Warren who suggested that I have Steve on the show. After diving into Steve’s background and his massive influence on millions of people embracing their sexuality, I was mesmerized by Steve’s focus, drive, and dedication to helping others create the life they truly love. Naturally, my head exploded when I found out he had one of the top three most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time, raising over $300k to support the production of his album.

My cousin Derek is a phenomenal writer and a long time fan of Steve and everything he stands for. You should check his blog out here where he writes about his experience living with Asperger’s. Derek is also openly gay and proud, and I thought it would be awesome (and a honor) to have him write the introduction and post for Steve’s show-notes. 🙂 He is a much better writer than me! woot woot.

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Show-notes by Derek Warren

105_quote1_somedSteve Grand is an independent singer/songwriter from the Chicago suburb of Lemont, Illinois. I have seen him perform twice, both times were in the city of Pittsburgh. I instantly knew that he has tremendous potential in the music world. I knew it from when he greeted the crowd, to when he took the final bow. His passion for music began at the ripe age of 4. Below, he describes his memory of riding in the car with his father, listening to some of his favorite bands.

“Listening to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys, he saw how a song could transport someone through time and space to a moment in the past. He could tell you what shirt he was wearing, the name of the girl he was dating, and what the weather was like,” he says of his dad’s musical reminiscences. “That’s what first sparked my interest in songwriting. It was the first time I encountered music’s unique ability to provide a temporary escape from reality.

When he was four or five, he saw Schroeder, Charlie Brown’s piano playing friend tickling the ivories, and became obsessed. He wanted a piano so badly, that he made them, dozens of models of them, out of campaign posters, crayon, tape and glue, most of them bigger than the tiny, future musician. “I thought it was so cool to be able to make sounds and play a song just using your fingers,” says Steve.

His parents got the hint and bought him an old, beat-up, upright piano. After a lifetime of piano lessons, Steve became an accomplished singer and songwriter, playing in school bands, and later, performing in churches and jamming at jazz venues around town. He penned heartfelt tales of heartache and romance, longing and love, living out his childhood dream and making music with his fingers.”

Being openly gay and a vocal advocate for LGBT rights, the mainstream music world has yet to embrace Steve’s intention to cross the societal boundaries between gay and straight. Such boundaries came to light when he was in the eighth grade. Growing up in a Catholic family, his parents struggled to come to terms with his sexuality. I came out after I graduated from high school. I questioned it throughout all of my four years, but I never found the confidence to face the truth and reveal it to anyone. His debut single “All American Boy” gave me the ability to recognize and express a feeling, one that is so familiar to so many gay people. It is that feeling of unrequited love (towards a straight man) and knowing that love will never be true. The self-funded and produced music video has a very American feel with country roads, whiskey, hot men, the American flag and a campfire.

His debut album “All American Boy” was released in March of 2014. Funding was obtained via Kickstarter and it became one of the most funded album projects for an independent artist. Each one it’s different in its feel and lyrical content, but they all reflect the passion that is so eloquently expressed in the title track. The title track, along with the toe tapper “Stay” and the up tempo “Run” are my personal favorites. To promote the album, Steve continues to perform at Pride festivals around the world. This is a true testament to his desire of helping people feel loved and that their voices deserve to be heard!

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Thanks to Derek and Steve!

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Creative Influences

To defeat Godzilla with his talents…

  • “Find common ground with him and make him chill out.”

Advice…

  • It is amazing to be able to make a difference.
  • Try to reach within yourself to put out something compelling and people will respond to that.
  • The internet can be harsh; the people can be harsh.

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Highlights 

  • 4:04: How does a young Catholic boy overcome the prejudices of his time to become one of the most outspoken young minds on gay sexuality? What does it take to be an “overnight success?” Steve Grand, the country music singer-composer talks about his climb on the ladder to overnight success through his “All American Boy” music video. The story tells a powerful epic journey to self worth, personal affirmation and self validation. Listen as he tells the story of how this music video got him on “Good Morning, America,” CNN and “The Larry King Show.”
  • 9:38: Homosexuality, the world’s best kept secret since the creation of Adam, is under scrutiny once again after America’s historic approval of same sex marriage. Steve, who has amassed a substantial fan base, is right in the center of this unprecedented acceptance of homosexuals. This one single act of America will probably prove to be the most socially significant episode in the evolution of human civilization in the 21st century – barring the sudden appearance of aliens from other galaxies. Listen to how Steve has influenced LGBTs all over the world through his music. The incredibly liberating message in his song “Time” may have moved gays but believe me, this is not just about gays. This is about people standing up for the right to pursue personal happiness, the exhilarating freedom to accept oneself and the wonderfully intoxicating feeling of being accepted for simply being.
  • 13:36: What is uniquely human, transcends sexual preferences and produces universal resignation in all of us? Would you agree if I say it is unrequited love? Haven’t we all gone through our personal version of “the impossible crush?” This theme pushed Steve’s “All-American Boy” to theTop 5 rank among thousands of kickstarters out there. Listen as Steve tells about the incredible climb of this music video to the 100,000 mark in 24 hours from launch. Steve tells the amazing story of how “All-American Boy” was made with a mere initial capitalization of two thousand dollars. The entire music video eventually was made at a cost of 7 grand and listen to the endearing story of how the then 19-year old Steve, who at this point has never used a credit card, maxed out one to raise the additional five grand.
  • 22:59: Steve gives amazing insights on how it is to be alone and struggling to embrace one’s sexuality in view of religious and social pressures and never expecting that someday this very thing that has caused so much angst will be the very thing to define a large part of his successful professional life.
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