I began Songs of the People a few years back, and 18 unique songs were brought into the world based on some amazing stories people shared with me. I am in the process of revamping this project: Songs of the People is now Real Folk (shorter, sweeter, available URL), with a new funding platform on Patreon. The point of using Patreon is so I don't have to ask the story-giver for money, and therefore only get stories from folks who can afford them. Stay tuned - I still have plenty of work to do before I launch this thing, but I'm hoping to begin in May!!
Through my experience teaching songwriting, I have witnessed the incredible potential it holds for healing. Writing a compelling and coherent song asks a person to confront and integrate uncomfortable or dissociated realities, enabling us to move on from old beliefs and thought patterns. Even a song that is an expression of joy can have depth and dimension - when it reveals the journey that was made in its pursuit. Through songwriting we can seek and acknowledge the universal human experience within.
I have to say, this process has changed my writing on a deep level, and I am honored and eternally grateful for all the truths that many brave folks have shared with me. It is also a welcomed break from an often-times solitary endeavor, rummaging around in one's own experience for inspiration. I encourage anyone who has something they want to process, an experience to share, an important relationship, a trauma or trial they have endured, and especially folks who think they have nothing that would be interesting or of value to anyone. I can guarantee that you do. Often the best material is where you least expect it.
If you are interested, contact me here.
What folks are saying
"Joe Stevens is a brilliant and sensitive lyricist, storyteller and songwriter. I jumped at the chance to have him write a song that reflects such a bittersweet love story -he took an hour-long phone conversation and weaved it into a poignant and touching melody that makes us feel loved, hopeful, sad cherished and tingly inside. The song captures our longing for each other and shines a light on the little things that make us special together. It's soulful, sweet - deep and honest."
"Joe's Songs of the People project was an incredible opportunity for me to share a story of my life and see it transformed into music which could communicate the message far more clearly than I ever could in words alone."
- Mike Waters, Seattle WA
- Jane Brazell, Tacoma WA
"I was trying to find a way to be able to express to my partner how I felt about her. Since music and poetry are one of her favorite modes of communication, I thought that Joe creating a song for her would be perfect. The experience of working with Joe was a calming and rich process. It really helped me remember why I fell so deeply in love with her in the first place. He gently coaxed information out of me about Molly and myself. The end result was this deeply layered song that rings true, is a bit sexy, loving and best of all, tells our story in a way that we get. Molly said it is hands down the best gift she has ever received. I'm so grateful that we now have "our song" forever."
- Annie Carouba, Santa Rosa CA