“My passion for music truly comes from my Grand Ma (Mamie)”
GRAND: Steph, a lot has happened to you since our first interview in 2005. We know that your Reach Out CD was a big hit in Canada. Can you tell us a little bit about the success of Reach Out?
Steph: “The album Reach Out was released in Canada and hit the top-ten bestselling chart. First, it was very exciting for me to return to my hometown and perform for the folks out there. Montreal is where I was born, so it gave me a chance to do a tour in different cities and meet the people face to face.
“Then PBS aired the Reach Out television special, which gathered five Crystal Reel Awards from the Florida Motion Pictures and Television Association, including Best Song and Best Male Vocalist. Talk about an exciting moment for me, and the people involved in the project!”
GRAND: “Reach Out” was named the Official Thank You Song of the American Red Cross; can you tell us about it?
Steph: “I was invited to sing the National Anthem at a meeting organized by the Red Cross in Florida. After my performance, Madeleine McElveen, the mother of the CEO of the national office, suggested that I write something for the Red Cross. At the time, I was recording the Reach Out album, and the music for the title song was written but had no lyrics. “Reach Out” seemed like a perfect fit for the Red Cross. I was so inspired, I wrote the lyrics that same night I performed for the Red Cross. We recorded the music video and gave it to the Red Cross three days before Hurricane Katrina.”
GRAND: How did your number #1 success in Turkey happen?
Steph: “I was asked to license two of my songs for a compilation CD in Turkey entitled The Best Pop Opera 2010. I felt very blessed and surprised when I found out that the album reached the number-one position. The funny thing was that I have never been in Turkey. I guess that is the power of the new media vehicles like Facebook and Myspace….”
GRAND: Do you write all your songs?
Steph: “No, not always. I like to perform other people’s songs, but I do enjoy writing as well. I co-wrote the song ‘No More Masquerade,’ included on the CD The Best Pop Opera 2010 that was released in Turkey, as well as ‘Freedom for the Special Olympics’ and of course ‘Reach Out.’”
GRAND: What inspires you?
Steph: “A lot of things: I love change and action, but I am most inspired by anything that can uplift the spirit and that lead to a transformation. I am a man of faith, and I believe that we have the responsibility to care for one another and sometimes the best way to accomplish that is to inspire people to take action. ‘Aspire to inspire before you expire.’ I REALLY like this statement.
“My passion for music truly comes from my Grand Ma (Mamie)…. While I performed in Montreal for the Reach Out concert, I invited Grand Ma (Mamie) on stage, and she actually sang with me. That was pretty amazing since she’s close to 90 years old now. She is the one who inspired me at a very early age…. I’m so thankful for her guidance and for believing in me.”
GRAND: Are you working on a new CD or a television special?
Steph: “Yes, I am. I plan to record new songs this year for two different projects. First, a Christmas album, and with the help of God another television special…. I would like to shoot it in different parts of the world.”
• Visit StephCarse.com for more information or to purchase his music.