It’s not just the immense talent he possesses that foretells a positive future for Steve Rivers. Rather, it is the combination of talent, his casual coolness, and his ability to connect with and electrify a crowd that has him perched on the edge of a breakthrough.
Originally hailing from Milton, Ontario, Rivers has travelled both Canada and the United States playing and promoting his music, and admits that although his lifestyle logs a lot of miles, it’s all worth it. “I love traveling and meeting new people in towns across North America. I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunities to share my music in places I never thought I’d travel to, and then having them become some of my favourite places ever!”
A graduate of Fanshawe’s Music Industry Arts program, he sounds sweet and knows how to make all the right moves in business. Shortly after graduating from the program in 2009, Rivers made the fabled trek to Nashville to get serious, and he has done just that – finding a brilliant balance between focusing on developing himself as an artist, and as a writer. Rivers now has 10 cuts on other independent country artists’ projects, including Drew Gregory’s radio-charting song “Truck. Beer. Girl,” and cuts with US artists Colby Dee, Alyssa Bagley, and Dakota & Will.
Rivers’ songwriting is slick, emotionally charged and unique. When it comes to writing, Rivers explains where he takes a lot of inspiration: “Real stories from my own experiences and from those of close friends & family. I try to take those stories and make them universal so anyone can connect with the song and get it”. With co-writing sessions, he follows a certain approach: “I’m constantly challenging myself to never settle. Take an idea and find a unique angle on it that sets your song apart. It’s too easy to go the cliché route when writing commercial music; push yourself to find different angles that make each line hit the listener.”
His 2012 release “Temptations” has carried him well – his latest singles “Mess It Up” and “Uncomplicated” received spins from over 30 stations in Canada and the US, and he is hard at work on a follow-up disc, which he expects to be released in the fall of 2014. Over the years, one of his most formidably developed skills has been his stage presence. His ability to engage the audience and to create a positive and memorable experience for his fans has allowed him to develop a strong and supportive following. Recently, Rivers rocked the house at his own showcase in Toronto at the legendary Cadillac Lounge on March 21st.
Rivers is beginning to reap the benefits of many years of hard work. In the last year, Rivers has added some serious achievements to his resume, including: a 2013 Rising Star nomination for the CMAO awards; winning the 2013 Michigan State finals for the Texaco Country Showdown; snagging a Canadian Music Week performance slot this year; a FACTOR grant for his next project; and has opened for major acts like Greg Allman, Josh Thompson and Charlie Worsham.
No level of success can be reached without some serious support, and Rivers credits his family for being extremely supportive through the years. He is about to be married, and now splits his time between Nashville and Michigan. Praising his fiancée Laura for her support, Rivers adds, “She’s been a solid rock in my life. Not only does she support me, she gets the business side of things and has been a big help to me stateside. I’ve nicknamed her my “wifeager,” he laughs.
You can catch Steve Rivers now before he’s playing in stadiums, when he returns to the Cadillac Lounge in Toronto during Canadian Music Week on May 8th at 9pm.