{Behind The Music} Dale Stephens A Shadow Needs Light

{Behind The Music} Dale Stephens A Shadow Needs Light

Indie music artist Dale Stephens

“Negativity is faced head on with me, as I feel a shadow needs light and also forgiveness. I say “Strap on your seat belts” it’s a heck of a ride.” Dale Stephens – NY

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Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW DALE STEPHENS
Jacqueline Jax: How did you get your start in music?

Dale Stephens: I was given my first guitar at age 4 from my Uncle Eddie, a hippie guitarist staying at our house. He caught me sneaking into his room to play his Fender Strat. He gave me a nylon string red, white, and blue plastic guitar from Woolworth’s. I loved that guitar. I learned “Oh Suzanna”. And “Red River Valley” first.

A song that inspires me…

I have been composing since I was 12, since then I have learned how to communicate my feelings through composition & guitar. Of my 80+ published songs, one song I which has much meaning and inspiration was “Days of Innocence” .I wrote about my childhood and the happiness of youth growing up in NYC

The music scene like in my town..

NYC and the Tri-State area is a melting pot of great music. Almost anything you can imagine can be heard. Amazing street musicians, and great local bands. Jazz, Flamenco, Rock, Metal, Pop, you name it. I like Blues in Greenwich Village.

My favorite thing to do is…
to spend time at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I go to the music area on the 2nd floor to watch Andres Segovia’s guitars and soak the silence.

Staying in touch with…

I like social media to stay in touch with my fans and people, but I don’t spend too much time on it. I am usually doing composing, and watch little TV. I don’t like the way that social media gives “Approval” by thumbs up & comments. When watching the news or current events, comments and thumbs up give a general consensus of the situation. Art is very personal, I cringe when I see some of the comments people write about their fellow musicians. Whatever happened to “Love all…Serve all?”

Indie vs mainstream…

I don’t really look at things as “Breaking into mainstream”. Mainstream is a very small and controlled market, by which they are still learning the new cyber rules of downloading and pirating losses. However, I think breaking into the professional music scene depends on your love for the art. Every act, talent, composer ALL were indie artists once. Our planet is all indie. I try not to confuse the controlled regulated environment of the industry with the beautiful souls creating, and hoping, for success. Hence, the difficulty. I would recommend that artists find the true source of what makes them happy, and use it as fuel. My love for music gave me the tools I needed to become a professional. Fans should be drawn to the uniqueness of the artist, the TRUTH of heat, the nuances and subtleties the craft. Once an artist does that, nature makes those vibrations heard at different levels for the listeners. It is a beautiful union of light.

My Musical influences….

Favorite? Wow! That’s impossible. I have many favorites reflected in my personal parameters of youth, maturity, and love. Here are a few that come to mind, sorted by genre.

For Ballads and Pop: Karen Carpenter, Bread (David Gates), Dan Fogelberg, Neil Diamond, Engelbert Humperdink…

Rock N Roll: Peter Frampton, Allman Bros., Van Halen, Bad Company…

Metal: Anthrax, Dio, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Whitesnake, Ozzy…

Classical: Rachmaninoff, DeBussy, a lot of Baroque Era & Chamber music

Flamenco: Paco DeLucia, Al DiMeola, Vicente Amigo…

Americana: John Denver, James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel…

How will I be remembered…

I think I am fortunate there, as I have connected with some beautiful souls who understand my music language. That is to me the best legacy to leave of all… The ability to take an emotional inspiration, create a moment in time immortalized in music, reproduced for an unknown ear to listen and thus also create an emotional response. I call it the “Legacy Cycle”. I want to be remembered as a contributor to the Craft.

Money vs Art…

As an artist since 4. I was shielded of the commodity of money in the art. It was about the art of giving. The more my family heard me play, the more I played. I look at everything in vibrations. I feel blessed, because my guitar allows me to communicate better in its vibrations. I LOVE my instrument, and I will tell you that Music Saves. It is one of the purest delivery mechanisms. Negativity is faced head on with me, as I feel a shadow needs light and also forgiveness. I wrote a song about that called “Where shadows fear”.

Current & Trendy…

usually comes from the masses who spend a lot of time together. Commuters, soccer moms, lols. Students… someone starts a trend and others follow. I always liked the roads lees traveled. (I have a song with that name about this) I think and play differently every time I pick up my instrument, or decide to compose. My balance is to stay away from TV, Radio, and negative news.

My Religion…

I believe that we are all travelers. Those who came before, those here now, and those who will come. I don’t connect the organization of religion to spirituality. The light must come from within. The basic principles of life need not much explanation. I can say with much conviction that your intentions set the tone. Give out light, and you will easily see the shadows. Give out darkness, and someone else will illuminate your dark.

I am thankful…

to get another day to love and do the positive things I am meant to do.

In 5 Years….

I don’t hope much, I like to set out a plan and get it done. In 5 years I hope to keep on my path of music, helping others, and living a healthy happy experience. It really is a short trip.

I want…

to keep where I am going, there is no plateau in life for me. Every phase of age comes with its own set of tools and enlightenment. I say “Strap on your seat belts” it’s a heck of a ride. LOL . I am happy now. I have moments like everyone, but I think happiness is not a destination, it’s a state of mind.

On self discovery…

I am where I’m supposed to be right at this very moment. As my experience of life slowly unfolds, I discover new things, and also replace old way of thinking. I am a perpetual scholar, and a World Citizen. I always want to know something new.

Discovering what your good at…

In order to discover, you must experience. GO OUT, Carpe Diem! After a few blunders and regrets, you will have a Best & Worst case understanding of what to do and not. Most call it “Life”. After those experiences you heart starts to talk softly, it is your truth.

I am rich..

I am rich in many ways, because I realize that I don’t need much to live a happy life & truly enjoy giving to others, making them smile & laugh. My life becomes richer every day when I apply these principles.

Living up to my potential…

Is was me that had to get out of my way the whole time, I can give my fullest now, without doubt from within.

Definition of success..

Having the time to do the things you love and care for.


No, my mind & spirit has no boundaries. The problem is my body, lol. I have physical limits as to what I can do. This causes a strategic way of thinking as you get older. You can actually pick your wars better.

If heaven exists what’s the first thing you would like to hear god say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

…did you bring your guitar, my son?


From his first gig at the young age of 14, to the international stages of the world, Dale has graced audiences with powerful messages of love, hope, and inspiration.
Dale Stephens was given his first guitar at age 4, and he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t involved in music.
The native of New York City recently recorded his first full-length CD, “Metropolitan Memoirs”.
“I was in a hard-rock band when I was younger. I’ve always loved classic rock music. I grew up with a good backbone of rock music and American folk, and I carry all that with me,” he said. “I also love ballads. You follow what your heart wants. I enjoy the dynamics of a jamming rock song to a slow acoustic song. Each song has its own unique fingerprint.”
Dale has worked with & graced the stage with many diverse artists ranging from members of Foreigner to the legendary Luther Vandross.
He would strive to learn from the best which now shows in his craft…composing. His guitar is his medium to perform his passionate songwriting.
After 9/11, and losing a dear friend, he left New York and sought solace for a few years. Dale was centered, and disciplined…practicing long hours. While going through happiness and pains of the heart he had experienced while away, he was ready to come back to focus on his love for his music and to continue his lifelong obsession.
In addition to his musical roles, Dale is also the co-founder of the Rock against Poverty Coalition, an organization that led him to perform in April 2011 at a concert to launch this great cause. Through this event he shared the stage with Grammy award nominee Trey Lorenz, and American Idol finalist Anwar Robinson. This event was aimed to heighten the awareness of poverty for which the Rock against Poverty Coalition was founded.
Dale Stephens is truly a 6-string master who plays straight from his heart and soul leaving nothing behind.
-Cicely Van Horn (Times Square Magazine)


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