Point The Finger: Unspeakably Steven’s Truth
“Do what the f*ck you wanna do/ say what the f*ck you wanna say”, Devin The Dude, “Do What You Wanna Do”, The Dude
There are few recording artists, likely in the entire history of the annals of music itself, brazen enough to not just hold up a mirror to society and depict what they find thither, but to point a finger at it, wag it in its face, and issue condemnation, blame, and unabashed judgments.
The publication of N.W.A’s “Fuck The Police”, and its accompanying correspondence from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is one such example. Ras Kass’ “Nature of The Threat”, a circa 10 minute chronicle of the global history of institutionalized racism, is a paragon of this rare tendency.
Unspeakably Steven’s “People Are Stupid” may not be as infamous as the former or as illustrious as the latter—yet, that is; it’s only been out less than two fortnights—,but the artist’s intention, though angled in a different trajectory, is markedly similar.
“I think more people, the masses, can relate and be like, people do really kind of suck,” Steven pondered. “I don’t know; keep on fighting the fight, that’s what I’m doing. I do like saying the things that you’re not supposed to say, but in a tongue-in-cheek way that’s funny.”
“Today’s agenda…” The Notorious B.I.G., “Three Bricks”, Ghostface Killah’s Fishscale
Groovy Avocado Disco, an album of songs that took six years to write, record, and perfect, is the medium through which Unfortunately Steven’s satire, wit, and humor are sharpened into implements pointing directly at contemporary society—at times. Misanthropic is far too simple a categorization for this affable musician or his oeuvre. Particularly not when the project boasts tunes such as “Life Is Too Expensive”, “The Art Of Failure,” and “Tom Hanks”, for crying out loud. No, the most protruding part about Steven’s work is its comedic impact.
But then again, there’s also what lies underneath such droll material.
“I have this very dark sense of humor, which is also a survival mechanism as well,” Steven confessed. “It’s all based on trauma, which is what happens for some people. Whether it’s a Robin Williams or a Chris Farley, there’s a lot of pain there. They’re that funny and that entertaining because there’s a lot of pain. I’m a firm believer in that same thing. Like standup comedians: there’s a darkness, and a realness to them. I just try to evoke that as much as possible.”
To that end, the true agenda of Groovy Avocado Disco—a play on words for General Anxiety Disorder, which the artist has been diagnosed with—is simply to broach the sort of topics that aren’t frequently embraced. Specifically, he’s targeting those pertaining to mental health. As a concept album of the pianist, guitarist, producer, singer, and songwriter visiting a therapist, it’s calculated to go against mainstream perceptions of what Steven feels is a neglected social issue.
“I realized these are uncomfortable, funny songs,” Steven reflected. “And I think they’re relatable. But I think, once again, as a society you’re not supposed to say “people are stupid/let’s overdose/there’s no hope.”
When Steven was in middle school, one of the most formative events in his life occurred.
One of his teachers neglected to show up to school.
Subsequently, the class was treated to a film (which is always a treat for students in such surroundings).
Steven is still no the same after viewing it.
“That movie was Great Balls of Fire,” Steven said. “That was the moment that really changed my life, because I had never seen anyone play the piano like that. From that moment on it was like, I gotta play, bang the shit out of the piano at all costs.”
His ardor was so sincere that he learned to do so bereft of any formal training. When he’s not recording or performing music as Unfortunately Steven, he’s typically working—for the past 10 years—as a piano-playing, singing entertainer traveling the world on cruise ships and pleasing the people in other venues, too. All of his shows are of the all-request variety—meaning the audience names the tune. If he doesn’t know them, he’ll look them up on his iPad and give the people what they want.
The future’s certainly looking up for Steven. He plans on releasing a “big dance music video” for “People Are Stupid” as the next single. He also hopes to perform his album in its entirety on a west coast tour that may go all the way up to Vancouver.
“That’s kind of the goal, to make people feel more comfortable,” Steven acknowledged. “That’s really what I want.”