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Stefano May finds his way through music

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Stefano May

Stefano May has some incredibly inspirational songs and moving messages behind them. Learn more about May through his own music and his selections in the Fast Five on this edition of Music Journeys. Thanks for listening.

Find My Way plays...

At an early age, Stefano May realized that music would help him find his way and that his passion might help others too.

"We are born with a mission, and my mission was to communicate," May said of his passion for music. "My dream was to reach as many people as possible around the world. I was so mesmerized and captured by that environment - behind the scenes, the smell of the studio, the lights. When I first started writing music, the biggest inspiration was to describe everyday life. I witnessed a lot of things that weren't great and wanted to translate these bad emotions into good emotions. When you do it with music, you have the power to do it. Any sad experience or horrible thing that you see, you can process that with music. You can make beauty from that."

Born in southern Italy, May drew inspiration from his parents, especially his dad.

"I have memories of my father playing any kind of instrument and singing when my mother was actually trying to make me sleep," May recalled. "I never slept when I was a baby. The only relaxing moments were when I was listening to music. Probably, my father transferred this passion for music to me. When I was 2 or 3 years old, I started singing for all the neighbors. In Italy, we take an hour to sleep or nap in the afternoon. I was singing at that time, but I was happy and kept doing it."

Audio of Stefano singing as a child...

At a young age, May quickly gained attention performing on popular Italian television shows. Then after helping a friend get to a competition resembling The Voice, May made the most of an opportunity.

"I brought him there, and then I found myself at a piano singing for the auditions," May recalled. "Lady Gaga had just come out with Poker Face, and I was captured by that sound. I had the song in my mind and I did an acoustic version - and actually that brought me luck because they took me immediately on the show. So that's how I started and from that moment, I never looked back on what I can do with my life. I just knew I was born to make music. That's my mission, even if it's for two people or 10,000 people."

May went to New York to absorb the culture that inspired him so much. His music project had been scheduled for release in March 2020. Disappointed but not discouraged, May used the experience to make something beautiful from it beginning with the song Prayer.

Prayer plays... 

"I wanted to release something to help think about what we are living in a positive way," May said of the song Prayer. "Anytime we say prayer, it seems tied to religion. But prayer is an energy, it's a thought. The power of the thought is that so many people in the world are wishing or desiring for something and so it's actually a way to channel more energy altogether."

We Are The Power plays...

"It's telling each other that teamwork is the way to go," May said of the song We Are The Power. "I released the song in collaboration with this wonderful gospel choir in Los Angeles with production, recording, and recording of the video in five days."

False Horizon plays...

"A song that talks about the place where the mind is detached from reality and finds its own peace," May said in describing the song False Horizon. "I always look for that moment in my daily life. It's important we keep our minds clean. We are a product of chemistry and spirit, so we need to function properly. False Horizon is that moment in my life. My mother taught me how to be disciplined. It's difficult for people in creative arts sometimes to be organized, but my mother always told me to practice and know how to read the scores and do things properly, otherwise you'll be out of anything. She repeated these things everyday. I got so tired of listening to her that I started to do my things properly."

Don't Say Goodbye plays... 

"I learned that when something finishes, it doesn't work to cut every connection there was based on that relationship or what I was doing because it's time I invested in my life," May reflected. "You learn from these experiences. I could never live my love relationship right now if I didn't have the one before, because the one before taught me how to behave. Don't Say Goodbye is just that - it's a moment in your life and then there will be another like a chapter in a book."

Crazy plays...

"One of the songs I love the most because it brings me into an intimate moment," May said of Crazy. "In the song, I was able to play my piano in a way that wasn't possible in other songs so you feel my love of classical music."

Among the most powerful songs from May so far - Home It Will Remind You, which he wrote and recorded in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation.

"We all witness challenges in our life when we are shocked by something happening to someone close to you," May said. "I was having the fear of this huge horrible disease that wipes the memory. If you think about it, all that we have are memories. All that we can talk about are memories. If we wipe that away, we lose our existence."

Hope It Will Remind You plays...

"I wrote this song to find a way to make that issue something better," May said. "One of my favorite phrases of the song is - we just take the good days of life and make them count for two. We should do that everyday. First, we should live every day like it's the last. Second, when we think about bad things happening, let's think about the good days that we live a hundred times more."

May hopes listeners see truth in his first batch of songs.

"The best thing for an artist is when somebody listens and loses themselves in the world," May continued. "My song Don't Say Goodbye talks about my past breakup, but for another person it could be something else. That's the beauty of music. We can all translate based on the emotions we have at the moment. I hope listeners get to know me with this first project. It's a way to say that my journey starts from here and I hope we can do it together."

Learn more about Stefano May by visiting his website.

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Mike Foley joined WCBE in February 2000, coming from WUFT in Gainesville, Florida. Foley has worked in various roles, from producing news and feature stories to engineering Live From Studio A sessions. A series of music features Foley started in 2018 called Music Journeys has grown into a podcast and radio show. He also assists in developing other programs in WCBE's Podcast Experience. Foley hosts The Morning Mix, a weekday music show featuring emerging and established musicians, our Columbus-area and Ohio-based talent, and additional artists that inspire him.