Musician Stephen Winston is exclusively sharing his new single and music video for “Maybe It’s For James,” which is special to him since the song was written for his grandson, who was born prematurely, and his early days were touch and go. When asked about the story behind the single and what he hopes listeners will take away from it, he shares that “my daughter went into labor two months early in Kauai, was airlifted to Honolulu and delivered James. He spent two months in the Kapiolani NICU where he had multiple procedures fighting for his life. My wife and I moved to Honolulu to be with the parents and James. There were many days where we were not sure he was going to make it. The song was inspired one night while I was on a patio listening to a street party below and a fireworks display that came out of nowhere. It gave me optimism that things were going to turn our way and I wrote the lyric. We got James back to Colorado but he spent another 2 months off and on in the Anchutz NICU fighting through other problems. He survived it all and is a healthy five year old boy. I know many people go through this situation every day and am hopeful the story with a happy ending will give them hope and comfort.”
The music video features images and clips from James’ early days from birth and in the NICU, and Winston explains that “filming the video was difficult because we had not looked at those images and video clips in a long time. It brought back many emotions. However, the upside of it is that “ultimately, it was a rewarding process to see the story come together with the music. I feel the producer, Daniel Phillips, did an excellent job combining the spirit of the song and the story in creating the video.” Watch the video for “Maybe It’s For James” below:
All of the pictures and videos featured in the music video are of James, along with his parents, Brooks and Nate. Winston says that “the producer recreated the second verse’s somber mood with the parents in front of a hospital in Colorado. He used a drone for the aerial shots.”
Winston’s music is a direct reflection of events and experiences in his life or as he puts it “things I observe, am intrigued or amused by. I have written and recorded over 70 songs and not once have I sat down to write a song per-se. I will write a lyric around an idea and put it aside and at some point when I am playing piano or guitar the song will come together. You never force the muse….. Example. Years ago I saw a title on the cover of Rolling Stone,”The Last Buccaneer.” Norman Mailer was on the cover. I wrote a song with that title about the last years of Ernest Hemingway’s life.”
Furthemore, Winston’s influences in music are “the musicians that inspired me to teach myself to play piano and guitar. Elton John early in his career; Dan Fogelberg and Neil Young were the strongest influences. I spent hundreds of hours in the empty auditorium at my colleges teaching myself to play piano on a Steinway Grand and on a beat up $100 guitar. To this day, I can’t read or write music. I play what I feel; always searching for a melody.”
Five artists I wouldn’t want to live without: Pat Metheny, Dan Fogelberg, Elton John, The Beatles and Neil Young.
First album on vinyl, cassette and CD: Vinyl – Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. Cassette – I think was Desperado and CD probably Captured Angel.