We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephen Maher and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stephen, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
Antonio Gramsci famously imparted: “Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.” while in an Italian prison during Mussolini’s reign pre-World War II.

What I love about this quote is that is it very easy to get depressed and hopeless when you learn about the realities of our world. There is pain and suffering, suffering is a universal human experience. Gramsci was saying learn about these realities, be acutely aware of the all the injustices this world has to offer, but don’t let them destroy your hope for a better world. Inversely, use them as a catalyst to try and make your corner of the world better.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a musician. Walt Whitman has the famous quote “that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” I try to contribute my verse through music.

My journey started when I was born half blind with a condition called PHPV. I didn’t realize how much of a gift that was, being born with it. The not knowing things should be different until I was told. I needed exploratory surgery as a newborn, to see what was wrong. I was lucky in my unluckiness, I was born near Boston, the medical capital of the world. Some of the best eye doctors in took on my case and found out it was Persistent Hyper-Plastic Primary Vitreous (PHPV). The veins in my left eye closed around my retina, choking light and never allowing it to enter my brain to be processed as an image. My right eye is fine. Again, that pattern of lucky in my unluckiness has been a theme in my life.

I still wanted to be a normal kid and do what my friends were doing. I have these memories of me trying to play baseball. Raising my glove in the air where they stashed me in right field and the ball landing mysteriously away from where I thought it would go. My depth perception is my weakness. I remember striking out every. Single. Time. When they say keep your eye on the ball, they mean both eyes.

I realized I love being creative more than being athletic. I started quitting sports and playing piano more. I started acting, and doing improv. If I could do it all over I would do that from the start. Sing, and dance and play music from the get-go.

That was the start of my journey with music. I eventually went to college. I started studying sustainable construction because it sounded like something I was supposed to do (I didn’t learn this lesson the first time with sports). I was still playing music and I formed a band called Cuckoo Baby with an amazing singer and friend named Devin Patton. I eventually realized I don’t want to do anything else and switched majors to sound design to learn more about the technical sign of music while still writing songs with Devin. We graduated college and moved to Chicago to see what Cuckoo Baby was made of. One of my blessing/curses is my drive, I will grind while doing the things I love. Devin didn’t share the same passion and it started to put a strain on our relationship. We eventually ended our working relationship right as COVID was happening. Chicago was scary during this time, I have this one memory of Trader Joe’s being completely cleared out except for broccoli pizza crust. Despite the tense atmosphere, it was hilarious to me that people would rather starve than eat broccoli pizza crust.

I left Chicago because my leased ended and I lost my job as a result of the pandemic and went back to my parents house. There I wrote my first solo album ‘Pathways’ under my artist name Steve Marz on the piano I grew up playing. I came full circle back to music. I eventually figured out a game-plan and decided to record my album with the best musicians I met in Chicago in August of 2020, and moved to Denver in September of 2020.

Here I eventually met Tomas Houser and Matthew Meloney. I got a job in podcasting and asked my coworkers if they new any musicians. One of my coworkers, Sam, met Matthew halfway around the world in Vietnam and they both happened to live in Colorado. Sam connected me with Matthew which led to the creation of my current project Night Routine. Night Routine is the most stimulated and inspired I’ve ever been with music. I love the music we are creating, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Depending on the season, I would take them to the beautiful outdoors Colorado has to offer. If it was the winter and they liked to ski/snowboard, I would take them to a ski mountain. If it was during the summer, I would take them into the mountains to hike or camp.

One of things I love about this state that Illinois seriously lacked is an amazing landscape.

I would try to take them to a local show, maybe to Cervantes for example. I would take them to the Rhino arts district to eat some food and hop around some breweries.

I’m still new to this city so I’m also still exploring Denver and the state which would be fun to do with friends.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My grandmother, Claire Maher. I wish everyone could meet this women and feel the love that emanates from her on a daily basis. She is a matriarch, she is the nucleus of my family, the glue that holds it all together. Her love is like gravity, sucking you in and holding you down with warmth and I wouldn’t be the same person without her influence upon my life.

Website: https://www.stevemarzmusic.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/steve_marz/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGl72hcWx2YsLqFd7LfyBO4UbttuzRDWp

Other: https://kitcaster.com/steve-maher/

Image Credits
Photo Credots: Matthew Meloney

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