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Stealing Oceans is a seven-piece hip-hop/funk/rock band hailing from Nashville, TN. After forming the band in the summer of 2014, Brian Allen Thompson and Madison Welsley began working with Trey Bruce, a Nashville Producer and Songwriter. Brian and Madison have since written with Richard Marx and Victoria Horn, as well as gaining the support of other artists including Michael McDonald. Recently, S/O has received attention because of their high energy live performance and ability to blur genre boundaries, earning them a recent nomination for “Best Live Rock Performers” in this year’s Nashville Industry Music Awards.
(You can vote for them here for this years NIMA Award in Best Live Rock Performers)
Q&A WITH MADISON & BRIAN:
V&T: You've both been involved in music from an early age. When did you start, and when was your first recording?
Madison: If you ask my parents, I’ve been singing since before I could even talk so it’s really hard to say when it was that I officially started. I know that I started taking singing more seriously the summer after 7th grade when I began homeschooling myself to spend more time working on singing, dancing, and acting. My first recording session was when I was about 13 and I recorded a demo of one of my dad’s friend’s songs at Cotton Row Recording Studio in Memphis, TN.
Brian: When I was 10yrs old, my brother who was 18 at the time would always play guitar in his room throughout the night. At first, I would run down to tell my parents he was playing too loud and I couldn’t sleep. Then after a while, I grew an interest to learn as well and I asked him for lessons. During the same time, I started writing joke raps to recite for my friends at school during lunch. I soon joined the two together and began rapping over guitar riffs that I wrote. My first recording was in 2003 with my brother, Scott.
V&T: You've been performing solo for a while. How did this band come into being?
S/O: Stealing Oceans began in mid-summer 2014. It all started after Brian and I saw each other perform at a singer-songwriter night and after playing a few acoustic shows together we decided grow into a seven piece band.
V&T: Are you still performing solo as well?
S/O: We have both pursued individual projects since the band began, but our main focus is S/O.
Madison: I have continued to write and record demos with my guitarist, Jasin Todd (Shinedown).
Brian: I am in the middle of working on a mixtape and finishing the writing for my indie/folk album passion project.
V&T: Your sound incorporates a lot of different styles. How do you write the music? Together as a band? individually? How do you incorporate all of the elements? What is the process?
S/O: Lately, we have been writing all of our new material with Trey Bruce and other writers around Nashville and LA. When we write, it’s mostly with an acoustic guitar and then we bring the song to the band with the production in mind, but we all collaborate on the final live sound of each song.
V&T: Have you been in the studio? Do you have any releases forthcoming?
S/O: We have been in the studio to record demos of our songs, but we haven’t released anything yet. Although we don’t have a planned release for the future, readers of this article will get an exclusive listen to one of our demos.
V&T: Are any of the band members involved in side projects?
S/O: Yes. Our drummer, Kenny Thomas also plays in a killer local rock group called the Wooly Mamas.
V&T: It must be amazing to live and make music in Nashville. How would you say that Music City has influenced your sound?
S/O: We love Nashville! The music scene here is awesome and we are surrounded by so many talented people. Because of this, we are constantly pushing ourselves as musicians and performers. This city’s diversity in musical genres has expanded drastically in the years that we have been here, and it has really encouraged us to play what we want without feeling confined to straight hip-hop, pop, or rock.
V&T: You're up for a NIMA for your live performances. What would you say distinguishes your stage shows from other bands out there?
S/O: The stage is our home. There is something special about putting yourself in front of a bunch of people that you don’t know and creating an experience where we all walk away feeling like we connected with each other. All we want to do is have fun and we want our audience to have fun too, so we created a show that is filled with undeniable energy and excitement for everyone.
August 13 - Exit/In, @ 9 pm Nashville, TN
September 3 – 3rd and Lindsley, time TBA, Nashville, TN
September 26 – The Basement East, time TBA, Nashville, TN
Here's a demo of Stealing Oceans - "Cloud 9" (written by Trey Bruce, Brian Allen Thompson, and Madison Welsley):