Get to Know: Steve Leslie
Steve is a Founding Member and the Senior Faculty Director of Song Assembly. He has had a professional songwriting career spanning more than twenty-five years with songs recorded by Kenny Rogers, Mark Chesnutt, George Strait, Darryl Worley, Rhonda Vincent, Neal McCoy, Ricky Skaggs, Darius Rucker, and more.
A multiple BMI Award Winner, in 2004 Steve received a Grammy Certificate for the title cut to Ricky Skaggs' Best Bluegrass Album of the Year, Brand New Strings. Steve has released two CDs; In The Middle and Greater Gravity, as well as written the Music and Book for a full-length musical, Umbrella.
Steve is a Senior Faculty Member at Nashville Songwriters Association International, and a regular contributor to American Songwriter Magazine. He has taught Jazz History at Tallahassee Community College, Tallahassee, FL, Songwriting at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, and Morehead State University, Morehead, Ky. From 2011- 2014 Steve was Adjunct Professor of Songwriting at Belmont University, Nashville, TN, and in 2013 was one of four internationally selected candidates considered for the Chair of the Songwriting Department, Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA.
In 2014 Steve started Nashville based publishing company SNG Music along with business partner Gary Reamey. Steve earned his BM in Guitar/Jazz Studies from Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky.
Q&A with Steve:
MUSIC EXPO: What advice do you have for artists trying to break into the music industry
STEVE: Move to a music center like LA, NY or Nashville. Take your time. Come up with your "own class". Check out the DIY route first. Stay healthy. Ask yourself if you’re pursuing this for higher goals other than fame and fortune. Walk.
MUSIC EXPO: What can we expect to hear from you at Music Expo Nashville?
STEVE: I’m chairing a panel of award-winning songwriters on "The Changing Craft of Country Songwriting". I’m also conducting a workshop on "The Craft of Writing a Country Song: How To Tell a Story With Words and Music.”
MUSIC EXPO: What has been your most memorable experience in music so far?
STEVE: Finding out that Bernie Taupin (lyricist for Elton John) will have a song I wrote (The Last Best Place- performed by Rhonda Vincent) sung at his funeral….someday.