Written by Michael Ventimiglia, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 13 December 2013 00:00
Over the years, Long Island has fostered a wide variety of musicians spanning various genres—including everyone from Billy Joel and Public Enemy to Brand New and Blue Oyster Cult. This trend continues strong today. Currently, there are hundreds of musicians littered across the island. Among them is East Norwich pop singer Steven Rodriguez.
Originally from Brentwood, Rodriguez moved to East Norwich after serving in the US Navy. Upon arriving home from service, Rodriguez’s friend heard him singing and encouraged him to pursue music more seriously.
“When I returned home from the Navy, a good friend heard me singing one day and encouraged me to sing with a band his friend was putting together.”
Since then, Rodriguez has been performing all over the island. Even before his current solo project, he spent time combing the island’s venues, playing dive bars and local gems alike. Since going solo, the pop singer has frequented venues such as Lily Flanagan’s in Islip, Dockside in Port Jefferson, Canterbury Ales and Jack Halyards in Oyster Bay, and even the Steven Talk House out in Amagansett.
Like most artists, Rodriguez strives to refine his craft and establish a fresh sound. While his past experiences help to do this, he also draws from his own well of inspirations and influences.
“There are many places and people who have helped shape my musical identity, but being the last of seven children and having so much great music handed down to me, I’d have to say my older siblings shaped me most, and beyond my years,” states Rodriguez.
In addition to personal inspirations, the singer draws from musical inspirations including modern artists such as Dave Matthews, Zac Brown and Keith Urban, as well as ‘70s singer-songwriters like David Gates (Bread), Cat Stevens, Billy Joel, and Kenny Loggins. One artist Rodriguez credits especially is Earth, Wind, and Fire.
“My early R&B influences came from music from Earth, Wind and Fire as well as Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life, which had changed my life.”
Rodriguez also finds inspiration from books, movies, and collections of photography.
Separate from inspirations, an essential element of music is the writing process. As such, Rodriguez relies on his passion, honesty, and creativity to separate his process from others.
“It usually begins with a melody for either a verse or chorus. Every once in a while I begin with a few chords and start writing lyrics right from the top.”
Ultimately, there isn’t one lone element that defines Rodriguez’s work, but all of these together. As a result, many Long Islanders have been able to connect with the singer and his work.
“Sometimes it’s comparing me to another artist and nine times out of 10 it’s one of my heroes and that makes me very happy. I’ve had a few people ask ‘Wow did that really happen to you?’ which also makes me happy that they’re listening to my words.”
Steven Rodriguez may not be as recognizable as other Long Island names, but he’s hard at work on changing that. Rodriguez released his new album, A Thousand Words, last month and will continue to play the area in support of it. He also plans to continue work on a new album, which he states is now 80 percent done.
His next local appearance will be at Jack Halyards, 62 South Street, Oyster Bay, on Dec. 21 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
Local author Rajdeep Paulus of Locust Valley is living the writer’s dream. After having her first young adult novel published last year with positive reviews, she has just released her second novel, and will be holding a book signing at The Book Revue in Huntington on March 12.
Her first book, Swimming Through Clouds, is about a high school transfer student and her friendship with the basketball captain during their senior year. The sequel, Seeing Through Stones, was released March 1.The mom of four girls only recently tried her hand at novel writing; an English major in college who then taught for a few years, says, “I spent about a decade doing the mom thing...then as my youngest got to be school age, my husband asked me, ‘What do you want to do with your life now?’”
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
February, Black History Month, was celebrated by the Hood A.M.E. Zion Church of Oyster Bay with a series of special events.
“The whole month was inspiring, so I am looking forward to doing it next year,” said Black History-Harriet Tubman Committee Chair Diane Cortes-Evans.
The month included a visit from Assemblyman Charles Lavine, who attended the Feb. 9 service and presented Pastor Linda Vanager with a citation from the NYS Legislature for the church’s work in preserving the Pine Hollow Cemetery, and a lecture by historian Simon Rutledge.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 12:01
On Saturday, Feb. 22, as temperatures rose to well above freezing for the first time in weeks and the melting snow created a thick fog, the Oyster Bay High School Varsity Lady Baymen Basketball Team showed up at Long Island University ready to play.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 11:48
The Winter Varsity Sports Season is into post-season play in Oyster Bay. Many fine young athletes have excelled this season and were chosen by the Oyster Bay High School coaches as Athletes of the Month for February.
Cassidy Exum has been a member of the varsity wrestling team since his freshman year. Since that time, he has achieved All-County honors, which includes a Nassau County Small School County Championship. This year, Exum started his competitive season with success. He was a place winner in the annual Locust Valley Tournament, a Hank Paris Tournament Champion and a Bethpage Tournament Champion, where he was presented with the Champion of Champions Award. Exum’s success is due to his work ethic, dedication and discipline.; he is a fierce competitor which will help him as he competes for his second Nassau County Championship. Exum is coached by 2012 Coaches of the Year Jay Davis and Doug Axman.