Stephen Stanley’s passionate music reflects years of dedication to his craft. After an accident left him deaf in his left ear at the age of 9, he started to play his mother’s guitar and discovered an innate musicality and ability for melody.
By age 13, Stephen had added piano and drums to his repertoire, in addition to writing songs and leading worship at the church where his father served as a pastor. Over the last decade, he has honed a distinct voice as a musician, bringing both raw emotion and a sense of purpose to everything he creates.
Stephen began building his online following during the pandemic. He posted Tik Tok videos before concentrating more on writing songs. While it was a difficult time, he says it was a blessing to be able to continue making music and doing what he loved.
Stephen chose to go into the Christian music scene rather than mainstream, because he wanted to encourage others and be honest about his own struggles. ‘I read a lot about mental health,’ he says. ‘And I’ve had my own struggles. What I like about Christian music is there’s a way out. I can write these songs where I am honest, but I can also at the same time say, I know God’s going to carry me through this.’
Stephen says that one of the things that helped him the most in dealing with anxiety was talking to a counsellor. ‘He was a Biblical counsellor, but he also helped me discover my mind. The brain is different from the soul. It’s a part of our body, and there’s a different way of healing it.’
The counsellor was able to give Stephen the tools to deal with his mental health struggles. ‘I still have those struggles to this day. But it’s definitely not as severe because I use those principles. I read Scripture or a book or watch a movie. Anything that can turn my brain off for a minute and give me some perspective.’
We can find true rest in Christ
Stephen’s latest song, “Rest In The Father”, was inspired by a traumatic home invasion that his wife experienced while he was away on tour. ‘She was just feeling this fear and unrest,’ says Stephen. ‘So I started writing songs about what I would say to her if I was there.’
“Rest In The Father” has a bit more of a Biblical language to it, especially in the chorus. ‘We can find true rest in Christ,’ says Stephen. ‘And that’s really what the song is about. It’s a love letter to my wife, telling her I know everything’s going to be okay and we’re going to find rest again because God has a plan behind this.’
Stephen says the song is written in a way that can also apply to many other situations. Even though there are a lot of reasons to be fearful right now, he hopes people will find encouragement in the words.
‘It’s crazy the things that can happen when we pray and read Scripture,’ he says. ‘I don’t think everybody puts as much emphasis on that if it’s God’s will, it’s going to happen.’
Listen to the Audio Interview with Stephen Stanley on V180 radio below: