Phillip Island based multi-instrumentalist Steve Cousins caught up for coffee with Aaron and Max from the T-Rex team at his old regular Bekendales last week before his upcoming show at The Hills Are Alive festival. The man mixes everything himself whilst he also sings and plays guitar, piano, drums and violin. But it is his honesty and a pure love of just having a good time that attracts listeners.
Relocating to Phillip Island
After spending his childhood overseas in Namibia and Dubai, Steve spent a majority of his adolescent years growing up in North Croydon in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. After studying paramedicine at university, Steve realised that it didn’t suit him, and that his happiness lay elsewhere.
On his regular trips to Phillip Island, 2 hours out of the Eastern Suburbs, Steve realised “we need to flip this around! We need to be in Phillip Island the whole time”. This way, he could easily combine his love of surfing and his passion for making music without the long commute.
“That was about 2 years ago now…and it’s been the best move ever”
Vastly different to the classic cover sets he once played at Kofi Beans, opportunities flooded in from popular local venues such as the Westernport Hotel, where Steve supported acts like The Jungle Giants and Ash Grunwald.
On Steve’s YouTube channel we stumbled across a video of him covering Matt Corby’s ‘Monday’. An artist Steve looks up to, it was hard not to liken him here to Corby.
On the channel you’ll find other glorious covers such as Beyoncé’s ‘Halo’
But there are more than just covers to Steve. Through the songs he has released, Steve has shown excellent depth with ‘Tides’, receiving great critical acclaim. ‘Tides’ is a slow-moving track from Steve’s Tides EP that encapsulates the singer/songwriter’s honesty and the ability to lay everything out on the table.
“I’d say honesty is my main approach to everything. I don’t really mind what song I’m making or what sound, whatever, as long as it’s honest to me.”
Steve doesn’t wish to fit into certain niches but just wants to be “stupid and dance and have a good time”.
Steve always starts his songs with a jam. In his charismatic and fun manner, he’ll have a “mess around” until he finds something nice, which he’ll then add lyrics to, based on its feeling. This translates into Steve’s lively and engaging sets as he diverts down different paths losing himself in instrumentals. The beauty of his multi-instrumental looping, Steve says, is once the loops are down, he’ll start dancing with the crowd and moving from side-to-side with them to the tunes.
It appears we won’t have to wait long until Steve is unveiling new music with two new songs, that he hopes are released just in time for his set at The Hills Are Alive festival. The tracks include his usual set opener ‘Want It All’ and a new violin track he has been dying to get out.
The Hills Are Alive Festival
The Hills Are Alive music and comedy festival is in its 11th year this year playing this weekend in South Gippsland. Steve has worked tirelessly and is “super excited” to join established artists Vera Blue and Didirri in what could potentially be his biggest show to date.
Steve received the “best time slot ever” by the festival organisers, being given a prime slot time of 9:50PM on the Saturday night (with no clashes) on the Cowmedy Theatre stage.
So, what will you expect from a Steve Cousins set?
“Energy, dancing, honesty and just wanting everyone to be present in the moment and enjoying themselves as much as possible”.
Steve appears humble and well composed with the opportunity ahead of him.
“Something amazing could come of it or it could just be another fantastic opportunity to play a fun show in front of a lot of people. So, whatever happens I’m going to try and make the most of it.”
For those not going to the festival and wanting to be in the loop of this incredibly talented musician, Steve is easy to find!
Facebook: Steve Cousins
Facebook and Instagram have all of Steve’s upcoming events, so you’ll always know what he’s up to.