Stevie Dillard – PERSPECTIVES – Stephanie J Bartik

Written by on November 8, 2023

Stevie Dillard – PERSPECTIVES – by Stephanie J. Bartik.

Stevie Dillard’s journey into the world of music, particularly as a bassist in bluegrass and country bands, is a fascinating and inspiring tale of breaking stereotypes and pursuing one’s passion regardless of societal expectations. His experience as a non-white male in these genres sheds light on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the music industry.

Stevie’s journey began in his teenage years, playing 80s Hair Metal with friends who struggled to find a bassist. He had the talent, and he stepped up to the plate. This initial foray into music laid the foundation for his versatile career. Despite not fitting the stereotypical image of a rock musician, Stevie’s passion for the bass led him to connect with musicians from various genres, including Jazz, Blues, and Top 40.

The turning point in his career came when he ventured into the world of country music. After working as a sound engineer for a country singer, he seized the opportunity to become her bassist when her previous bassist moved on. While the musicians in the band welcomed him, he occasionally faced strange stares from fans. This experience underscores the need for the industry to embrace diversity more openly.

Stevie’s journey continued as he explored bluegrass music, where he found a group of open-minded musicians who valued his skills over his appearance. As a standup bass player in bluegrass, he indeed stands out, but his passion and talent have earned him a respected place in the genre.

In the midst of his diverse musical endeavors, Stevie encountered challenges due to not fitting the traditional mold of a bassist. The notion of “Not The Right Look” posed a significant roadblock at times. However, he persevered by focusing on his love for music and honing his craft.

Stevie’s journey is an inspiration to aspiring musicians from underrepresented backgrounds. His advice to be oneself, focus on the love of music, and not let external judgments affect one’s path is invaluable. He emphasizes that while you cannot control how people react to you, you can control how you react to them.

As a bassist who often finds himself the only person of color in the room, Stevie’s advice to “know your surroundings” is practical. He acknowledges his own anxieties but strives to overcome them.

Stevie’s diverse musical background has led to innovative solutions and fresh perspectives in various musical projects. His willingness to challenge genre stereotypes has been an asset, and his experiences have influenced his approach to leadership and teamwork, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity.

Stevie is an advocate for diversity in the industry, and he encourages musicians not to tolerate discrimination. He believes that calling out bigotry, racism, sexism, misogyny, and homophobia can go a long way in opening doors for others.

Overall, Stevie Dillard’s journey is a testament to the power of passion, talent, and authenticity. It highlights the need for the music industry to be more inclusive and welcoming to individuals from diverse backgrounds. Stevie’s story serves as an inspiration for the next generation of professionals to break barriers and make their mark in the world of music.


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