Who Is Stephen Wilson Jr.? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music

Who is Stephen Wilson Jr.? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…


Quick Facts:

Full Name – Stephen Wilson Jr.
Birthdate – July 11th
Hometown – Seymour, Indiana
Current City – Nashville, Tennessee
Musical Influences – Willie Nelson as a guitar player and singer, Roy Orbison as a singer and songwriter, The National (the band), John Mellencamp, and George Jones.
Label – Big Loud Records
Current Single – “American Gothic” ft. Hailey Whitters (As of article date – 5/22/2023)

The Beginning:

Today’s spotlight shines on the true definition of an artist. Stephen Wilson Jr. is the real deal. While his upbringing was not exactly easy, he came away with a great respect and love for music, inspiration from his late father, and passion like no other for the craft.

“I’m from Southern, Indiana […] The birthplace of John Mellencamp. He was a big influence on my town, and my culture, and the soundtrack of the town,” began Wilson. “I grew up with a lot of honest music.”

Wilson recalls loving both country music and classic rock music. “I grew up listening to music that whole time. My grandparents were really big into Johnny Cash and Hank Williams and my dad was big into classic rock and 90s country music at the time,” shared the singer-songwriter. Wilson Jr. also remembered riding on the bus for hours a day to school, listening to even more country music. I spent a lot of time listening to Nashville songwriters [on the bus]. I just knew that the songwriters were incredible.”

While music was something he loved from an early age, Wilson inherited his father’s skill and love for boxing. “I spent a lot of time in boxing clubs and boxing gyms watching him fight […] By the time I was seven years old, I started boxing too,” he shared. Adding later, “My first stage was not a stage at all, it was a boxing ring.”

The Turning Point:

Wilson went on to box through college and his early 20s, all while continuing to perfect his guitar-playing skills, living in Nashville. “Music has always just made sense to me. I just always understood it and when I got a guitar, within six months I was just flying on that thing,” he shared.

During his senior year of college, Wilson began performing professionally for the first time. “I started an indie-rock band there during my senior year of college. […] We just kind of had a thing going and that’s where I learned to be a performer,” he stated. “Not in a million years did I ever believe I would be a lead singer or a frontman.”

Despite loving music and performing in the band as a guitarist and back-up vocalist, Wilson left the band to take a job as a scientist, something he pursued in college. Although he was no longer performing, songwriting was something that had become important to him. “I got put in one of those songwriting rooms in Nashville, and it was game over from there […] It never left my mind to be a songwriter and write songs.”

Eventually, after being rejected numerous times by different studios for publishing deals, Wilson was welcomed with open arms by BMG Nashville. He was offered a publishing deal on the spot. Years later, he would go on to secure a record deal with Big Loud Records.


Flash forward to today, Wilson is making his father proud, as he lives out his own dream and passion in honor of his memory. “He was like the sun to my solar system, and it was like the sun just got a bucket of water thrown on it. It really derailed me and rewired me and changed me,” he shared when speaking of his debut project, bon aqua

He credits those experiences for inspiring his project. “I hope to continue to be a good stenographer with a poetic edge,” he shared. Songs like “The Devil” and “Hometown” just poured out of him, when he decided to create something as an artist. “I went in and just recorded some songs just to see what would happen. […] I just knew it was something that I had to do.”

Bon Aqua is something special, and the full-length album is coming soon. “For me this EP and this album is a record of time and it’s me record keeping one of the worst times in my life and one of the most transformational times in my life and perhaps the best time in my life all at once.” Fans can be on the look out for more to come from Stephen Wilson Jr. in the near future.


Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news and announcements about future Stephen Wilson Jr. releases.

To keep up with Stephen Wilson Jr., follow him on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Stephen Wilson Jr.’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.


Stephen Wilson Jr. Releases Debut EP ‘bon aqua’ – Review

Stephen Wilson Jr.’s debut EP, bon aqua is out now, March 24th on all streaming platforms. Listen to the new project below.

Country music is evolving, and it is exciting. Newcomer, Stephen Wilson Jr. is changing the country music landscape to encompass his country meets Death Cab For Cutie sound. Today, Wilson officially unveils his debut EP, bon aqua in conjunction with the exciting news that he signed a record deal with Big Loud Records.

The seven song project is both innovative and unique. The record kicks off with the single “the devil,” an inside look at all the troubles the world faces day in and day out. It serves as a reminder that Wilson is not afraid to speak his mind through music.

“A snake will crawl the earth to shed its skin to make more room for the poison // And the filthy rich will rob you clean until you raise your voices // The louder one above the rest will call himself a rebel // There’s the one you know and there’s the one you don’t // But they’re still both the devil”

On track number two, the singer-songwriter enlists the help of Hailey Whitters, who is featured on the song. “American Gothic,” co-written by Wilson with Whitters is the only brand new song on the collection. The track speaks to the storytelling aspect of country music, as the two sing about growing up in the cornfields that they are both from.

Wilson continues to rely on nostalgia as a theme in the project. The theme is evident on songs, “Year To Be Young 1994” and “Hometown.” On the former, Wilson honors people in his life who have passed away, but will never be forgotten.

According to the singer’s sentiments on the song’s video, “Year To Be Young 1994″ is a chapter of the story of my life, and the VHS footage from my young and adolescent childhood stars my hero, my dad, Stephen Wilson Sr., who passed away in late 2018. This video is a tribute to him, as well as my best friend Marc Chandler who passed away shortly after my 16th birthday where I got my first electric guitar, which you will see in this video. It is also a tribute to my late stepbrother William (Paul William) who is featured in this video as a young boy. They are dearly missed.”

Similarly on “Hometown,” Wilson paints the picture of how he grew up in what feels like a love letter to his hometown.

“I wanna be home in my own hometown // Back where my roots ran wild // In the barefoot stomping ground // Yeah I wanna wake up to some of that cooking // Know my way around without looking // Home in my own hometown // I’m always gonna be hometown”

Wilson gives fans another taste of his childhood and his upbringing on “Holler From The Holler.” A shining spot on the record, the single is a true testament to the singer-songwriter’s talent as a vocalist, a songwriter, and a storyteller. On the final two tracks off the EP, “billy” and “The Beginning,” the singer leans into his storytelling side yet again.

Overall, Stephen Wilson Jr. is a talent to look out for. He is a true artist amongst a sea of singers. bon aqua is just the beginning of what’s in store for the singer-songwriter and his blossoming career!

bon aqua Track List:

  1. the devil
  2. American Gothic ft. Hailey Whitters
  3. Year To Be Young 1994
  4. Hometown
  5. Holler From The Holler
  6. billy
  7. The Beginning

Country Swag Picks:

  1. Year To Be Young 1994
  2. American Gothic ft. Hailey Whitters
  3. The Beginning

Stephen Wilson Jr.’s EP, ‘bon aqua’ is out now on all streaming platforms.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Stephen Wilson Jr. announcements and releases.

To keep up with Stephen Wilson Jr., follow him on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

bon aqua is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.