#CFF2024 Artists' Spotlight: Stephen Wilson Jr.
Stephen Wilson Jr. opens every one of his performances the exact same way, by walking to the microphone and introducing himself to the crowd: “I’m Stephen Wilson Jr. — I am my father’s son.” The Nashville-byway-of-Indiana singer followed his father into the boxing ring as a child, before diverging from his dad’s path to become a scientist and, eventually, a songwriter. “My first stage wasn’t a stage at all, it was a boxing ring,” says Wilson, who pays tribute to his father and processes his unexpected death on his debut album Son of Dad. “Writing and making this album has been very therapeutic for me to learn who I am and what my existence looks like after my father,” he says. “Because life has to go on.”
Wilson’s creative life began in earnest upon moving to Nashville, where he signed a publishing deal and had his songs recorded by stars like Brothers Osborne and Caitlyn Smith (in a collab with Old Dominion). Now signed to Big Loud Records, he’s telling his own story on Son of Dad through songs like “Grief Is Only Love,” “Hang in There,” and the autobiographical centerpiece “Father’s Son.” He’s also performing to audiences around the world: Wilson has played festivals everywhere from CMA Fest in Nashville to the Black Deer Festival in the U.K., and toured with artists like Midland, Hailey Whitters and The Lone Bellow. All of this led Rolling Stone to name him “one of the most interesting artists to watch this year, a true original."
Through it all, he remains a man of juxtapositions — a scientist and a believer, a peaceful soul and a confident boxer, an introverted songwriter and a gregarious performer. And, most importantly, his father’s son. “You don't have to put Jr. after your name. It’s an optional suffix,” Wilson says. “But it says you’re extension of your father. It’s very powerful.”
We are excited to welcome Stephen Wilson Jr. to the Main Stage at #CFF2024. Connect with us @countryfanfest on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Be a fan on Facebook!
Adapted from Stephen Wilson Jr.'s Bio