We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephen Watkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stephen, what matters most to you?
For me it’s honesty. It’s rarer than you’d like to think. I mean how easy is it to say what’s true? Truth doesn’t need our color but we often paint it anyway. For me, having someone around who I know is honest gives them more time with me, more conversations, more everything because even if I don’t like or agree with them, I know they are telling me how they feel and aren’t putting up smoke screens to intentionally manipulate or confuse things. And when I communicate through music or words, I strive to stay true to myself. Authenticity is something I look for and value in others, therefore it’s my intention to deliver myself as I am.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started playing the guitar at age 13 and knew it was a thing for me. My style and tastes have evolved of course as anyone’s does but one thing I’ve always kind of done that I didn’t see many other players do, is I treated the guitar not so much as a guitar t0 be played within the concept of what a guitar is, but rather I thought of it as a thing – a thing that makes sounds – and I could harness that in other ways that simply playings licks and scales wouldn’t have taught me. I see the instrument as a paintbrush where the soul expresses art. It can be an E Minor riff or it can be a thousand slimy monsters from behind your eyelids coming at you in your sleep. It can be a soft ballad or you can play a kiss. It’s all there and it’s all available to anyone. It’s about creativity and not getting in your own way. If you’re thinking too hard then you’re probably doing it wrong. Music is about flow and being in a zone of your own potential and bringing that reality into being. All of your influences and all of your likes and dislikes and things you think are cool – throw it all in there and just play.
I try not to limit myself and say, ok here’s where I’m gonna write this country thing and the whole way through it has to stay country so I can put that genre tag on there – well, no. I don’t feel that and I don’t write like that. Life is dynamic and constantly changing and so does my music and that’s how I like to listen as well. Give me novelty any day.
With this TexMex Shaman project, I try to do just that

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, it’s no coincidence that the name TexMex is part of this whole deal. I mean I’m in Dallas so you know we’d have to hit a Tex-Mex joint. There’s so many good ones here we’d have no problem. Then for dessert you got BBQ on the menu. Food wouldn’t be a problem. Then for me we’d hit the ball park and watch either the Rangers or the stadium and see the Cowboys or maybe both. Then we’d go watch a Stars game and catch a rock show at the arena. These are all things that give a flavor of the city. Now this is me speaking as things were pre-pandemic crap. Things around here now though in Fall of ’22 are opening back up and we’re starting to see smaller club shows around again and I enjoy those quite a bit. Dallas / Arlington / Ft Worth Metroplex is so big and full of fun it would take a while but we have some fun.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d say it goes to the handful of guys I grew up with and especially the bandmates and lifelong friends I made in high school and college who shared many of the same musical tastes. This is a shoutout to Q, Mitchell, Derrick, The OASPM, Jeff R, Kelvin and a few others that turned me on to guys like Prince and Frank Zappa and bands like Steely Dan and so many other influences that I likely would have never heard were it not for those guys.

Fast forwarding to today I gotta give my collaborators a shoutout for making some killer music with me from all over the world. There’s nic from Sweden, Fullyard from Austria, One Blind Mouse from Scotland, eddyoffline from the Netherlands, there’s Bones and Mike from the UK and Canada who run a great new music podcast and have given me lots of support, my good buddy Stonerjazz from the Pacific Northwest, hip hop artist IPG1 from Milwaukee and last but not least my dear friend Rekha Iyern [Fe] from Canada who I will soon be releasing a full LP with. All great musicians and super fun folks to work with. You can hear the music on my SoundCloud and on Spotify/Apple/Deezer

Website: https://www.texmexshaman.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/texmexshaman

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shamantexmex

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TexMexShaman

Other: https://soundcloud.com/texmex-shaman

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.