Past the Press Release is an interview series featuring a new member of a professional Southern Gospel group. It’s a chance to look past the standard “excited to be here” press release comment and learn a little more about them. In this case, the column title is somewhat of a misnomer, because the Inspirations’ official announcement that Stephen Srein is their new lead singer is coming a little later today on Facebook. So watch for that, but meanwhile, let’s get to know Stephen a little better!

Daniel: Which artists were your first exposure to Southern Gospel and sparked a desire to sing it yourself?

Stephen: My very first exposure was the Gaither Vocal Band album I Do Believe. It was given to me by a great friend and helped encourage me through some rough times as a teenager. I then began to be introduced to groups such as The Kingdom Heirs. At a Kingdom Heirs concert, Arthur Rice took about twenty-five minutes to talk to me about singing. It was that conversation that sparked the desire to sing in quartets. (especially the lead part)

Daniel: Have you sung in any groups prior to joining the Inspirations?

Stephen: I sang in some regional groups while I was in college: Sacred Heritage Quartet (with Jon Epley and current Promise tenor T.J. Evans) and also a group called Committed Quartet.

Daniel: Is this solo project yours? http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/stephensrein

Stephen: Yes, that is my solo album. I am still working with cdbaby on some issues with this link though as far as purchasing Etc…

Daniel: What was your first exposure to the Inspirations?

Stephen: My first exposure was two years ago when I first learned that Jon was with the group. I knew of the Inspirations but had never really listened to any of their music before then.

Daniel: Looking back through their history, what are some of your all-time favorite Inspirations songs and albums/CDs?

Stephen: The I Know record is very strong. Also, the Southern Gospel Treasury Series is one of my favorites.

Daniel: From when I first met you earlier this week, your name sounded quite familiar, and I’ve been trying to place it since. Are you the same Stephen S. we see around here on occasion? 🙂

I have been known to interact occasionally on sgblog. 🙂 I thoroughly enjoy the site and also enjoy interacting with fans of Southern Gospel music.