Opening Words


Hello and welcome to the digital headquarters of my entire creative world. Small is the New Tall, once just a series of writing camps, was born some years back out of the desire to connect with my creative pals and collaborate in a distraction-free environment. Having written songs for six years as part of the Universal Music Publishing Group team, I'd seen my fair share of run-of-the-mill writing rooms in the corners and basements of all the big important music office buildings in Nashville and LA. While they had all the necessary equipment to write and record songs - guitars, a professional recording rig, couches, a Keurig and a basket full of snacks for the taking, they also had the pressure of a 3 hour block, the stale glow of fluorescent lighting and unrealistic expectations from the suits.

In the summer of 2013, I made peace with my failed move to the west coast and returned to the Carolinas. My then girlfriend (now wife - great success!) and I moved to a farm house perfectly nestled on 36 acres in Chapel Hill.  A few months in, while sitting on the back porch, I stared at the 100 year old barn-shack in the back yard and contemplated what it might take to turn it into a suitable studio. After a couple weeks of plotting and about a week of renovations, I was ready to put my plan into action.  Over the course of the next year, I would host friends/artists such as Johnny Delaware (of the Artisanals), Courtney Marie Andrews and Haley Shaw to make some of the fondest memories and musical magic in the process. 

Cut to now - my wife and I live in a small cottage perched about half way up a mountain, moated in by two streams, in Western North Carolina. I spent most of 2017 on the road trying to "break" my artist career and missed out on most of our first year living in this rural paradise. I think it's easy for artists to caught up in the pursuit of success and when that happens, we tend take the the people and furry creatures we love for granted. They wait patiently (sometimes impatiently, and rightfully so) at home, while we chase our dragon-like-dream, hoping to at least catch the tail and maybe then, finally be satisfied. After a near nervous breakdown in October, I re-evaluated my life and what was most important. I started realizing that while I was out schmoozing and trying to make the music biz think I'm cooler than I actually am, my life was passing me by. The beautiful small moments that make life worth living, were happening back home without me and I was only experiencing them through a digital screen while I tried to make the best of what I thought was an unavoidable situation. I believed this was my destiny and that if I wasn't trying to "make it", I was worthless to everyone. It's taken me 15 years, but I finally see that isn't the case. I'm worth more than the songs I sing and life is bigger than my hustle. 

So here I am, ready to take on the rest of my life with a new attitude and a new dream. Small is the New Tall isn't just a satirical tip of that hat to what I lack in height. The name is a reminder to live a simple life with a big heart. Sometimes the little things make the biggest difference.  

Steven Fiore