Stephen Nawara


Stephen Nawara has performed and composed music in the city of Detroit since  the age of 13. He has toured the world and achieved critical success with The Detroit Cobras and Electric Six. In 2011, Stephen Nawara founded The Beehive Recording Company to give Detroit musicians a place to have their music recorded, packaged, and distributed at no cost to either the musician or the public, made possible through online distribution and digital recording equipment. Since then, Stephen and Beehive have recorded over 200 songs approaching over 1,000,000 downloads.

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As part of the relaunch of its digital presence, Nawara will present a history of The Beehive Recording Company, followed by a live music concert featuring Beehive recording artists and Nawara’s own band, Colorwheel.


When I was 7 years old, I discovered a strange new world. My father decided to do something out of the ordinary and took my sister and me to the Fox Theater to see a band called Devo. As we walked through the ornate doors, people with mohawks and leather jackets gave us intimidating stares as we made our way to our seats. I held my father’s hand tightly; never had I seen anything like this before. As I looked over the auditorium filled with an alien audience, my excitement began to grow and as the band walked on stage, a wild fervor swept over the crowd. At the very first note, an explosion went off inside of me that I still feel to this day. I was completely connected to everyone in the room and it changed me forever. Music had permanently entered my soul. After the concert, the strange glances were no longer intimidating and I smiled at the Detroit skyline knowing what I was going to do with the rest of my life. The next day at school, I felt different around my fellow classmates.

Ever since that evening, the experience of achieving universal consciousness through music has become my driving force and I have sacrificed a life of security to pursue it. Though the road is tumultuous, it has taken me on a beautiful adventure. Whether it be through my study of the lute and classical guitar, finding the pocket on a bass line, singing harmonies, or the beautiful roar of a dirty amplifier, I continue to look under every stone to find that experience of togetherness. It is through my latest project, Colorwheel, that I will go my furthest into the world of composition and see where this thrilling road takes me.

The Beehive Recording Company is a project that I started in 2011 to give Detroit musicians a place to have their music recorded, packaged, and distributed at no cost to either the musician or the public. It is through online distribution and digital recording equipment that we are able to do this. The process is simple, a musician comes to us with 2 to 3 songs and we put them in our studio with whatever needs they may have (additional players, arrangements, etc.). Then after mixing it down, we package it like an old 45 record with artwork on the A and B side, but as a digital version. We then put it online for the public to download for free on our website. As the songs are beingdownloaded, they are automatically entered into our Top 100 and we watch the artist grow. Their placement in our charts determines who headlines our concerts and as Beehive grows, who we put our money behind. In the past three years, I have recorded over 68 singles of every genre, over 200 songs, and we are close to approaching 1,000,000 downloads. Though I have done most of the artwork, local photographers and artists have also helped with the design behind some of the singles. We are currently a ‘donation only’ business model. However, we are currently rebuilding the website to feature memberships, local advertising, artist merchandise, and other local labels to pay a yearly fee to distribute through our website to help generate more revenue. Not only will this help our community and culture but it will also act as the means to distribute my own work with my group, Colorwheel. I have seen artists go from complete obscurity to packing the houses, and I believe that is also the future of Beehive.