Zach Lehner | Steamer Nelson | Cody Kime | Gabe Lehner

Area Sound Biography

Steamer Nelson

The name Steamer was born from rhyme. Real name was Liam, but as an infant, dad called him “Liamer Steamer”. Liamer was dropped long before Steamer recognized his own name, so he grew up more comfortable with his nickname than his birth name, becoming accustomed to strange looks upon introduction and the incessant question, “Steamer? Where’s that come from?” Steamer came up in the redwood forests of Bayside and Freshwater, Humboldt County, California. Always a good student, always a writer, always a reader and a thinker. Never a troublemaker or a thug, never a badass, never will he claim to be or have been, never much into looking cool or worried about what others may think. Frehwater Elementary to Zane Junior High to Eureka High School to Humboldt State University double major in Spanish and Latin American Studies and a Spanish Teaching Credential. Costa Rica to Mexico to Chile back to Mexico and back to Chile. A student of the peoples, cultures, and languages of the world, enchanted by Latin America and its struggles, which he came to recognize as the same struggles shared by the underprivileged across the globe and fueled by the same economic, political, and cultural forces. Steamer has been stubbornly rooted in his community, unwilling to migrate despite few job prospects in the teaching field. Instead he has survived on the meager salary of a substitute teacher and thrived on his interactions with the local youth. He has worked part time for the past five years for the Gang Risk Intervention Program under the guidance of Simona Keat, who he considers a local saint and a personal hero for her tireless devotion to kids. Steamer has become deeply involved in the community through GRIP and teaching and out of concern for the kids emerged his desire to write, rap, and make music.  A lifetime fan of hip-hop, he could listen no more to the modern mainstream state of hip hop and rap without doing something to counteract the harmful and malicious pop bullshit that was being forcefed to young people by the music industry. With this in mind, Steamer began writing zealously, recording raps on a laptop and bringing his message to kids in the classroom, as a way to educate and fight the boredom and apathy of his students. Not until collaborating with Zach and Cody did he ever imagine bringing his work to another level, out of the classroom and into the studio and eventually on to rocking some pretty respectable live shows. Today, Steamer is at that point. Still teaching and seeking a full time postion as a high school teacher. Still working with kids in GRIP and the Eureka High School Multicultural Club. Still hammering nails to pay the bills. But also making some pretty good music, surrounded by the most beautiful people in the world, trying his best to pump the pump the positivity, solve some problems, and better the community. Steamer doesn’t like to describe himself as a rapper. He’d rather be a teacher that raps and does construction on the side, getting along and having a good time.