Stevan is wise beyond his years. The soft spoken Aussie R&B prodigy has been quickly picking up steam, with management and record deals in Aus and the US, but Stevan stays close to the ground. His humble and quirky nature shines through in the visual accompaniment to his debut single, Timee. The song drips with 90’s R&B soul, but Stevan, at 18 years old, resides firmly in the present. Keeping his circle small and his influences wide, Stevan is carving a space for himself alongside his Neo-funk contemporaries, Thundercat, Tyler, the Creator, Toro y Moi. The lighthearted Wes Anderson inspired video is a testament to the totality of Stevan’s vision. We were lucky enough to catch up with him for a quick interview on all things Stevan. Check out his new video and keep your ears out for new music, Stevan is poised to blow up, its about Timee.
In the same year that you reached adulthood (18), you’ve begun to start your journey towards becoming a public figure. How do you plan to stay young while tackling all the work that comes with being a musician?
I don’t think it’ll be too difficult for me to stay “young”. I’m actually hoping music mellows me out as I can be playfully childish haha hopefully music helps me mature a little.
Who are some of the biggest influences to your music– both modern and classic?
Some classic artists consisting of Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Sade and Beach Boys. These artists have a command over music – they know how to write beautiful songs and arrange colorful instrumentals. While maintaining a pop appeal, more contemporary inspirations are Frank Ocean, Childish Gambino, Pharrell, Dev Hynes, Thundercat, Toro Y Moi, Andre 3000 and the Eels. I feel like these musicians are ushering in a new wave of old school music haha.
How long have you been making music? What inspired you to begin creating?
I’ve been making music since 2013, so I started when I was 12. My main inspiration was my older cousin Onesphore – he lived in Melbourne and came to live with me for a year. He put me onto all the new rappers at the time – ASAP, Chance, Kendrick, Cole, Danny Brown, Joey Badass Tyler, Frank Ocean etc. He tried rapping one day and I said I’d make the beat – it was really bad haha, I made it on a school computer using GarageBand.
In your recent video for “Timee,” you take on an aesthetic that evokes nostalgia but remains refreshing- simultaneously your look which is dominated by stripes and floral is parallel to some existing acts but retains a fresh “Stevan-twist.” Tell us about what goes through your head when deciding the way you portray yourself visually in everyday life and in your content.
I feel the music took a lot of nostalgic inspiration sonically, so I wanted that reflected in the video. One director who does nostalgia in a very interesting way is Wes Anderson, and I wanted to capture the warmth and familiarity I get from watching his films – a bit weird given a lot of his nostalgic influences pre date my existence, even though they feel familiar.
Jordan Kirk my director brought my vision to life and had a huge hand in the making of the video. He’s a legend. So that’s the space I’m in creatively, as far as personally, I think I’m currently experiencing some events that will turn into wonderful songs.
In what order of the creation process do you tackle creating music as you are known to produce, write and sing?
Beats first – that’s just been the way the songs have been coming. The chords and drums inform my emotional position on a track and tell me what to write about.
As your music gains popularity, how have your friends reacted and supported your career? Are you known to you keep your circle tight-knit?
My circle of friends has always been small which is strange because I’m a sociable person. I could count my close friends on one hand – they’ve been here since the start, and I intend on keeping them around for as long as they remain to be mates with me.
They aren’t really surprised music worked out for me tbh haha which is a great testament to how they feel about me.
Any words for The Kollection’s friends & family who are being introduced to your music for the first time?
I appreciate you guys so much – I thought my music wouldn’t leave the four walls of my bedroom. I’m realizing that I have something to offer to the music industry, all I need is a chance.