Artist Spotlight - Stevan
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Hailing from Wollongong, 19-year-old artist ‘Stevan’ has made incredible headways in the Australian music scene over the last couple of years and is emerging as a truly special talent. From learning to play instruments such as the guitar and drums to being a part of the production behind his own songs, Stevan brings the whole package to the table as a complete artist.
Growing up Stevan was influenced by many modern pioneers of new wave music, ranging from Childish Gambino to the likes of Frank Ocean and Steve Lacy. This connection to such artists is very evident in the music that Stevan has fashioned, with his discography an exciting mixture of genre-bending tracks that are unbound by tradition. By equal measure, the production side of his music pays homage to other memorable artists such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams by emulating their producing skills and adapting them to his style of music. What makes him even more fascinating is that he is a self-taught musician. He has literally started with nothing, and through curiosity, hard work, dedication and passion has been able to craft out a unique position for himself in the Australian hip-hop & R&B scene.
Stevan has released a range of singles over his career as well as two mixtapes which were put out in 2020 entitled ‘Just Kids’ and ‘Ontogeny’ respectively. Interestingly Stevan has insisted that they both be mixtapes instead of albums as an ode to his experiences listening to music, as that is the format that he has become accustomed with. In a way, he is introducing people to music in the same manner he was.
His first mixtape ‘Just Kids’ is a reflection of Stevan making music and figuring out his identity with each passing song he makes, with each track being a better version of him being able to express his ideas and thoughts. Stevan’s second mixtape ‘Ontogeny’ shows a different side to ‘Just Kids’, demonstrating a progression for Stevan personally and as an artist. By comparison, it explores themes of love, dealing with hardship and expressing the insecurities he has felt in many facets of his life. ‘Ontogeny’ conveys Stevan’s willingness to dig deep and create a change in his music, not just settling for capturing similar ideas expressed in his previous mixtape. This showcases his ability to always be evolving and experimenting with new sounds and ideas.
“I feel like I have a responsibility to now be a voice”
NME Interview with Cyclone Wehner
Although they are two different mixtapes, they have allowed him to use his voice for a good purpose. That being Stevan’s use of his platform to spread awareness on a variety of social issues. In particular, the mental health struggles of men and his attempts to encourage discussion about the racism that is prevalent within Australia are most prominent. Through doing this Stevan is using his platform to instigate change, illustrating his immense maturity levels at such a young age. This has been showcased through him being named ‘Wollongong’s Young Citizen of the Year’. His voice has the ability to create change and that’s exactly what he intends on doing.
We know after reading this, that you want some song recommendations. So, we decided to list our favourite songs off Stevan’s two mixtapes!
Just Kids - Time, No Regrets and On My Mind
Ontogeny - Picture, Impress You, Sia