Young hearts, run free. Talented, innovative and beyond his years, RUSSH favourite Stevan releases his debut body of work with the Just Kids mixtape. A league of his own, the multi-instrumentalist, producer and artist wrote, recorded and produced the entire project on his own from the ages of 16 to 19. Here we chat with Stevan on his recording process, Stevie Wonder inspirations and why a good shower is a cure all for anything. Stream the mixtape here and be lost in the smooth, multi-layered soundscapes and don’t miss the official music video for Tripping down below.
Tell us about your debut mixtape ‘Just Kids’…
Just Kids is about growing up and trying to figure out who you are. A lot of the topics I talk about on the project reflect a younger me.
What were your main inspirations?
At the time I was making the project I was listening to a lot of Channel Orange and Ego Death. As well as Negro Swan, these sounds definitely made their way into my music. As well as some classic artists like Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers and Al Green.
This mixtape was written and recorded entirely on your own, how did you find the process?
Very enjoyable, music making for me is like working on a good puzzle. The lyrics are one piece, the production another piece and the vocals too. Finding what fits together is the funnest thing for me to do. Plus, it helps me improve on my instruments as well as my writing.
How have you grown and evolved with the production of ’Just Kids’?
I think I’ve grown a lot considering the oldest song on the project was made by a 16-year-old me. At the time I really didn’t know what I was doing haha. I’ve come a long way and the progression is evident in the music.
What is your favorite song from the 12-track release and why?
Take It Slow and it’s my favorite because I went a little crazy with the production. It’s a Bossa groove on an indie pop record, I've never heard someone do that. I hope fans go digging for more songs like it.
You mentioned in our last interview that you were going to release the best music you’ve ever made this year, does this feel true with ‘Just Kids’?
Damn haha yeah for now I’d say it’s the best thing I’ve made. I think it’s wild that I managed to produce, write and perform all the songs myself. I’m excited to see how people take it.
How has the current global pandemic affected you and your creative processes?
It’s made me think a lot about how I do things. When shows and other music gigs got canceled I took the time to better my skills. My production, my singing and even my instrumental capabilities have improved due to the pandemic. So, my creative ideas have become more mature and layered and I’m taking this mentality with me even after this whole situation is over.
What are your most cherished daily rituals?
It’s going to sound basic but I love showers! Haha so much. It’s where I do a lot of thinking so I’m always in there for a while. I don’t know if it’s the running water but something about showers inspires me to think. I recently started writing ideas and thoughts in a notebook as a way to manage my mind. That’s a thing I’ve become a little reliant on haha.
My current state of mind is…
Distant, I’m currently trying to look at things positively but the world is in such a negative place at the moment. But I’m also hopeful because people are banding together and a lot of the injustices that are hurting black people around the world are being addressed.
What do you appreciate the most right now?
Friends and family as well my fan base.
I miss ...
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I want to dominate the music scene and play bigger shows and make better songs. I just want to level up every year until my debut album.