A long overdue introduction to the world of Early Rising, today I have the honor of welcoming one of Brooklyn’s best kept secrets, Stephn. Tapping into the unbridled neo-soul brilliance of such visionaries as Sampha and serpentwithfeet, New York-based artist, designer, and songwriter Stephn had to come a long way before he could even think of making music. Born in Nigeria, but raised in the DMV, Stephn uses his varied and diverse backstory to spin compelling narratives about his upbringing as well as representation in the LGBTQ+ community. In a day and age when so many artists are not actually saying anything of substance, it’s refreshing to come across an artist like Stephn who’s such an intentional storyteller. Inspired by sonics from his roots and from vulnerable experiences – heavily driven by retro sounds, Stephn has been able to create a movement of his own through expression and that is something I think every artist could learn from Stephn. 

Released on Friday, November 11th, Stephn’s new single, “Ultraviolet”, establishes the gifted vocalist as a rising name to know in the neo-soul and r&b space. With heaven-sent baritone vocals that call to mind artists like Giveon during his early stages or Kwaku Asante, Stephn blesses us with a bountiful performance overtop of a rich, slow-jam production that combines to make a truly stunning product. Still finding his stride in music, his commitment to narrative structure and soul-baring songwriting will be sure to keep Stephn around for a long time. Regardless, the raw talent that Stephn exudes in “Ultraviolet” and pure storytelling informs us all that there is a lot to look forward to with Stephn’s artist project. Speaking a bit more about the song, Stephn had this to say:

“This song serves as a beginning of a new era for me. As the release of my upcoming visual project “Time, Time, Time” – that serves as a capsule of sonics before us, our present time, and what the future could potentially sound like – gets closer and closer it has always been hard for me to share vulnerability because I am private about my general emotional, mental, and even physical trauma.  ‘Ultraviolet’ brings it all to light and encourages me to heal all of it instead of using unhealthy coping mechanisms.”

While I could go on for days about Stephn’s, “Ultraviolet”, I think it’s time that you all dive into it yourself. To save you some time, I’ve left the Spotify preview link to the song below for you to check out at your earliest convenience!


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