Who is Steffan? Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I am a lucky soul who has been graced the opportunity to exist. I believe I have a purpose on this planet, and that is to spread love through playing pretend. I love to enter different universes, which is exactly what I do whenever I’m acting or writing music. Creating a new world to exist in.
Where are you from? What were you like as a kid?
I grew up in Des Plaines, Illinois. It’s claim to fame is that the first ever McDonalds was built there and it is also where John Wayne Gacy Jr. was arrested. Lovely. It’s special to me because of all the people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing there. As a kid I found any way to have fun in the otherwise small and dull northwest Chicago suburb. I liked to break rules a whole lot. One of my favorite activities was sneaking into abandoned buildings. It also didn’t take long to realize music was an unmatchable creative outlet. I was always humming around the house when I wasn’t causing trouble (my nickname was “Stefzilla”). When I picked up the guitar in third grade the rest was history. A snowball effect of other instruments followed and I soon started writing my own music.
Why do you make music?
I make music to filter my feelings from my head out into the universe. I make music to feel alive and to connect with other living souls. There's no greater feeling to me than connecting with people on a musical level. It’s a special language of sound that I can understand like no other.
Can you describe the way you work, how does a song come to mind?
Inspiration for music happens differently every time. I’ve written songs inspired by a t-shirt, a wooden sign, a tv show, a butterfly I saw on a leaf, and pretty much anything I witness. If something- anything- catches my attention significantly, I usually end up writing about it.
Your recently released your first EP "Lost At Sea". What are you most proud of from this EP?
I am most proud of the fact that I stayed true to exactly who I am and who I want to be. I have had people tell me I need to mold myself to be what will succeed, but I believe that being me to the fullest extent is where i will find true success.
When you write songs do you ever feel like someone might know it's about them?
Definitely. There is a good chunk of my songs that probably wouldn’t be recognized by their muse, but as of late my music has been clearly directed at someone. I don’t know if they will ever hear the music, but if they did, they would surely know its about them. And they probably wouldn’t be too happy about it, haha. That’s what you sign up for when you break a writers heart.
Is it ever difficult performing your personal thoughts to strangers?
Being vulnerable on a stage is the greatest feeling I know. Being raw and showing true feeling is how real connections are made. Of course some more personal thoughts may be more difficult to divulge to the masses, but I’m not afraid of it.
Being relatively new to the industry, do you ever feel self conscious?
I am very sure of who I am and what I am setting out to accomplish. Although I may be “new” as a solo artist releasing music, I have been fine tuning what I want to create for a long time. I’m making music for me and the people who may also connect. Any connection is worthwhile.
What's important in life?
Love. To clarify, I don't necessarily mean romantic love. Romantic love is great don’t get me wrong, but I have learned how important it is to treat everyone with love. Even the ones you feel you “hate”. In fact, especially those ones.
When and where are you happiest?
When I’m surrounded by the sound of music. Singing and dancing like a fool with family and friends that I love is bliss.
What are you most excited for this year?
To work on creating a full length show with my band. I recently finished writing my first concept album. I just started rehearsals, and it has been quite the treat. I can’t wait for people to see and hear what we are creating!
What is your dream project?
To create a musical using my own music.
Top 3 favorite films?
In no particular order: Peter Pan, Perks of Being a Wallflower and Swiss Army Man.
Top 3 music in your playlist right now?
Bright Cloud - Nana Grizol
Answer - Phantogram
Cliquot - Beirut
Book you’re currently reading:
Real Magic by Wayne W. Dyer and Sweet Fruit from a Bitter Tree by Mark Andreas
Currently binge watching…
Just finished Avatar the Last Airbender, so now I’ve started The Legend of Korra, Avatar’s spin off series.
Any advice you can give to any aspiring artists out there?
Be unapologetically you to the furthest extent. Respect outside opinion but always ALWAYS trust your instinct when it comes to your art, or anything for that matter.
If you’re going to have a book, what title would it be?
Beasts of Unfathomable Wonder.
If you will be given the chance and opportunity to help a specific charity, what would it be and why?
Habitat for Humanity. I go on trips almost every year to help build houses or playgrounds for communities in need with Habitat for Humanity. It is close to home. I have seen up close how actively they really help, and in such an intimate and loving manner. I would love to continue helping them.