Endlessly innovative multi-instrumentalist, producer and artist Stevan today releases his debut body of work with the Just Kids mixtape, out via Honeymoon / +1 Records (America) & Astral People Recordings (ROW). The left-centre prodigy also adds to his pool of glowing releases with the video for feature track, “Tripping”, directed by Ollie Birt and premiered by Acclaim. Between the ages of 16-19 years old, every element of the mixtape was written, recorded and produced by Stevan alone, pulling him into a new league of bedroom multi-instrumentalists and creatives today.
Amidst woozy, multi-layered soundscapes and a repertoire beyond his years is where Stevan comes alive, destined to run against the grain with any distinct sonic formula he desires. Born to church minister parents, Stevan’s earlier influences of gospel soul and his father’s cassette collection, championing Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder, formed the mould for a distinct acumen. After uncovering an obsession for hip-hop and fellow genre-melters Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Pharrell Williams, Stevan dived into teaching himself drums, guitar, beat-making and production skills from his very own bedroom. In Just Kids, he reflects on the dual complexity and simplicity of adolescence, conjuring cinematic soundscapes that envelope the mind and body while unafraid to blur lines every step of the way. From the silly and uncomfortable to the landmark and transformative, Stevan openly invites us into his early personal journey with a relatability and bare-all brightness the world will be watching.
Opening track “Damn” teases the bare bones of Just Kids, pulling together chilled accents and chords of joy stroked by a voice wrapped in velvet as he reminisces of sun-drenched days gone by. The romantic “Warm” joins the line-up, bringing justice to its name while leading a dance of lush drums and indulgent vocals sprinkled with Stevan’s textures between. “No More Regrets” folds his self-taught assets for a call to living free from the fear of regret, told in hard-hitting percussion and layers upon layers of entangled guitar hooks. “Compromise” entwines falsettos, souled verses and in-and-out vocal samples that send the body into a welcome daze, before “Rock N Roll” coaxes to “lose yourself” in a frontline nostalgia, mellowed blues and body-snatching grooves.
“LNT” next takes the reins, uniting a late-60s guise with sugar-dipped melodies and a modern lense until the smooth breeze of “Take It Slow” creeps forth, draped in sunshine and words that command a cocktail of sonic delights. “Supa” draws the eye to times of innocence and giddy romance while shining a light on the artistic breadth that continues into “On My MInd”, where crooning words meet a sidestep of rap and rich swirls of instrumentation. Breakout debut single “Timee” steps in, where quintessential R&B lyricism comes to life with harmonised vocals and a contemporary sheen pushing Stevan into the nowhere lands of genre and styling, where his true form lies. In the soft funk-entwined “Trust” Stevan conducts a choir of harmonies submerged in the deep end of love before a gem among many in “Tripping” signs-off, binding all the layers, harmonies and makings of a crisp indie-rock soundtrack to show how far he’s come, and where he’s fated to go.
Today, Stevan builds on a groundbreaking reputation underpinned by his esteemed musicality and a knack for storytelling, proving why he’s one of Australia’s most promising forces in R&B. Across singles “Timee”, “LNT”, “Warm”, “No More Regrets” and “On My Mind” Stevan has gone from strength to strength while shaping his own universe at the sweet spot between classic and contemporary stylings. Straight from the gate, he has gained support from triple j, Spotify and Apple Music’s flagship playlists including Front Left and ALT CTRL, plus amassed over 4.5M online streams and received the titles of FBi Independent Artist of the Week, triple j Unearthed Feature Artist and MTV’s Upload of the Week. Commanding attention at home and internationally, the master-of-all-trades has also collected signings with Astral People Recordings and Honeymoon / +1 Records in America, alongside the likes of Anna of the North and Rejjie Snow. Stevan made his mark on the stage at last year’s BIGSOUND conference, going on to captivate crowds at Panama Festival, Fairgrounds Festival, and across supporting dates with Winston Surfshirt and Omar Apollo. With an ever-evolving live show in his arsenal, Stevan has most recently been confirmed to debut his irresistible discography at Splendour in the Grass.
On Saturday, June 13, Stevan will also treat fans to a special live stream mixtape launch where he will be performing his new music live, as well as speaking with some surprise guests, offering Q&As and more to celebrate the debut.
At just 19 years old, Stevan has already seen an evolution across online demos and a cult presence on Soundcloud, to taking on the globe with dreamlike modes at the forefront of his sound. Gliding between hip-hop, R&B, pop, indie rock and more, if genre could even put a finger on it, Stevan sets the stage for a meteoric rise the world cannot miss.
JUST KIDS IS OUT TODAY, JUNE 12 VIA HONEYMOON / +1 RECORDS (AMERICA) & ASTRAL PEOPLE RECORDINGS (ROW)
LISTEN TO JUST KIDS HERE
WATCH 'TRIPPIN' VIDEO HERE
JUST KIDS TRACKLIST
3. No More Regrets
5. Rock N Roll
7. Take It Slow
9. On My Mind
JUST KIDS - LIVE MIXTAPE LAUNCH
SATURDAY, JUNE 13
2PM - 4PM (AEST)
INSTAGRAM LIVE, FACEBOOK LIVE & YOUTUBE
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
PRAISE FOR STEVAN
“With each new release, singer-songwriter Stevan provides further proof that his musical style lives in a universe of its own.” - EARMILK
“I haven't gone for the 5 star rating for a while. But I'm dishing it out here. This captures that Frank Ocean/Tyler/Steve Lacy laid back vibe that I love so much.” - Richard Kingsmill, triple j
“Frank Ocean. Tyler The Creator. Steve Lacy. Do these names excite you? Now, add Stevan's name to the list.” - triple j Unearthed
“It's incredibly special when you can listen to an artist's debut single and hear a completely fleshed out and understood direction and musical personality, and that's something you can pick up on straight away when diving into Stevan's first offering.” - Pilerats
“At only 18 years old, Stevan’s musical ingenuity signals not only his talent as a beat maker, but a very vibrant future.” - FBi Radio
“Stevan might be Australia’s most innovative pop newcomer.” - The Music