PREMIERE: Stephen - "Fly Down"
The 23-year-old's last tune garnered over a million plays in a week. Jeesh. Now he's back with another stealth smash.
Here's what's known about Stephen.
Back in 2012, Stephen (you know, like Kylie, Madonna, or Sia) popped his debut tune, "Bullet Train," online. It was heavy on the dubstep vibes with Joni Fatora on vocals and it has since garnered over 100 million plays. Apparently in the wake of this buzz, major labels came a-calling, but Stephen was not returning those calls with an affirmative and instead he dropped out of college in Miami and headed for Hollywood. Whatever big ideas were floating in his ether, nothing quite went to plan for the Fairfax County, Virginia-born artist.
While there he had something of an awakening—he was torn down and built up again until last month he dropped "Remembering Myself," which spread like a virulent virus. Musically it's a step on from "Bullet Train": the pulverizing, dubby beats have been sloughed off to create a subtler composition—one that hangs its hat on a rippling guitar line, stuttered R&B beat, and Stephen's vocal which is rich (and tasty) like full fat cream, and idiosyncratic with it too.
Below is the premiere of his new tune "Fly Down," another taster from his forthcoming full length. Not unlike his previous hit, this one begins pensively, thanks to that piano line. It's a contemplative R&B pop ballad—like The Weeknd with a softer center—before shit gets choppy and bassy and beautiful at one minute 29 seconds in with those finger clicked punctuations and synths which pulse in and sharply depart. Like Sampha and SBTRKT gone super radio friendly unit shifter.
"It’s really difficult for me to talk about where the song came from," says Stephen. "It was written over the course of two years and the inspiration for it was drawn from so many different experiences. Like the rest of my album, the song touches on complex emotions that are hard to explain, but at the core, it’s just about a man trying to find his way."
Expect more of this guy finding his way through music and if you really want to deep dive while waiting for his album which he calls "a snapshot of this journey," check out his confessional tumblr, Sincerely, Stephen.
“Fly Down” is out now via Halfway House.