Get Out of Your Head and Stream Stephen's Incredible Debut LP 'Sincerely'
The LA-based singer's been teasing us for months with svelte R&B-angled tunes that've clocked millions of plays. Now the wait is over.
Stephen shot by Jack McKain
This past fall we premiered Stephen's track "Fly Down" and since then it's had 1.2 million plays on Soundcloud—holy cow!—but actually this is just the tip of the numbers iceberg: his debut tune, "Bullet Train" from back in 2012, has over 100 million clickety-clicks. But we don't wield these figures to convince you to get on this bandwagon. The Virginia-born, LA-based singer's songs are the real reason to get hooked, which is why we're extremely stoked to premiere his debut album, Sincerely, in full today.
A compendium of super-slick, sultry R&B that's cooler than an ice cube on the small of your back (and just as thrilling), his full length offers new dimensions hitherto unheard from the already released tracks. Like on "Line It Up"—there's a Prince-ly funk to those guitars, but also some dubby-womps woven in there too.
Really it's for you to press play and listen and let his music sidle up and seduce you.
Stephen wanted to say this about his long-time coming debut:
"I feel like I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure it out. I figured out how to tie my shoes, I figured out how to do algebra, I figured out how to kiss a girl, I figured out how to sing… And somewhere in the midst of all this figuring out, I convinced myself that one day I’d have it all figured out.
"I wanted to know who I was, why I was here and what I was supposed to do, but I couldn’t and it drove me crazy. My confusion turned into paranoia which turned into panic attacks which triggered delusions. I tried so hard to find my way that I became more lost. I tried so hard to find the answers that I became more confused. I tried so desperately to hold on that I collapsed under all the weight.
"And for a while I couldn’t breathe.
"But this conflict in my head gave me the opportunity to listen to my heart, and when I did, my heart told me that I didn’t need answers. It told me that there’s a thousand ways to tie a knot and a million ways to sing and a billion ways to kiss a girl. My heart told me that there’s nothing to figure out, just everything to try.
"My album is a story of triumph, of letting go of all the uncertainty in my head and learning to walk the path of my own heart. Sincerely "s about realizing how much better this world would be if we all loved ourselves, if we weren’t afraid of being vulnerable and honest. It doesn’t matter who’s president or what technology we invent or what extremists we destroy, the only thing I know is this:
"There will never be peace if we do not all love ourselves.
"And so I believe my generation needs a revolution. We don’t love ourselves. We are trapped in our heads because we were told to figure it all out and in our failed attempts we stopped having fun. We abandoned everything we loved doing because we thought it was slowing us down. We thought growing up was the process of holding on instead of letting go, and now we’re all collpasing under the weight. We don’t know what to do anymore.
"But we can do so much. We can change the world. We have to stop complying to the doubts in our heads and start following our hearts. We have to stop judging eachother and start accepting ourselves. We have to stop living selfishly and start giving back. We have to have the courage to take a chance. My generation has all the power if we work together. This is my invitation to the ones who love."