Radio Stevie shares the stories behind each track on the RAP QUEEN EP.
On Yas Queen, I started writing with a lot of anger, and I knew the beat would have to have some roughness to it. As I kept writing, it became a stream of consciousness of so many things that I was feeling at the time and still feel. But, I didn’t want to make a sad song or an angry protest song. I still wanted it to fit the theme of celebration and the Up Style vibe, so I took all that anger and made it a reminder that despite everything going on, I’m still here and I have a lot to offer creatively and I have a lot to be proud of too. Self-love is important and sometimes with so much negativity in the world, it can be hard to feel good about yourself. Especially when you’re black and queer. But, I’m here, I’m queer, and I’m ill. OK? YAAAAAS QUEEEEEN!
I wrote Lucy about 5 years ago at a time where I probably wrote an entire album’s worth of synth-heavy tunes that were much darker in tone, but still lyrically light and playful. Depeche Mode is my favorite band ever and I love that era in music, which is why synths are very present across this EP. Also, as a writer, I love telling stories and creating characters. Lucy, is a mystery party girl who takes us to the next part of the EP, which is all party focused tracks. I hope to do a full record, full of characters and dark synths in the future.
Recording in Brazil, I started to get worried that I wasn’t making music that would connect to the audience here. Folks would come in the studio and get down to all the tracks we were working on, but I could tell I needed something that really spoke to the people here. So, we started working on a song that focused on production, presented elements of Brazilian music, featured a familiar voice and is lyrically easy for people to understand. When I heard Aira Ocrespo’s music with Flavya, I was like, let’s get him on this record! He and Flavya gave it that extra special Brazilian touch the EP needed and we got to really play with the production. The end of the song is really hypnotizing and that was super fun to create.
BOYS/GIRLS is the track that started it all. I wrote the lyrics after a night during pre-Carnaval with some drag performers. We were at a “bloco,” which are street parties leading up to the big Carnaval celebration, and they were planning some promo for their upcoming bloco in the Centro area of Sao Paulo. They slayed the shoot, and the party was super fun! Centro is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Sao Paulo. Brazilian Carnaval is an experience everyone should have. Seriously. Not just for the parties, but for the culture. With samba being at the core of the celebration — It doesn’t get any better!
2016 UP STYLE RECORDS
It’s official! Radio Stevie is here! Here is the video clip for the first single from the upcoming Rap Queen EP, which is available December 2, 2016, on Up Style Records.
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Want some music while you’re reading The Hero in Me? I curated a Spotify playlist inspired by my book The Hero in Me. The hour-long playlist features music by Depeche Mode, Otis Redding, The Stranglers and more. Get into the playlist below.
The Hero in Me
In The Hero In Me, we dive into the mind of Schuyler, an overthinking young adult who is trying to piece his life together after the death of his mother. When he moves to Connecticut to grieve at his Aunt Lu’s, Schuyler finds comfort in an alcoholic bartender and a handsome heroin addict. Suddenly, Schuyler is faced with new highs and lows, and must decide between family, love and drugs.