Steven Alexander Chen aka STVN is an emerging independent pop artist from Philadelphia, USA with a debut EP due for release at the end of August.
“I’ve always loved writing songs, from a young age I’d often sit at the piano for hours on end, improvising and getting lost in the world of creating. I still do this, sitting in my room for hours with my guitar, notebook and laptop, punching away at the keys and trying my best to share a story with the world. My creative process has remained the same for years, just letting ideas flow freely and taking as much time as needed to express what I’m feeling. This EP is a collection of songs that have been in the works for a while, some a few days, some more than a year. I hope that each of them can bring joy to someone!”
We thought it was a great time to get to know him a little better as part of our series before the release!
Hello and welcome to The Lowdown! How are you? "I'm doing really well! Really nice to meet you!" Introduce yourself and tell us a fun fact about you! "Sure! My name is Steven Alexander Chen aka STVN (my artist name)! A fun fact that not a lot of people know about me is that I can't read music very well, so I write by ear! I also write cinematic scores and orchestral pieces in my free time. I'm working on building up a large collection of these songs!" Where are you from? "I'm from the United States, and grew up near Philadelphia PA!"
When did you realise you wanted this to be your career? "Honestly, I just recently realized I wanted to take my passion to the next level and become a full time artist and producer. I've always loved writing music, and took piano lessons when I was a little kid. I hated having to learn classical pieces though, and took to writing my own compositions and eventually lyrics, kind of figuring out things as I went! I used to produce EDM and instrumental music back in high-school under a project called Paint the Skies, but found a passion for writing more lyrically driven songs when I started going to college and started listening to more indie pop music! After lots of encouragement from close friends, family, and my mentors, I've committed myself to doing music no matter what it takes."
What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not making music? "I absolutely love playing board games with my friends and family. A few of my favorites are Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, and Clue." Are there any artists who have influenced your sound or inspire you? Definitely! In high-school I listened to a lot of Jon Bellion, he's a huge inspiration of mine. In college, I went through a phase of listening to a ton of EDM, and then more indie pop, which is kind of where I've settled now. A few artists that inspire me are Charlie Burg, Jeremy Zucker, Jacob Collier, Lauv, LANY, Lennon Stella, Bruno Major, and Oh Wonder. Honestly I'm not sure if my music sounds like any of these artists, but I absolutely love everything they write." What would be the ‘dream come true’ for you? "Probably just to be able to continue writing music for the rest of my life, with my friends and hopefully someday the people that have inspired me!"
You’ve released a few singles this month ‘Weightless’ and ‘Remedy’. Tell us a bit about them! "Yes! Weightless came out a few weeks ago, and to be honest I was super nervous to release it! I almost skipped releasing that one, but worked hard to get it sounding exactly how I envisioned it in my mind, and I'm so thankful I put the song out! I wrote Weightless in October of 2019, and is the song is the first song I ever performed live, when I opened for Charlie Burg at a college show! I'm so excited for everyone to hear my newest song "Remedy" because it's definitely one of my favorite songs I've ever written and produced. I had so much fun writing this song and I feel like it ties together many musical influences, just like Weightless. At the same time, "Remedy" definitely feels like it has a distinct electronic/synth driven sound compared to the songs I've released before. This is probably my most "pop" song I've released so far! Some people might think that it is a love song, which I guess it is/could be, but Remedy is really about those true friends that always have your back, no matter what, even when you aren't yourself. My favorite lyric from the songs is "/you give me love when I hardly deserve it /you walk with me when I'm miles from perfect."" How has the reaction been so far? "So far it seems like everyone is really vibing with these new songs! It's been super encouraging to hear that people are loving these new releases, I feel like I'm going in the right direction! Really excited to share more music very soon."
For those who haven’t listened to your music yet, what makes your tracks a ‘must listen’? "My end goal with my music is to share joy, love, and positivity with others, and to inspire others to create as well, so I think this is definitely one of the main reasons I want people to hear my music! :D On the more musical/technical side though, I struggle to place my music in a specific genre, because it combines so many sounds, genres and feelings into one song! So honestly I'd say my songs are a "must listen" because they don't really sound like anything I've heard before!" Finally, what have you got planned for the rest of this year? "My first EP under STVN comes out August 28th! The EP is called "Sugar High" and is a compilation of a new song and the four other singles that I've released so far! After this, I've already got the next few singles and EP in the works, I've been working super hard on writing new music :D. Be on the lookout too, I've definitely got some surprises up my sleeve (get ready for some sad songs) :)"
Listen to STVN HERE