Artist Spotlight: Casii Stephan’s slow musical start led him to success

For soul and pop-rock singer, Casii Stephan, Minnesota gave him roots, but Tulsa gave him its own wings. After moving to Oklahoma to launch his musical endeavors, it is clear that Stephan is a powerful force.

Praised for her subtle vibrato and intense melodies, as well as her emotional lyrics, Stephan has been compared to such artists as Florence Welch, Fiona Apple and Carole King. Her voice holds a warmth that many artists in the ever-changing music industry seem to lack, but the singer doesn’t want to adapt.

However, this strong sense of self took a long time for Stephan to embrace. The singer grew shy and afraid of her voice but began writing songs on her family’s piano in South St. Louis. Paul when he was 16. Music was able to transcend Stephan’s normal reality into a world where he could find a deeper sense of self.

In 2014, Stephan moved to Tulsa, not aiming to start a career in music, until he received encouragement from his friends to do what he had previously hoped for. So, he started releasing music from there. Her first single that year, “Yo-Yo” became a fan favorite, garnering more praise and recognition.

Stephan slowly continued to drop music two years later with his next single, “I Like the Way,” a song about being infatuated with the person you love. In 2017, he followed up with “GhostShips,” a scary track reminiscent of the past. A year later, he released “Letters,” a track that highlighted Stephan’s range and strength of voice.

Throughout Stephan’s music is the underlying theme of hope. “It’s a cliche word and yet there are a lot of layers to it,” he said. “Hope keeps us alive. It keeps us moving. But it’s also like flying some days like a pixie doing what it wants. But it’s not pixie. It’s more like the air we breathe. “There are days when its presence is stronger than we realize and there are days when we forget in our daily lives that it is there … keeping us moving forward.”

Ever since launching his career, Stephan has witnessed success. He was nominated for his work at the Independent Music Awards, Hollywood Music in Media Awards and USA Songwriting Competition. In 2020, Billboard also profiled by Stephan.

In her free time, the singer leads a female-led music festival called MisFEST in Tulsa, which is recognized locally and nationwide. Additionally, Stephan hosts a live stream of the morning music show, “Coffee with Casii,” which gave him a performance at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

One of Stephan’s latest songs, “These Hard Days,” was a finalist at New York City’s Oniros Film Festival. The singer was also named “catapult catchers to be watched in 2022” by NPR. He also recently performed at South by Southwest’s showcase.

In March, Stephan released “Already Gone,” a soulful rock anthem against domestic abuse.

Now, as Stephan is nearly a decade into his career, he continues to maintain hope at the heart of all his music, but is eager to advance social justice in his future endeavors. After the release of “Already Gone,” he looks ready to open a new leaf sonically and thematically, reason for the audience to be even more excited about the start of his new musical chapter.

@grace_koe

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