We pick the hottest new live acts so you can tell your friends you heard them first. This week's pick is Northern Territory songwriting dynamo Stevie Jean.
New Music / New For 2020
We're shining a spotlight on the best new Australian artists set to dominate 2020. Welcome Wollongong woozy pop producer Stevan
Ticketmaster New Music is your one-stop destination to discover the best emerging live acts before they explode. These are the artists we’re expecting to make waves in the live music scene, and we want you to know about them first.
With just three official singles under his belt, it’s already clear that Wollongong teen Stevan is a powerhouse on the rise.
With producer, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist hats firmly on, he expertly combines his musical skills to create woozy, dreamlike R&B-influenced pop songs in a way that defies genre categorisation.
His father’s cassette tape collection saw Stevan find early musical inspiration in the likes of Bob Marley, Al Green and Stevie Wonder – as well as being inspired to teach himself to play the drums. Soon after, exposure to underground hip hop mixtapes and bootleg mp3s from the likes of Childish Gambino, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar further broadened his horizons.
From there, he taught himself to play guitar by watching live videos of John Mayer and starting making beats to emulate producers like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West.
This fusion of classic and contemporary is evident in his own songwriting and production today.
Take his debut single ‘Timee’ with its laid back guitar licks, lo-fi drums and instantly catchy vocal harmonies – what an introduction. From there ‘LNT’ and his most recent release ‘Warm’ followed. Each uncovering a new element to Stevan’s songwriting arsenal and making it even harder to pin down just what he might do next.
With every single Stevan continues to build a musical universe that is all of his own, we can’t wait to see what he does next and that’s why we have handpicked him as one of our New For 2020 artists to watch.
Stevan: “I started making music when I was 12 years old. My older cousin was the biggest influence, he showed me videos of Kanye, Pharrell and Timbaland making beats. After that, I was like ‘I need to learn how to do that.'”
“My sound is a blend of all the different types of music I listen to from indie to soul to rap to jazz – I think it all finds its way into my sound. I stumbled onto my sound. I was obviously influenced by Tyler, Steve Lacy and Frank Ocean when I first started. But I feel like my other influences are starting to shine through and I’m being to develop a sound all my own.”
“Frank Ocean is a huge one. Andre 3000, Kanye West, James Fauntleroy, Lakeith Stanfield, Donald Glover, and Edgar Wright – I’m a big fan of his movies.”
“Music allows me to create something that I feel doesn’t exist yet. It’s the perfect way for me to express my ideas and know it’s 100% me. And when people relate to that it’s the strongest form of acceptance. Because these are my experiences and thoughts and people actually understand and feel what I feel.”
“It’s all been huge, but probably hitting a million streams on my first single ever ‘Timee’. Also playing Sound On festival in Perth, that is by far the biggest crowd I’ve played too. Plus meeting Ruel – I’m a big fan of his single ‘Face to Face’.”
“The biggest challenge has been adjusting to this being real. I’m more aware of how other people see my music and experience that. Before I could just do whatever, but now I want to do my best and give my listeners the best experience possible.”
“There is too much planned for 2020 haha – shows, more music, and other content.”
“I’ve got some goals but to be honest I can’t plan that far ahead. I really want to enjoy everything as it comes. However, I want to be working on my debut album, I want a solid fan base and to be living off of music, nothing extravagant, just comfortable. I’d also like to venture off into other forms of entertainment and creativity, but we’ll see.”
Stevan – Warm
Stevan – Timee
Stevan – LNT
Stevan will perform Reflections XIV at Sydney’s Golden Age Cinema & Bar on Friday 31 January (free entry) as well as support Omar Apollo when he performs at Oxford Art Factory on Wednesday 5 February. Tickets are on sale now.
Check out the rest of our New For 2020 feature artists here.
Keep up to date with everything Ticketmaster New Music right here.