Stephcynie Curry is not just another face in the crowd. The Houston, Texas bred singer seeks to bring back substance filled music and, from the sound of it, she is fully capable of accomplishing such a task. Her love affair with music has taken her into long term relationships with jazz, R&B, and even rock. But music is not the only thing on her mind. Curry already has business savvy plans that are sure to expand her talents beyond music. Like most, her path to success has not been lined with gold. Fortunately, she has persisted and with her debut album Release on the way, Stephcynie Curry is prepared to not only reveal her past struggles, but to also share with her listeners the small invaluable treasures she has gathered along the way.
Singersroom: I was watching a couple videos of you performing. Your music covers such a wide range, from rock to R&B. But most artists usually focus on one area. How did you pick up such a diverse sound?
Stephcynie Curry: Well, growing up, I kind of listened to everything. I started out listening to old school soul and then other family members introduced me to rock, which I was totally against at first, but it started to grown in me and I started to really see the artistry in it. So when I came to New York and I studied jazz, I kind of was, like, well, you can fuse the two and it comes out just fine.
Singersroom: You went to the New School, right?
Stephcynie Curry: Yes.
Singersroom: What was that like? How did you choose jazz instead of rock or R&B?
Stephcynie Curry: For school, there aren’t really any schools that are good that focus on any other thing but jazz or classical music. So, when I was in high school I studied classically and then I was introduced to the jazz program my senior year. That’s how that came about because I was going to go to school for classical music, but I found jazz so I was like, “Yay.” (Laughs)
Singersroom: Also, while I was watching the videos it seems like you have a lot of fun on stage. What’s your favorite part of performing?
Stephcynie Curry: My favorite part of performing is really just feeding off of the crowd’s energy. Based on the crowd, of course, it allows me to go to a certain level. It’s just so much fun to assess the crowd and kind of be like, “Okay, I can give them this or I can give them this.” Every time is different.
Singersroom: I think it’s so important for artists to perform live. How do you feel about performing live? I know you always have a live band behind you. How important do you think performing is for your audience?
Stephcynie Curry: I personally think performing is so, so important because you can listen to the music at home any time. But when you go to a show, the artist is actually speaking to you and showing you what that song really means to them. I think that having a live band behind you kind of amplifies that because when you just perform to tracks, you can’t, in my opinion, go all the way there, which is why I prefer never to perform to a track. Just because you have those extra bodies behind you; that extra emotion going into your music, which just makes it ten times better.
Singersroom: Right. And I was seeing that when you were performing “Struggle.” What is it like performing “Struggle?”
‘Stephcynie Curry: I’m sorry; it is one of the best parts of my show because that song means so much. When I wrote it â the way it came about, my friend actually produced a track and I changed it, with his permission of course, to live instruments at the studio. But he was just playing around but I felt it and I just started writing and in five minutes it was done. He was like, “Wow, you must really be going through something right now.” And I was like, “It’s not even about today. It’s about every day before this.”
Singersroom: So it was just a collection of things that had happened to you throughout your life?
Stephcynie Curry: Basically, at the time I wrote it, I was going through a lot with school because I owed them a lot of money and they were talking about kicking me out. I wanted to finish in four years ’cause I was like, “I don’t even really want to be in school, but I’m doing it for my fans.” When I reach that level of success, I want young people to be like, “Well, Stephcynie went to school.” I don’t want to be one of those artists like, “Well, I can do that because Stephcynie didn’t go to school.” That was my motivation for finishing school. So, I was going through a lot with that and then just all this other stuff that piled up on top of it. So at the time, I was just ready to explode. (Laughs) So, that’s where it came from.
Singersroom: Is it going to be on your album?
Stephcynie Curry: Yes, it’s going to be on the EP, definitely.
Singersroom: And the name of the album is ‘Release’, right?
Stephcynie Curry: Yes.
Singersroom: Do you know when that’ll be coming out?
Stephcynie Curry: End of May-June.
Singersroom: I was reading through your bio and it said along with your music, you have a strong business sense. I know a lot of artists venture off and do their own thing. What part of the business are you looking forward to?
Stephcynie Curry: I look forward to, kind of running my own business. You know how a lot of artists have a lot of people in their business for them? I’m interested in the publishing side. I’m interested in the promotion side. I eventually want to dip into restaurants. I want to set up community service; like talk to the kids and help the less fortunate and set up programs for them because they need something, too.
Singersroom: What kind of restaurant?
Stephcynie Curry: It’s going to be a soul kitchen; I’m from the south. Especially up here, in Manhattan, we need a real, soul food place. Like for real, for real, for real, for real. There’s one in Harlem.
Singersroom: Well, I heard there were a couple of places up there. They’re not up to your satisfaction?
Stephcynie Curry: Some of them. I’m from Houston; we really do it. For people that come from other countries, they come to New York and they go to a “soul food place,” it’s like, “No, you’re not getting it.” (Laughs)
Singersroom: Coming form Houston, do you have any Texas based influences?
Stephcynie Curry: This is really funny because most people are like, “You don’t even look or act like you’re from Houston.” (Laughs) Most of my Houston influences musically kind of come in â I love, I love hip hop. In my show, I don’t do a lot of it, but I’ll throw it in there at the end. I guess you could say it’s kind of in my swag more than anything. Like, in how I deliver; how I deliver everything is in a Houston way. But musically, it’s not a lot of influence going into my music.
Singersroom: What do you feel your place would be in music?
Stephcynie Curry: That’s a big question. I think my place in music is going to be reintroducing our generation to what live, real music is; where it’s popular. Back in the day, Stevie Wonder was on Top 40. He wasn’t underground; he was popular. Prince was popular; Michael Jackson was popular. And they used live instruments in the studio. They were talking about something for real. They weren’t just talking about shaking your booty. They weren’t just talking about girls. They weren’t just talking about guys. They were talking about making the world a better place or encouraging you through their music and if you listen to their lyrics, which a lot of times you don’t listen to lyrics, but if you really sit down and listen to the music you’re like wow, they’re really talking about something. Earth, Wind, and Fire is another one. Marvin Gaye. So, I think my place in music is going to be reintroducing that and people accepting it as being okay. It’s okay to dance and it’s okay to like music that has a message inside of it.
Singersroom: Do you think currently there’s room for that? I know there are a lot of really great artists who are, like you said, underground. But do you think people are ready for the type of music and the type of message you’re trying to bring?
Stephcynie Curry: I think people want it, really. Just in where we are in America, like with the recession and with politics, this is a big year. I think people want it, but the problem is no one’s giving it to them. And I’m not saying there aren’t any artists giving it to them; I’m talking about the executives. Nobody’s willing to take that risk and put that out there and be like, “Okay, here you guys go.” They still want to feed us that same [thing]. But if somebody would take a step out and be like, “Okay, I’m going to try and let people see if they like this,” I think we would see that people are going to be receptive.
Singersroom: Is there anyone out right now that you think is just crazy hot?
Stephcynie Curry: You know what, I love Lupe Fiasco. I think he is amazing. I also give it up to my girl Beyonce because she is a beast, her voice is crazy, and she puts on an amazing show. She does not stop; she knows what she wants and she’s going after it and you can’t even hate. I respect her so much and her grind. I model my grind after what she does because it’s just crazy the type of stuff she’s accomplished and only being 26 years old. That’s crazy to me. —— By: Interview By Bethany N