“Real experience and struggle meet positive affirmations of strength” is not the typical description of Hip-Hop music. Perhaps that’s why the industry is buzzing about established Rapper, Singer, Dancer, and Choreographer Stephon René, and his ability to apply his personal journey and life lessons into his music—combining his raw truth with dope beats to lift up. Stephon aims to empower others through the understanding that even though we may not have yet reached our final step/goal, the journey is just as important.
Living the “true American Dream,” Stephon Rene is the epitome of survival, strength, perseverance, and revival. Born in Haiti, Stephon was an infant dying and suffering from tapeworm, and fortunately adopted into an American family. Destiny granted him a privileged beginning of health and opportunity.
Stephon is an artist who truly serves as an inspiration to himself and others. Take a closer look at his incredible journey, experience, and wisdom in his personal life and in his music.
Who is Stephon René?
When I was in school, I wasn’t very popular. I was bored every day, and I never fit in anywhere. Every day, I was told that I would never succeed in my dreams of being an artist. People told me that I wasn’t allowed to rap, sing, or dance because I wasn’t good enough, and I listened. When I was adopted as a baby, my parents legally changed my name so I could feel more like their own child, but one day they told me what my birth name was, Stephon René. No one, not even my friends, we’re willing to call me that, so it became an image for me. This person became my idol.
I imagined what the perfect version of myself would be. I saw him as smooth, inspirational, motivated, dedicated, skilled at anything and everything he attempted to do—someone not afraid to talk to women and confident in every way. I strive to become that type of individual who was bound to be successful, but still kind enough to lend a helping hand to anyone struggling with depression or anxiety, as I have. So I’ve done my best to help others in any way I can. I would have to say that Stephon René is my past self-idol. And I hope I can be the same for others.
So I’ve heard a little bit about someone named Srevlis. Who is he?
It feels a little odd speaking in third person, but as Stephon René became the image for a professional individual who is calm and composed, one day, I found the world around me burning. I learned that it’s a lot more difficult to succeed at things you wish to do, when there are others who wish to tear you down. Srevlis is kind of like an alter ego, an individual who’s much more rash, reckless, and aggressive. You can hear it in my music at times. He’s a more aggressive version of myself who is not afraid of conflict and negative resistance. You will find him making more of an appearance within my music in the future.
What are your views on modern-day rap as well as your views on the artists who are coming up these days?
If I’m going to be fully honest with you, I used to hate it. I used to I hate these artists coming up as well because they seemed so ignorant, but I must admit that it grew on me. I believe that sometimes the older we get, the less we are willing to conform to modern day because we are stuck in the past. Rap nowadays is so free that you don’t necessarily have to follow all of the unspoken rules of rap of flow of bars or of Melody. I think freedom is a beautiful thing. Plus let’s be honest, the music bangs. That’s for the artists—I realize that they are just making music that everyone can vibe to and living the best life. I hope to join them soon.
I hear that your video for the song “Rock to the face” hit over 300,000 views in the first month. What was that experience like?
It was surreal. When I made the song, I was just venting about some difficult experiences that I have faced, and was expressing my resolve to overcome them. Of course, anytime I make a song, I do hope it does well, but I was not expecting to have such a reaction by fans. At first, I couldn’t believe it, as I kept refreshing the page, watching the numbers go up by a thousand or ten thousand at a time within seconds. Then some celebrities, such as Trina, started sharing it unprovoked. It was an amazing feeling and it only motivated me further to continue making songs that people could relate to.
What would be the best advice you would give to up and coming artists?
Never be satisfied. Never be satisfied with your abilities. Understand that you can always get better. Listen to the advice of those around you. Never become content if those around you say your music is good enough. The question I would ask them is, ‘How many of those individuals buy your music or stream your music daily, constantly showing other friends that music?’ Actions speak louder than words. If they don’t show that they are obsessed with your music, you still have work to do. Never be satisfied doing the same routine with your music—constantly study and learn the business and learn how to grow.
What artist inspired you the most?
Any artist who’s dedicated to their craft. The amount of dedication it takes is really inspiring. As far as a music influence, I would have to say anyone from Hopsin, Joyner Lucas, Eminem, and many more.
Is there one thing that stands out above all else you wish to accomplish in your career?
Of course I want to hit number one on the charts, but I also want to go on a world tour. I want to see a bunch of beautiful different places, meet many new faces, and Inspire many different races.
What is your least favorite artist?
I don’t have hate for any artist who is dedicated to the craft, but if I would have to say my discontent towards one, I would have to say any hobby artist who doesn’t take the career seriously. It’s a bit of a pet-peeve of mine.
Do you have any other passions besides music?
Not really. I rap, sing, dance, choreograph, and am manager of the artist, as well as enjoy entrepreneurship focused on the music business.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to the readers?
Be prepared for change. I have a new look and a lot of new music coming. Don’t you count me out just yet!