Casii Stephan is a soul-pop/rock artist hailing from Minnesota. Now based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the impassioned songstress evokes subtle vibrato notes and roller-coaster-like melodies, which immediately grab the listener, while her emotional lyrics share intimate stories. She has been compared to the likes of Florence Welch, Fiona Apple and Carole King, as her vocal timbre possesses a full and warm quality.
Stephan’s voice is fierce and fearless, but this was not always the case. She grew up shy and afraid of her voice until she started writing songs on the family piano in South St. Paul when she was 16. In music, she discovered something extraordinary that allowed her to transcend everyday life and find a deeper sense of self. Stephan moved to Tulsa in 2014 with the intent to give up her pursuit of a music career, however with a little encouragement from a friend, she continued her journey and started releasing music. Her songs were promptly applauded by critics and have since been racking up several awards, as well as garnering acclaim from media and fans across the globe.
Stephan’s latest single “Trapeze Artist” was inspired after scrolling through her social feeds and seeing the highs and lows of humanity. The songwriter reveals, “From finding love to accounts of racism. It’s all there and it makes one feel like a trapeze artist swinging back and forth. It’s a growth process to know how to process all of this information and what to do with it and know what I can reasonably do in the community I’m in. No one person can change the world”. Sonically “Trapeze Artist” details Stephan’s velvety vocals, cascading piano melodies, swirling string arrangements and bright brass, building into an anthemic and empowering track. Reminiscent of Brandi Carlile meets Adele, Stephan has created a sound which brings power and colour, whilst maintaining a quiet intimacy. The visuals play off the feeling of social media leaving people isolated and how community, friends and music help to bring us back to the reality that hope and change are possible.
An underlying theme throughout Stephan’s music is hope, she explains, “Its such a cliched word and yet there are so many layers to it. Hope keeps us alive. It keeps us moving. But it also feels flighty some days like a pixie that does what it wants. But it’s not a pixie. It’s more like the air we breathe. Some days it’s presence is stronger than we realize and some days we forget in our day-to-day lives that it’s there… keeping us moving forward”. Her music combines her love for the storytelling elements of Disney ballads and the bold, brilliance of The White Stripes, as well as the soul-wrenching R&B melodies of H.E.R.
Casii Stephan has seen success both obtaining and being nominated for multiple awards from the likes of Independent Music Awards, Hollywood Music in Media Awards and USA Songwriting Competition to name a few. She also heads a female-fronted festival entitled MisFEST in Tulsa, that has gained recognition both locally and nationally.