Singer Steffanie Christ’ian is known for her immeasurable energy, enormous passion, power, and phenomenal set of pipes. These are the qualities that have attracted collaborators like Big Proof of D12 and producer Emanuel (Eman) Kiriakou. Her talents are on display when she opens for artists like Taproot and Thousand Foot Krutch, Erykah Badu, and Talib Kweli. Here raw sound and ability to connect with the audience is the reason why she is the secret weapon of jessica Care moore’s Black Women Rock revues. Hands down, Steffanie Christ’ian is WAY TOO MUCH!
Recently, I had the honor of engaging her in a brief Q&A:
Q: What is your earliest recollection of loving rock music?
A: My mother was only 15 when she had me. She was a wild child with very eclectic taste in music. She exposed me to all types of bands, like Aerosmith, Duran Duran, and Bob Marley. She and my father were also big Prince fans, and there is not a time when I was in my dad’s car and we were not listening to Prince. I was three years old when MTV launched and my mom says my favorite song that I sang nonstop was “Video Killed the Radio Star.” When I was 9, I remember hearing Tori Amos and Metallica and, later, Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit,” and I was forever hooked. The energy and honesty was what I loved about rock ‘n’ roll music.
Q: What artists have been most influential on your music?
There are several artists who have influenced my music and continue to do so today, and that list includes Bob Marley, Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Janis Joplin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Prince, and Billie Holiday.
Q: How do you compare rock to other genres?
A: I don’t compare rock to other genres. Each genre of music contains its own elements which are special and essential to themselves and I respect them all.
Q: Do you have any formal education/training around music?
A: I do not necessarily have formal training. I took voice lessons a few times. I sang in church as a child and as an adult, but that’s about it. I have had the opportunity to learn from other artists that I have worked and performed with. My training came from countless hours of listening to my favorite bands, lying on my bedroom floor.
Q: Please give me a brief history of how you got started in music.
I have always sung. I sang in church. I sang on the block. I sang with a Detroit group called The Honeys many moons ago. I sang and still do to this day sing at every family function we have, which is quite often. When I was a freshman in high school, I began taking my interest in music more seriously and ended up recording demos with Amp and Thomas Fiddler. I began traveling to New York with different chaperones and eventually peaked the interest of an A&R rep at Famous Music Publishing. I was still a minor, but this rep began flying me to New York to have me write with the industry’s most accomplished writers and producers, and when I became 18, I signed to Famous as a writer, and shortly thereafter I moved to New York to continue writing and recording.
Q: How are your husband, son, and family involved, and do they share your love for rock?
A: My husband and son are my biggest supporters! My husband never listened to rock music before I came along, but he developed a true love for it. My son has been raised around it so he does not know any different. He loves it, but he loves music in general. My mother-in-law has been a god-send, and she helps me take care of my son when my husband and I have to travel for shows and what-not.
Q: Why Detroit? Have you ever considered going elsewhere?
A: I moved to New York, which is one of the meccas of music. I love New York and everything it has to offer, but I was humbled by moving back home to Detroit and realizing that I had been in the mecca of music all along.
Support Steffanie Christ’ian and purchase her new CD, Way Too Much, today!