Music Eyz Exclusive Interview with Sunni Stephens
Name: Sunni Stephens
Genre of music: dance/pop
Where do you live? Miami, FL
Many of our readers are UK based and as such may not be aware of you or your music. How would you describe your sound?
I would describe my sound as a blend of dance and pop with a sprinkling of hip hop/r&b. I absolutely love the freedom that a bass and drum or electro track can give you vocally and having been great admirers of pop, r&b, and hip hop music…my melodies tend to reflect that regardless of the sound that is underneath.
Tell us about your latest release.
My latest release is called HSN which is the acronym for Hot Summer Nights. It is an uptempo dance track that is fun, free, and definitely a soundtrack for the summer party go-ers. It was produced by a one of Italy’s best female DJs, Alexadra Damiani which is amazing in itself…and it also features additional vocals by Milan Italy’s own Tyma.
What was your motivation for this latest release?
This song is pretty special to me because of the connection behind the music. You don’t see female collaboration cross country and racial boundaries too often…and to have an amazing track produced by a female from another country that spoke to my soul and immediately gave me inspiration to write is something special in itself. We had always been fans of each other and corresponded through Facebook…and it was so funny, I had actually asked her to do a remix for me for another song. At that same time, her manager had contacted my management about writing some beats, I had NO idea it was her beats…because it’s rare that you see female producers…so when she wrote back and was like, my manager sent you some of my music and you like a track of mine…I was blown away! I was like, yeah, this is something special! The writing process was easy…because it’s an easy track…I couldn’t keep still, it just made me move. I wanted the story to be a universal one and who can’t relate to the mood a hot summer night puts you into…you just wanna have fun and dance the night away, right! And the last touch, having a love for DJs, is I wanted to make sure the song had a lot of punch lines that could be easily mixed into other songs…so for instance, I have a line that says can you feel the love, all around the world, turn your meters up! That line, I could see being a bridge to just about anything….even a completely new song!
What influences are there that helped shape your sound?
Wow, that is a great question! You know for so long, it was hard to pin point my sound because of that term “influence”… For me, it is so varied that it’s unreal, my all around go to though is Janet Jackson. I am into voices and tones, though and the tones that attract me are one that make love to you…soft, slow, and deliberate…like a Marilyn Monroe, Prince, Maxwell, John Mayer, Marc Anthony, Michael Buble, or Robin Thicke. But, I also love the storytelling of your hip hop and pop greats, that has also influenced me, especially lyrically. The Beatles, The Rat Pack, Jay Z, The great Lauryn Hill, and Kanye West to name a few helped me to shape the story behind my sound.
What is the music scene like in your home town?
Miami!?!? The city of summer breaks, winter retreats, and no sleep is all about salsa and dance music, if it don’t bump, pump, or groove, it don’t fly here.
How did you get started in music?
Well, I got my first real start in LA when a small publishing company started placing my songs on tv sitcoms and other programs…but I was born into music, literally so I guess technically I got my start straight from my mothers womb. She was performing and literally went into labor mid-song…and being the trooper and natural performer she is…she kept right on singing until her set was over. THEN went to the hospital… I guess. I was in her belly performing right along with her…trying to steal her shine lol
What hints and tips would you offer to anybody trying to get in to music?
Be clear about your vision…do you want to be a celebrity who uses the avenue of music to attain that dream or do you want to create music! Once you got that figured out, life will be much simpler and your path much clearer. Once you know, live everyday toward achieving it and be deliberate in your words, actions, and your surroundings. Everything has to line up, perfectly…luck us where opportunity meets preparation.
If you weren’t in music, what do you think you would be doing and why?
If I wasn’t in music, I would be in the business of music. I am one of those people whose right and left brains are perfectLy split down the middle…so one can’t exist without the other. I always look at the business in creativity and the creativity in business. It’s definitely a blessing and a curse, but that’s now I stay balanced and when I’m off, I’m down.
If you could collaborate with any body, who would it be and why?
Wow, that’s a great question…my starting five are Pharell, Kanye West, David Guetta, John Mayer, and Afrojack. I think those mentioned can bring out the best in me. They are just different enough from me but still reflections of my many selves. I think this is where the magic happens…
Just how big can you be?
We are all just one song away from being the most talked about person on the planet…look at Lourdes…one song and now she is a Grammy winner! So me, I can be as big as I strive to be. Grammys, sold out tours, all that…but really, I wanna be the best me! However big that is…only time will tell.
Are there any acts that you think our readers should be keeping an eye on?
I would keep my eye out for Sunni Stephens, of course, but also Tayma, she is a great talent and female band Levi Johnson, they make music feel good, again.
In terms of your music, what does success look like?
Success looks like monetary acceptance, what I mean by that is when my sole income can be generated from music sales and tours, then it would have achieved making a business out of my music .
Do you have any plans to visit the UK?
I toured Italy last year and would love to tour the UK. My showmanship is bar none competing with the beasts of the industry, I am a hard worker on stage and would love to show the UK what I got.
Anything else you want to say to the readers of Music Eyz?
Thank you for allowing me to express myself. Please visit my Facebook and YouTube page Sunni Stephens, my Instagram sunnistephens, and my website www.sunnistephens.com. Lastly, please check out and support my single HSN…it definitely will make you MOVE!
Check out the HSN video