By David A. Mitchell
At every stop a frenzy of screaming girls is atempting to rip the shirt off Young Steff- a singer, songwriter, dancer and all-around entertainer who has been performing around the country on the Russ Parr Radio Tour. Steff is undoubtedly on deck to be the next hot R&B-Hip Hop star.
There is a great deal of excitement over Steff’s debut album, The Jump Off, which is slated for an October 28 release. The current single, the scorcher “Professional,” is gaining a great deal of traction at Urban Radio.
At a mere 18 years of age, Steff is no stranger to the music game; this is actually his second recording deal after previously signing to Jay-Z/Damon Dash’s Roc A Fella Records (and even scored a hit featured with Bow Wow on “Can I Holla”). Eventually Steff landed with Rich Harrison (Beyonce, Amerie, Jennifer Lopez) who immediately took a liking to Steff’s talent and star-power. Steff also worked with a gallery of some of music’s most innovative producer/writers on the project such as Rich Harrison, T-Pain, Ryan Toby, Adonis, K.C., Mama’s Boys and fellow SESAC affiliate Bryan-Michael Cox.
Like so many great artists, Steff’s background is rooted in gospel music. His father, affectionately known as Big Steff, was a member of the group Spirit, and toured with numerous gospel greats such as Commissioned and Fred Hammond. Young Steff says he was never conflicted about his move into R&B/Hip Hop, stating, “I knew from the start what I wanted to do. Everyone has their own calling. I have a real personal relationship with God, but I’ve always been a fan of R&B. My dad introduced me to groups like Switch and the DeBarges, Michael Jackson, and I’m a big fan of [contemporary gospel singer-songwriter] J. Moss. I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do.”
“I love writing and working with all of the collaborators,” says Steff. “There are a lot of extremely talented people in the business, and they’ve really helped to shape the sound and vibe of the album. I think it’s going to allow me to make a statement as an artist—as a real singer. I’m an entertainer, but first I’m a singer. I was raised on music and singing. My dad taught me about the business and how competitive it can be. It was a blessing to be able to learn from him. It’s simple. I was taught to go hard or go home!”