by Thomas Bedward September 06, 2019
Of all the artists we’ve worked with, review, promoted, and enjoyed throughout 2019, there have been few, if any, more consistently impressive than Stephon Foster. An artist who first started in the music industry back in 2015, Stephon’s career has become a story of perseverance, strength, and an unyielding passion for music.
Originally, it had taken Stephon only a few short years to drop her debut studio album. Backed by a loyal and growing fanbase, she became known for her emotive mix of contemporary RnB and heartfelt soul, championing a resurgence of timeless sounds and vibrant, modern spirit. The successful of her debut album and her follow-up record had her poised for stardom, but sadly after several complications and unavoidable delays, Stephon was forced to shelve her plans and put her musical dreams on hold. It was a brave and difficult decision for Stephon, and one that sadly left a third album unreleased.
It wasn’t until February of this year that we really got to know Stephon Foster as an artist. Returning from the wilderness without word or warning she unleashed ‘Boy, I Quit’, the first single from her long-awaited new album. It was a landmark moment, and the song was an instant favourite with our audience and a massive return to form, bringing forth a light, glistening pop sound that sparked a new wave of interest in Stephon’s talents.
Next came ‘Snake’, another stunning teaser of the album that mixed up the tempo and power behind the album, bringing in sporadic energy and a heavy melodic edge. Two very different tracks, it wasn’t until the release of third single ‘Stay in My Dreams’ that a real image of what the album would be came into view. Musically diverse and entirely captivating, ‘Stay in My Dreams’ was definitive proof that Stephon was no longer confined by style or genre.
Finally released in its complete and undeniable brilliance, ‘Beware’ brings together the previous three singles with eight original track that reflect Stephon’s journey up to this point. An undeniable mix of styles that are cohesively brought together by Stephon’s crisp, clean vocals, smooth, unyielding flow, ‘Beware’ has so much within that holds your focus in a dreamlike state.
The first of the new cuts is ‘I’m Not the One’, a high tempo rap track featuring the guest vocals of Noah Soundz. It’s another cathartic number reflective of Stephon’s mindset when making the new album, and the contrast between her soulful pop sounds and Noah’s heavier rapped verse heighten the aesthetic of the track tenfold. Switching up her style completely, following cut ‘I’m Sorry’ is a soaring, melancholy anthem with a similar reflective tone, and the idea that ‘Beware’ isn’t just a new release, but a new way of survival for Stephon really becomes clear in the sounds of ‘I’m Sorry’.
The title track emerges from the fading emotion of ‘I’m Sorry’, bringing the tempo and energy back into the mix with a wave of slow-burning beats, electronic flickers, and eclectic melodies before we then skip ahead to deft RnB hits of ‘Rain’ and ‘Wonderland’, two hard hitting tracks that showcase Stephon’s ability to write some explosive, untamed melodies. Set amongst the heartfelt backdrop of ‘Love, Yeah’ and ‘Blue’, the album comes to a close in a series of ebbs and flows, constantly evolving and changing style. It’s powerful, evocative, and a little off kilter, which is a wonderfully visceral reflection of the journey that Stephon has taken to make it.
In essence, ‘Beware’ is so much more than just Stephon’s comeback album, and you can hear the emotion in her voice on every track and in every cultivated beat. Her work is filled with pop vibrancy and soulful RnB, while also holding onto the human touches and emotional connections that elevate it to being something more. It’s a polished, solid release with a raw and relatable underpinning, and it doesn’t take long to realise that ‘Beware’ is an album for Stephon, a place where she can confront and deal with her past, and that’s where the strength of it rely lies.
You can stream ‘Beware’ in full on Spotify above.
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