SYNTHESIS: The combining of two or more entities to form something new.
This is what Stephanie Renee calls herself as she fuses her multi-talented craft of songwriting, beautiful vocals, poetic connotations, and dynamic work ethics, into an unadulterated form of pure artistry. This talented mogul, who resides in her native Washington D.C. via Philadelphia, has done it all; from school plays to Spoken Word poetry, from choirs to soloist, from promoter to director to producer. Stephanie has covered much ground in all phases of the media, including working with established artists such as Jill Scott and Patti LaBelle, voice-overs for commercials, and has also ventured into documentary films.
Needless to say, it is an honor, and most definitely apropos to have Stephanie featured as the first SPOKEN WORD…HEARD artist. This “artsy chick” speaks about her introduction into poetry:
I’ve been a writer and performer all my life, although my preferred mode of communication is music. I didn’t start taking poetry seriously until high school, and never really ventured into spoken word until my college roommates read some of my pieces and told me that I needed to share them with a larger audience. I entered a talent contest on campus with my poetry and won, so from there I was encouraged to keep writing and telling my story to others.
And with that win, Stephanie’s career began to skyrocket. The encouragement to further her poetic skills opened up the door to new ventures:
When I first got started, I released 2 chapbooks of my poetry: Honey Drips Slowly and Singing A Black Girl’s Song. In 1999, I co-executive produced and contributed pieces to a CD compilation of Philadelphia poets called MOZAIK, released on my indie label Creator’s Child Music. Then my first solo album, TUNING FORKED TONGUE, in 2003. I’ve done a ton of EPs and singles as a vocalist and spoken word artist that are listed on my artist website, www.StephanieRenee.com. And late last year I recorded my most recent album, HOT LIPS, which is all a cappella music and spoken word.
With an impressive background, along with the recent release of HOT LIPS…making her influential in her own right, Stephanie also had major influences coming up:
Poetically, I was completely enchanted by Nikki Giovanni and Maya Angelou when I first read their work, but my palate is very diverse. I enjoy reading any writer who can twist a phrase until it begs for mercy. So Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison had a huge impact on the craft of my pieces, as well as Walter Mosley and Stephen King, and directing Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls literally changed my life. Then there was hiphop and all of its rhythmic lyricism, and British pop with its incredible storytelling. I’m all over the place!
…Which is what make Stephanie great at what she does. Her love and ability to learn from others, and adapt it to her passion for Spoken Word and music, among others, has Stephanie looking towards an unlimited future:
I have finally begun the process of producing my own tracks, so there’s no telling what I’ll be coming out with next. Georgia Anne Muldrow and Muhsinah have been a big push in that direction. I have a musical to finish, and a bunch of other creative ideas floating around. Poetry always seems to find its way in the mix too.
With that said, the gift of expressing one’s self through music, writing, and Spoken Word has, and will always be, Stephanie’s passion and desire. And, with the hard work to go along with the joy of expression, comes challenges. Stephanie has a message for anyone seeking an easy route to success:
The best advice I can give any writer is to READ!!! I have become so disappointed with the overall spoken word scene because we seem to be at a point where everything ghettoized is glorified and no one wants to be articulate and literate any more. No one wants to challenge themselves to write poems that may not use any of the latest song lyrics or catchphrases, but instead taps into the profound legacy of soulfulness that our ancestors passed down to us. I don’t write for applause. I write to lift people’s spirits and reach them in places they may be too afraid to go alone. Spoken words should understand that words are codes that possess an amazing energy. Wasting your gift on sexual or ego gratification does little to honor the impulse to write and communicate something meaningful and true. The universe demands better!
Stephanie Renee a.k.a Queen Bee a.k.a The VibeMistress a.k.a Da Media Mogul…has SPOKEN. Stephanie finishes up with a recent vibe of her conscience:
no matter the verb-age
i’m just thrilled that my pencil
are active again
the lyrical muse and i
pirouetting on ball pointe
on a floorboard
built of Scrabble and saliva
to the rhythm
of iMac keyboard and mouse click
of mi abuelita Maria’s mestizo
chewin on poblanos and jalapeños
spittin hot shit
to being a rhyme freak
with making the words cum
squeezing my warm moist palm
around a stiff felt tip
til it explodes
on this virgin white paper
saturated with the fallow wetness
of soon-to-be-memorized tongue tricks
at the mouth
and these relations
the dust of indifference
with the essence
of my gift
in the present
over the moon
To know more on Stephanie Renee, you can check her and connect with her on her websites:
Before we end today’s blog…
This was a bonus feature for our June 2010 Edition. Contact us to purchase a copy of this magazine!