Entertainer, songwriter, and vocalist Sunni Stephens is poised for continued success in 2009. Described by fans as the "Empress of Dance Music," this saucy chanteuse is amassing legions of followers with her unique interplay of multiple genres of pop music.
A twenty five year-old Kansas City, Missouri native Sunni Stephens has called Atlanta home for over 3 years. One of her defining moments was during a feature performance at a premier dining and entertainment restaurant called LeHaim. During her tenure at the Russian-European restaurant, she added Russian, Italian, and Spanish languages to her singing repertoire.
Sunni's ambition is to be recognized as a multi-faceted entertainer and songwriter who stands apart from current music industry leaders. Sunni has produced and written music for off-Broadway musicals as well as the internationally acclaimed stage play, The Hip Hop Project, and the award winning sitcom, The Bernie Mac Show.
Sunni's live performances feature Vegas style female stage theatrics and choreography reminiscent of the old Broadway style musicals. Sunni's approach as an entertainer is simple--take the great music of the past and re-invent it. She studies the greats and applies their entertainment styles to today’s generation of music and culture. Some of her favorites are Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Marilyn Monroe, Billie Holiday, Dorothy Dandridge, Cher, and Tina Turner.
In 2007 Sunni acted as co-executive producer of her first self-distributed album, Sunni Stephens, Miss Fly Girl, Rookie of the Year. Sunni's current manager, Terence Young, has assisted her album's nationwide, marketing and promotional efforts which resulted in nationwide radio airplay and a national promotional tour that included many radio-sponsored dates. Sunni performed for over 10,000 fans as the opening act for headliners B5, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Danity Kane. The tour culminated in an appearance at The First Annual James Brown Festival as the opening act for the Legendary Godfather of Soul James Brown. She has been climbing quickly in the music industry ever since. Sunni has received 1.5 million hits on her MySpace music page.
Sunni's success in 2007 convinced her that music would be the testament to her life. In 2009, Sunni plans to expand on writing and licensing her music to film and television in the U.S., and abroad. She is currently in the studio with Timothy "Kfigz" Walls producer of her current single, "Candy Apple Red", and most notably multi-platinum artist Akon's hit single "Troublemaker" finshing up her highly anticipated second album. She also plans to spearhead a campaign called, “Get Out and Move,” in which she will mentor and train young women on the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
A talent with true depth and integrity, Sunni Stephens career is poised for continued success in 2009.
Sunni Stephens entertainer/songwriter/vocalist
Candy Apple Red (2008)
Digital Girl (2008)
That's What I Like About You (2008)
Female Emcees have P.M.S
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August/September 2008 Creating Productions That Simply ROCK! ...
Creating Productions That Simply ROCK!
Female Emcees have P.M.S
From the legacies of MC Lite and Queen Latifah to the footsteps of Eve, female rap artists have put an impactful dent in the once male dominated Hip-Hop industry. These women have opened doors for newcomers to enter into this industry solely on the strength of talent, hustle and endless hard work. It takes inspiration, motivation and dedication to break into this business, let alone to be successful in it. So then, why are we constantly hearing remarks that female emcees are "too much trouble," "not worth the investment," and "lazy?" We believe it's time to put an end to the myths and misrepresentations of the female emcee
It's spitting rhymes and grinding time in the rap game. Femcees are biting back with a vengeance. Out to prove that they are worth their weight in this business. And that's not just on the mainstream. Up and coming artists such as Sunni Stephens and Lil Mama are infiltrating industry barricades and forming a name for themselves.
Sunni Stephens the Empress of Dance Music is a talent the industry has been longing for, and for quite some time now. A singer, Stephens' voice is warm and inviting. As a rapper, her lyrical skills and content are strong and refreshing. Her formula is simple arithmetic: Song R&B + Rap Hip Hop = Hood Pop. Her hot new singles, That's What I Like About You and Digital Girl, are reminiscent of the vibes of Janet Jackson and Britney Spears meets Hip Hop. Creator of this signature style, Stephens combines her skills as a singer and rapper to equal a prime entertainer. And that's not all! She is also a songwriter. She is the complete opposite of the above mentioned ill-stated remarks. Bringing more to the negotiating table than your average emcee, Sunni Stephens is actively proving that female emcees are definitely worth the investment.
A much younger voice in the business is that of Lil Mama, the self-proclaimed "voice of the young people." Lil Mama goes the extra mile. She does more than just join the industry; she breaks into the game pioneering with her own signature genre she has dubbed the birth of "hip-pop" - a mix of Hip-Hop and Pop music vibes. Complimenting her lyrical prowess, this young female emcee has exquisite dance abilities. It's these abilities that have earned her a spot on the judging panel of the popular television series So You Think You Can Dance?, aired on MTV. Ripping up the track with her freestyle over Lil Wayne's A Milli, Lil Mama proves to any critics that, despite her young age, she has the lyrical skills to contend with the best of the girls, and the guys. These are just two examples of femcees that are doing major things to prove wrong the many negative stereotypes that plague female rappers. We gave you these two - do your own research and I guarantee you'll find many more. Hint: Look further than mainstream commercial, that's not the only level of this business.
It's their swagger that set them apart from the rest. Their ability to appreciate those who came before them and climb their way to the top with persistence and hard work, even if they break a few nails in the process! It's their ability to take criticism and stereotypes with a grain of salt - and swag, grow thick skin and follow their dreams. It's their audacity to believe that actual talent and hard work are the requirements to be great. It's their swagger to dare to be themselves; to not compromise their values or their vision. It's the natural swagger to demand to be great by determination, and not by default.
This being said, DJP NEWS has made it official. You heard it here first. Female emcees have P.M.S. Pardon My Swag. Hate on it -they dare you!
Sunni Stephens...True Sunshine
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Sunni Stephens-True Sunshine Biography Kansas City's best kept secret, this 24 year old sauc...Sunni Stephens-True Sunshine
Kansas City's best kept secret, this 24 year old saucy hip hop chanteuse creates the perfect marriage of hip hop and R&B. Her breath and sometimes breathless style of rap/R&B confections makes something old new again. She takes a deeply sensual approach to convey a powerful message or storyline that purposely breaks down every barrier that life has placed on her. Her intimate approach pulls you in like a whisper and makes you listen closely to what she has to say.
LI: Let's talk about your career as an artist. What made you enter the music business?
Sunni: Everyone has their purpose or “calling” in life….for some it is to heal, as in becoming a doctor, others it is to teach, as in becoming a teacher….well mine had to deal with a combination of being able to touch, speak, and heal through song and dance. I learned this at a very young age…couple that with the ability to intermingle between sexes, races, social and financial classes, as well as age brackets….I had to realize that I have a unique gift and it needed to be used to bring people together. The biggest platform to be heard today that touches all those different sects of people I have just mentioned is entertainment. So I took my talent and love for music and put a purpose to it.
Make no mistake, she may whisper to you through song, but she rocks with you on stage. Her uncanny ability to “Move the Crowd” like EPMD or “Get it On” with you like Marvin Gaye has set her on a road less traveled. Showcasing her abilities as a singer, rapper, songwriter, and entertainer, is a staple in her shows. She has effectively taken both genres of music and visually displays her love for them both on stage through song and dance.
Why Sunni? Because it is the perfect slap to adversity, pain, and what she was supposed to become. Her deeply rich complexion and tumultuous child and young adulthood was suppose to define her as rough, poverty-stricken, ghetto, ugly, and unsuccessful…but she made darkness into light ( Sunni ) in that she displays a balance of beauty, brains, and class, interwoven with ghettoness, roughness, and street.
LI: Tell me a little about your background and what it was like growing up in your area.
Sunni: Well I grew up between Kansas City, Missouri and Saint Louis, Missouri. My childhood and teenage years have always been peaks and valleys…it was very “colorful” so to speak….I grew up in close proximity to my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins…we had a HUGE family and we were all very close…I was always the kid that walked to my own beat though…I never took crap from the guys in my neighborhood…I was the only female that fought every guy in the neighborhood at one point or another…make no mistake about it though, it was the hood…I grew up with a bunch of bloods…I experienced shootouts, though none of my friends were ever shot or killed….I went to a school for the gifted and talented so my school was my safe haven….I was an A student for the most part. I worked a McDonalds and attended school since the age of 13 (yes, I talked the owner into believing I was 16 and he hired me at 13)…I have always either worked full or part time…I was always the kid that spoke up though, if there was something that wasn’t right, I spoke about it…I had a lot of peaks like being the youngest kid in my city to lead a drill team or winning literary awards, but I had a lot of valleys like our house got burned down twice, my mom and dad divorced, I was in and out of trouble for a period in my teenage years, I was always being kicked out of home, I had a car at 14 so you can imagine how “crunk” I was…I was just living an adult life as a teenager…I always kept a job and maintained my grades though….I went through a deep depression and overcame an eating disorder…I was a “thick” girl growing up…the only thing I would say sustained me falling “victim” to my environment was the fact I had such a HUGE family and I had a good foundation in church… I knew how to call on Jesus when I really needed him…
LI: Do you feel that your music gave you a way out?
Sunni: It absolutely did…not only my music, but my writing…I can remember when I was going through my “goth” phase…I would lock myself in my room and light candles all around the room…I would just write and write and write…well one of my teachers got a hold of my “blue notebook” with all my songs, poems and stories and submitted it to the Anheuser Busch “I have a dream” writing contest…I took first place and received a beautiful plaque that was presented to me during a school assembly and everything…it was a big thing…I was just kind of pissed that my teacher would do some crap like that behind my back…I always escaped with my music…and though I was put in piano and violin, and cello, all that stuff came so easily to me that it didn’t hold my attention but a minute…and I won like regional competitions and things so the gift was always there…I always spoke and conducted myself like I was already a STAR….so when times got rough, I would just go into my musical cocoon and stay there until I could deal…Music was the only thing that kept me sane…it was the sole driver for all of my decisions…I had something to chase so it kept me focused on what I had to do and when…my eye was and is always on the prize…
LI: Now I know you've probably said them before, but tell us a few of your role models in the music game (or inspirations)
Sunni: I am inspired by Tina’s strength and LOVE her stage presence and the roughness of her voice….I adore Same Cooke, Billie Holiday, Fred Astaire, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, Donnie Hathaway, Luther Vandross, and most of the 70’s male bands… they knew how to make love to you through song….I LOVED Salt N Pepa, MC Lyte, PHarcyde, Heavy D, NWA, TUPAC, Lil Kim, and Lauryn Hill…they had me open with their delivery, lyrical prowess and tell it like it is attitude….JANET Jackson (you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t her back in the day), Bobby Brown, New Edition, R, Kelly, Aaliyah, but I also love Paula Cole, Madonna, Alanis Morisette, Creed, and Red Hot Chili Peppers…
LI: How important is it to stay positive in adversity? Especially when you want to enter the music business?
Sunni: My saying is what God has for me is for me…and NOBODY can take that away from me…positivity is the ONLY reason why I can smile today…I made a “conscious” decision not to let negativity affect me and to purposely be glad and give thanks for my struggles and my successes each day…that’s hard to do for humankind period…it is easier for a person to give you criticism than praise…or a blank look or a frown than a smile…you should see ho w many people look away when I smile at them…in this business for every 1 yes, you have heard 99 no’s…so you have to stay positive and motivate you because more times than not…you will hear or see something negative.
Sunni was supposed to be consumed by the fire of her environment, yet she rose from the ashes like the Phoenix. Now she is striding purposely through every barrier to represent a paragon of virtue; love; and most of all courage. The Sun -ni” is the light of the world. The “ Sun -ni” warms the earth. The “ Sun -ni” is a source of heat. The “ Sun -ni” is a star. Sun -ni…one
of the great luminaries of heaven and earth…
LI: As an Indie artist in market that's so, so big...how important is it to diversify your style to have something different to bring to music?
Sunni: It’s a blessing and a curse…this market is trendy…for the most part it follows right now…so if you are a forward thinker, a trailblazer, a pioneer, or have any individuality to you whatsoever, it is difficult to blend in…because really you can’t….so you have to be diversified in everything you do…me I have so much music in me that diversity has never been an issue internally, but externally, it’s hard for some people to get me…they say ok…this song is R&B, this song is Pop, then you are rapping, You have neo soul songs, you have rock songs…where do you wanna go…and I say all those places…one of my goals is to have the #1 pop, adult contemprary, r&B, and hip hop single all on the charts at the same time….
LI: What are some 'no-no's' you could pass on to up and comers to help them out when it comes to the industry?
Sunni: My first and most important No, no is….is this your calling….is this your purpose…what is driving you to get in the music business…that question right there, will answer a lot of things for a person as far as if they are meant to be in this business…you have to figure out if this is “meant “ for you…if you don’t this business will eat you up and spit you out...Secondly, learn the business…this music industry in 90% business and 10% talent…I say to people, would you go get a 9-5 without training, experience, some type of knowledge about what you are doing, when you get there how do you climb up the ladder…you have to apply that same philosophy to this business….Thirdly stay true to yourself, mean what you say and say what you mean….if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything..
LI: Support: How has it been?
Sunni: Far and few in between…my godmother will tell you...I would go around kicking and screaming, “no one supports me, this is what I want to do?” I listened to NO ONE, because everyone wanted me to be a doctor…no one wanted me to be an entertainer…they saw me drive cross country for this music, have a nervous breakdown over this music, still putting my last dime into my music…now they are coming around…I can say there are 3 people that have supported me from day 1….Terence Young, Jamaica Craft, and Steve Broadnax.
LI: What's your view in the state of hiphop music and R&B? Is it all the same? Content overused?
Sunni: Well, you can apply the saying “what was once old is new again” or “history repeats itself….I think that statement can be applied across the board to both hip hop and R&B….we are making the music “fun” again…we are bringing back the musicianship in both arenas…Now speaking on both genres separately, hip hop is maturing…most of the hip hop artist are adults, with adult lives and adult situations…and the music is a reflection of that….on the other hand we are bringing “party music” back to the forefront…now a days people just want to escape, give me a good beat and a hook that I can follow with a subject I can relate to…and I am good….on the R&B tip, we are getting back to making well written songs, I believe…old school R&B is only as popular as it is because the lyrical content was about real issues that happen to everyday people…so when we want to reflect or escape or even learn a lesson…we have to resort back to “If I was your woman” by Gladys or “A Change is Gonna Come”…now we are beginning to see songs that reflect the life and times of today that provide those same answers that we look to “old school” to provide…
I think that the content matter was overused, but we are working towards creating 3 dimensional music…I have come to realize by talking to so may people, that if you have a thought or an experience , there is a good chance you are not the only one that thinks or feels that way or has gone through that particular type of experience…therefore; there needs to be some platform to bring those thoughts, feelings, and experiences, out…and music is getting there…
LI: When folks listen to your music, what about you do you want them to see?
Sunni: I want them to see, touch, taste, feel, and hear, human emotion…whether it’s hurt, pain, joy, love, excitement, anger, whatever it may be…I want you to have a human experience with my music…just completely go there…listen to the stories…the messages…the feelings that are conveyed and experience…
LI: What about the music you sing do you want them to hear? What's your inner lining message?
Sunni: I want men to respect and women to recognize the “boss chick” in you…Boss chicks are women that demand “Respect”, will “Show Them Boys”…and occasionally have to “Breathe Out”, because of the hate…we are the ones that will knock at the door and if no one answers we will break it down….Ladies be 3 dimensional...we can be sassy, classy, and trashy…all at the same time…and do effortlessly…it’s about dreaming it, realizing, it, and stopping at nothing until you get it…
LI: Do you have any upcoming projects? shows?
Sunni: I have just released a single entitled “Get em Girls” b/w “My Chicken” that hit the streets of Atlanta a couple of weeks ago…I have been getting such a positive response from those joints…I try to create anthems…something that will uplift these ladies in some shape or form….I have teamed up with DJ T-Roc of the world famous Poole Palace Nightclub ATL Bankhead Highway and Mami Chula of HOT 107.9 Core DJ’s/ Murder Mamis.
LI: Anything you want to add?
Sunni: Just want to let everybody know be on the lookout for Sunni Stephens in the Southeast and Southwest markets and check me out my myspace page (www.myspace.com/sunnistpehens) as well as my official website www.redsoniamusic.com where you can pick of the album “Miss Fly Girl”…if you don’t know, you better ask somebody…
LI: Contact info?
Sunni: Management or booking: Terence D. Young/ Magic Box Entertainment 770-662-5131 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunni: email me at email@example.com or www.myspace.com/sunnistephens
SUNNI'S interview with Midwest DJ Coalition
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Who is Sunni? Sunni is the “Fly Girl” for the new millennium. She is the embodiment of con...
Who is Sunni?
Sunni is the “Fly Girl” for the new millennium. She is the embodiment of confidence, class, jazziness, sophistication, and edge. She is a trend setter, a go getter, lover of all people, places, and things. Sunni is light, positive energy, food for thought, a star in her own right…Sunni is a lyricist, a poet, a songstress, a businesswoman, a spokeswoman, a motivational speaker, and will be a FASHION ICON…but most of all Sunni is a strong, independent, sista, that found her calling and followed it at all costs!
What does she represent?
Sunni represents love, beauty, sensuality, respect, individuality, sistahood, positivity, and purpose
Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in Kansas City, MO and spent my adulthood in St. Louis
How long have you been singing?
I have been singing professionally since 1994…I received my first “official” paycheck from singing in 1998 in St. Louis MO …I was a lounge singer at an upscale Russian Restaurant
How many CDs' do you have out?
I released my first single Fly Girl summer 2004 and I just released my second single…Show Dem Boys in conjunction with my album…Sunni Stephens…Miss Fly Girl…Rookie of the Year
What is the latest?
The latest would be the new release of “Show Dem Boys”
What is it about?
This song is about hanging out with my girls just to have a good time…nothing more nothing less...we are not trying to come up on anything…or trying to get over on anyone (fellas)…we just wanna have fun…it also has a little twist as it is kind of an empowering song for females
What is the hot track?
The album itself is hot!! There truly is not a bad song on there…
Care to drop any names on some of the producers you have worked with?
I have worked with Martial Arts out of ATL…J-Note reppin Louisiana…Steve Broadnax, and Bobby Jones out of LA…just to name a few
How long have you been in the music business?
I count from when I received my first “paycheck” so that would be 1998
Did you have any delusions about the music business? What were they?
When I realized that my career would be in the music industry, I did my homework. As with any profession you aspire to work in, you study and attain a skill set so that you can be successful, this was no different. So my approach allowed me to see past the smoke and mirrors of the glitz and glamour and really study the business of music…so no, I didn't have any delusions about the business…
What made you pursue a singing career?
I realized at the age of 16 that this was my “calling” in life…not so much the music, but the message and the life behind the music…and music crosses all barriers…so I would use music as my vessel to bring harmony, togetherness, positive influence, and peace among ALL people...
What are some goals for your singing career?
My first goal after being signed is to become a triple threat in the game and use that notoriety to springboard my multi-media entertainment company that encompasses publishing, a consulting company to the recording industry, a recording and rehearsal studio, and a production company coupled with my community service and motivational speaking sector.
Who, so far, has made up your fan base?
My fan base has been both female and males between the ages of 13-28 for the most part…my album hits all age groups though…the “children” LOVE Breathe out…the adults LOVE “Quiet Storm” the Teens LOVE “Show Dem Boys”…You Oughtta Know is universal and hitting everyone…there is something for each age group on the album and everyone enjoys my speaking and performing engagements.
Okay, some of the fellas(Djs) saw your picture. You are an attractive lady. If playboy offers a layout would you accept?
NOOOOO…..My Mother would KILL me, plus I believe in leaving something up to the imagination…that is WAAAYYY sexier that revealing it all…I am about setting trends, not following them
Could we(MDC) get a nice picture layout?
One last question. How can we contact you for cds, shows, etc...?
My website www.redsoniamusic.com will be officially launching on Monday, October 10th, 2005. You can email me or my manager Terence Young there or you can contact Terence Young at 469-467-4904
KANSAS CITY, MO
Dial in and request "Show Dem Boyz" and "Breathe Out" on your local radio station.
PICK UP SUNNI'S CD AT LOCAL RADIO STORES IN THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:
You can pick up Sunni Stephens self-entitled CD at your local radio store. The two singles are available that features "
The full CD can also be purchased.
KANSAS CITY, MO
Stop by 7th Heaven on 75th & Troost to purchase Sunni Stephens self-entitled CD! If you can't find it at a 7th Heaven near you - REQUEST IT!
DALLAS & TYLER TEXAS, LITTLE ROCK & PINE BLUFF ARKANSAS
...MORE TO COME! Your city will be next!
R&B singer to speak at school
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The Texarkana, Ark., Weed and Seed Strategy will host an R&B singer and motivational speaker this...
The Texarkana, Ark., Weed and Seed Strategy will host an R&B singer and motivational speaker this week for local students.
Sonya Monique Stephens, more commonly known at Sunni, will be presenting "Your Purpose, Your Calling, Your Dream," to students at 1 p.m. Thursday at Washington 4-A School and 4 p.m. Thursday at Faith, Love & Hope.
While the appearance at the Washington 4-A School is closed to the public, interested students who are not enrolled at Faith, Love & Hope can attend the 4 p.m. program.
Weed and Seed Coordinator Kenya Buffington said the event is a follow-up to the violence prevention campaign they held last year called "We Cannot Fight If We Hold Hands."
She said bringing Sunni in will encourage youth to dream big. "She's someone they can relate to, having worked with a multitude of R&B artists," Buffington said.
Sunni has toured with Donnel Jones, Craig Mack, Dru Hill, Queen Pen, Lil' Kim and 702. She was also a background vocalist for the P. Diddy world tour and in 2003 had a song, "Back in the Day," featured on "The Bernie Mac Show."
Sunni also recently released an independent CD single called "Flyy Girl" that is currently gaining radio airplay throughout the Midwest and the South.
Sunni graduated from Lincoln College Preparatory Academy and received the African American Achievement Award to attend the University of Missouri.
She is involved in many community service activities, including the YMCA after-school program, the AD HOC group against crime and Feed the Hungry in Los Angeles.
For more information, call 870-773-7333.
2. Song 1
3. Brief Crowd participation and dance break
4. Song 2
6. Song 3
There are no upcoming dates at this time.