Interview with Stephn: The Process Behind “Mind on Matter”

Maliyah Grant

Time Before Us. The title of Stephn’s first project hinted at the past, but in reality, the EP was filled with sounds, stories, and emotions that can’t be bound to one moment in time. And the positive response to Stephn’s debut is a clear indicator that we’ll be seeing more from him in the future. On April 26th, Stephn dropped his first music video for the second track on TBU, “Mind on Matter.” I caught up with him to discuss the intentions and process behind the visual.

What story were you trying to tell with the Mind on Matter video? 

It wasn’t about a story per say, it was more about expression and exploring different emotions and how they run through our mental space.

Before diving into music, you expressed your creativity through fashion and styling. This interest has carried over into the visual project Time Before Us, and now in the Mind on Matter visual. In the video, you feature four different outfits that vary in style. What were you trying to portray through these looks? What was your inspiration?

Fashion and styling in particular had always been an outlet for me to express myself because I didn’t know how else to until I found music, which I can be even more creative with. Specifically in this video, I do 4 different colors; we started off with a neutral nude-ish palette and then went into the black space cowboy look and then the white heavenly-type outfit and finally the red ethereal bedazzled durag look. These are all parallel to moods that our mental state drives us into dealing with different circumstances, with red meaning anger, black meaning an extremely down emotional state, white defining happiness and neutral symbolizing a balanced mental.

The video ended with you falling into the water. What was the symbolism behind that ending?

That ending really was supposed to have a comedic feel to it because that’s everyone’s mood when there’s something on your mind that you can’t get over, you just want to disappear at the end of the day. 

This was your first music video, what did you learn throughout the process that’ll be helpful in the future?

I learned to be more confident in my art because although people might not see the exact vision I originally tried to portray, the intentions are still there and at the very least they can appreciate the visual as a whole.

Make sure to watch the Mind on Matter video HERE, and to stream Time Before Us.