By: Sebastien “@TheGayBestie” Gaudin
The 90’s gave birth to a slew of young iconic talents ranging from artist like the late Aaliyah to living legend Beyoncé. In recent years there has been a shift for young acts of color to prosper in the troubling music industry. We’ve seen the vocal powerhouse that is Tiffany Evans struggle to find an audience for almost a decade. With all this being said and fact rising artist, Jharee Stephens courageously steps forward for a new generation of talent. If her name isn’t alluring enough it’s only right to give this former church soloist a shot to prove herself.
The Macon, Georgia, born talent possesses a talent and beauty that’s been absent for sometime. At the age of 18-years-old Stephens has already been apart of a gospel group (Sisters of Determination), participated in numerous talent shows, and garnered a respectable buzz of her rising stardom. Vocally Stephens sounds as a seasoned vet in her own right with the ability to capture and perform with raw emotions. Once taking a listen to her cover of Sevyn Streeter’s “It Won’t Stop”, accompanied by Algee Smith her sultry vocals laced the track with an essence of perfection. Stephens took the hit track and honorably made it authentically her own; from revamped lyrics to a sassy style.
Thumbing through her catalog and YouTube videos a rendition of Aaliyah’s, “Four Page Letter” was also amongst her selections. Although it can be career suicide to cover a credible deceased artist, Stephens once again courageously stepped to the mic and gave it her all. Without a doubt she delivered yet again proving her ability as an artist and a young woman growing up. After the backlash actress, Zendaya Coleman, received for snagging the role of the late singer’s biopic it’s a pleasure to her someone sing her music with justice. Thankfully, talent such as Jharee are inspired by artist who have the paved a way to re-introduce their work to a new generation of listeners.
During our sit down Stephens stated, “It was my idea to do a cover to it. I love Aaliyah. — It was a risk, it’s always a risk to redo a cover because Aaliyah was one of the most original artist to ever come out.” This risk has given the video thousands of hits and plays on YouTube to date with positive reviews. Below the video post are hundreds of comments of fans giving praise to the rendition. Sounds like Jharee Stephens has arrived for the world to take notice once and for all.
Describing her style she continued, “My own style of music is fun and truthful. I feel like a lot of people can relate to the music. It can have you thinking good and bad. My music is very touching and relatable.” There is nothing like an artist who takes the time to embrace their authenticity and individuality. Accompanied with her 90’s influences swag it’s apparent that this artist knows the direction she’s heading. Luckily, her journey has started with the influence from those who have laid path before her.