By Miles Pease
With the pandemic bringing day-to-day activity to a standstill, many of us now find ourselves having time to pursue interests that would normally take a back seat in life. One such case of this quarantine renaissance is “The Big Meemo”, a lo-fi album released by artist Steven Trinidad, under his alias Stephon T, which he’d been working on from just before graduating Bergen this year.
Releasing tracks since 2017 and learning music since childhood, Stephon has grown his own rich and vibrant sound that only continues to reveal more sides of itself with every new drop. His most recent expo is an extended mix, broken up into a 20-minute album Made during his two years as a graphics design major at Bergen and mostly developed during his graduating year at home, he calls this mix a sort of “journal of quarantine.” In this collection of lo-fi beats and melodies, the listener is taken on an audio safari, spotting ear catching samples from tv, games or even some personal recording and exploring varying new vibrations all strung together with the same dreamy style that keeps your head bouncing.
Meemo gives the feeling of scrolling through an art gallery, with every track having the quality of a completely unique idea, while still maintaining the same overall vibe. One great example comes right out the gate with the first track on the album “Ruined My Plans.” Even on this minute and a half song, Trinidad throws a lot at you, starting from a light-hearted tune pulled from some 60s cherry tambourine song sample and completely switching gears halfway, into a heavier bass-driven mix with blaring horns.
Though not every track has such a dramatic switch-up (such as the more consistent “Treat”), sudden change is part of the idea behind The Big Meemo and Stephon’s music in general. “You can create a sound like digital sonic museums, chop them the way you desire and […] you have this 3d narrative making a diorama,” he said. He believes that not every piece of music needs to be for everyone and decided to make albums that had variety, where someone can listen, skip and stop as they please, maybe hearing a sample or a melody that they enjoy along the way.
Trinidad started learning music playing the piano as a kid as far back as 2012 and never looked back. He said it was his family that got him into it, his sister and older brother encouraging and playing music along with him, and it was the support from his family that brought him to where he is. He believes that everyone needs to have someone in their corner, not just as a yes man to tell you everything you do is good, but those that will be honest and critical to act as a backbone for your growth because, “Thats what family does, they push you to your limits for the better.”
Before attending Bergen, Stephon T. had already been releasing tracks. He finds that a lot of people thinking of getting into a music career are unsure how to go about it and that to him, it’s just about getting your sound out there. Though he went to Bergen for graphic design, it was the freedom the school gave that made it such a good time to work on his music that let him grow as an artist. Then taking what he learned along the way, Trinidad was able to become his own album artist and aid in his self promotion.
At this point Stephon T. has four albums and as many singles released onto several platforms including Spotify and Apple Music. One of his most popular tracks
Is “Buttercup,” a collaboration with a longtime friend Soph, which blends some strong reggae tones and eerie bedroom pop vocals. While he waits for the chance to collaborate again, he’ll be busy splicing in isolation, with works that he says to look out for in the very near future.
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