Reviewed by Anthony Nguyen & Staff
Stephie Joanna Victomé, known professionally as Stephie, is an Haitian-American independent singer-songwriter based in West Palm Beach, Florida. The young artist discovered her passion for music at the age of seven when she joined her elementary school choir. Shortly after, she began creating music of her own and at one point performed locally around Palm Beach County with her sister, Sterling. During her sophomore year of college, Stephie made the decision to pursue music professionally in late 2018, releasing her first pair of singles, “Underestimate” and “Love this Love” which were both well received by the public, press and radio. On her EP, Stay for a While, Stephie collaborated with local engineers and artists such as Jefeth Frankson (J Sharp), and Jacksonville, FL rapper Kale. Inspired by an emotional experience, the project is smooth, soulful, and jazzy while displaying the despair and passion she felt during the time leading up to the writing of the tracks. Her song, "Black Rain" is a great way to get acquainted with Stephie's undeniable talent.
“Black Rain” by Stephie succeeds with a combination of stellar arranging and intimate vocals. The bass and kick drive the song, with both of them managing to find their own sonic space despite being so huge. The bass is nice and round, and the kick has appropriate punch to keep the piece moving. The main synth while appearing simple at first, evolves constantly which makes sure that the song never becomes stale.
The lead vocal is truly well done. Stephie remains intimate while also managing to evoke the right emotions of loss and sadness. Every word leaves listeners intrigued and the different effects that are used on the main vocal only serve to enhance the story being told.
The intro is deceivingly mellow, luring listeners with a soothing synth until it moves into a powerful verse. The chorus is deeply moving, utilizing a mesmerizing combination of doubles and vocal effects. All throughout the song there are elements and production sounds such as organs, drops, etc. that are being pulled in and out. This ensures that every second there is something new being added to keep interest. This makes it hard to listen to the song only once, because the appeal is really in the small details. The production quality of this song is very well-conceived.
“Black Rain” surpasses its contemporaries by exuding a theme at every corner. It seems like every choice made during the production stage serves its main theme. It is an incredibly contemplative piece. From the ample reverb and delay throws to the dark synth the song does a great job maintaining its message. This is most evident in its lyrics with one example, “But all I really know is we can’t live this way. Black, black, black, black rain.”
Stephie wrote this song in a time of turmoil when she was facing a time a multiple mental challenge, and she uses that raw anguish to create a truly stunning song. With a phenomenal vocal performance and lyrics that truly reveal an intimate look into an artist’s mind, “Black Rain” is a gorgeously written song with a masterful production to match.
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