We had the good fortune of connecting with Stefan PVDS and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stefan, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I grew up in a lot of places. I was born in England, then lived in Baltimore, MD, Jacksonville, FL, and Birmingham, AL all before I graduated high school. I think being exposed to so many cultures and environments gave me an appreciation for how diverse the world is and how much there is to explore. It also made me pretty adaptable to changing environments. I’ve also been exposed to countless different styles of music, which is why my palate is so varied. I love everything from Blues to hip hop to classical, and everything in between. This makes me want to explore different styles of music in my own projects, which is very exciting and refreshing. My family is very musical (both of my sisters are professional violists and my brother and I were in bands together in high school), so despite music being an unconventional path, my parents have always been incredibly encouraging and supportive. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to pursue my love of music, and I’m prepared for all the unexpected twists and turns my journey will take.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer based in LA. In the past year I’ve had the opportunity to release my first song(s) as a solo artist, as well as music with the RnB/Hip-hop collective GROUPCHAT. It’s been an incredible experience amidst a tumultuous year with the pandemic. This year has really put things in perspective for me and helped me find clarity on my priorities in life and music. I grew up getting exposed to countless types of music, starting with classical then going on to explore rock, blues, jazz, punk, soul, singer-songwriter, and countless more. I’m excited to release a lot more music that I’m working on spanning many different styles. It’s always been a daunting concept to try and distill my musical taste into one lane because I’m constantly inspired to create a wide range of atmospheres that represent different parts of me as a person. I think I’ve finally allowed myself to break out of the box and just create and release what feels good to me. You can hear some of the different styles in my solo project as well as the GROUPCHAT releases, and there is so much more to come.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a tough one because there’s so much to do here! If we had only one day we could start by getting a BOMB breakfast sandwich at Solar de Cahuenga in Hollywood (where I live). From there we could go on a hike in Griffith park to walk it off or just hang out in the grass tossing the frisbee or playing spikeball. After that we could move west and check out the beach (we’ll probably bring a couple drinks but not sure if that’s allowed so don’t tell anyone) and snag one of those big fruit cups with Tajíin. A good way to end the night would be getting cleaned up for dinner at Mercado on Cahuenga (best carnitas I’ve ever had) and then hitting a show at the Troubador. But if we were trying to have a chiller end to the night I would strongly suggest we get some Harold’s chicken or Dave’s Nashville hot chicken. We could put our feet up as we watch a movie until the food coma sets in. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many amazing people that have encouraged and helped me get to where I am and where I’m going. Too many to count. But I have to say I am incredibly lucky to have parents who have been so supportive, present, and inspiring every step of the way. I owe everything to them, they gave me every opportunity to explore my interests growing up and when I decided to switch careers and start music full-time they were already my biggest fans. Their work ethic has always given me motivation because I know what it looks like for someone to truly give something 100%.