As music continues to evolve, artists like Steadfast (C.C. Speight) with her current single Mend speaks to her poetic lyrical style with a hip-hop essence to it. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Steadfast grew to love music and began writing poetry at a very young age. Since the age of 12, she was drawn to the sounds of hip-hop, neo-soul, and rap. During her time in high school, she learned to play guitar and later on joined a band by the name “Confetti Collective” consisting of three other band members, playing the drums. We discussed some of her musical influences, inspirations, current projects, and potential collaborations for the year of 2016.
Tagg: Why the name Steadfast? Where did it come from?
Steadfast: The name Steadfast comes from two things. The first is my ability to kind of focus on a topic and explore it. The second stems from the fact that when I was a kid, my family always told me I could do anything and I really believed them. I was a very literal child. I was the type of kid that if you said “It’s chilly outside”, I went to get a bowl. Amelia Bedilia is what some folks called me from the children’s books. I was that literal. So when people told me I could do anything, I really took it to heart and that has stayed with me. I never think, “Man, I can’t do this!” I always think “I’m going to do this!” or “How do I start?” or “What skills to I need to get this done?” So the name “Steadfast” kind of came out of that. It’s both a representation of my mindset, when it comes to approaching tasks and getting them done and not allowing myself to be discouraged and also an approach to song writing, which is kind of a reminder to stay on topic and really explore a subject.
Tagg: Were you born and raised in the D.C. Metropolitan area?
Steadfast: Yes, I actually grew up on the west side of Baltimore. I lived here pretty much all of my life with the exception of three years. My mom wanted me to go to private school, but we couldn’t afford it at the time. I eventually ended up going to Baltimore School of the Arts to study art and drawing.
Tagg: Do you produce your own music?
Steadfast: My most recent song Mend was produced by me, but I do purchase beats from other producers. I write my own songs but I have worked with a few other producers such as Blaze P, who is based out of Boston, Massachusetts. I bought a few beats from him, and my next single I have coming out will be a beat produced by Blaze.
Tagg: Outside of Lauren Hill, who are your other musical influences?
Steadfast: I honestly listen to everything. I have a very eclectic ear for music. Everything from Roots, Common, Nirvana, MudHoney, Kendrick Lamar, and the list goes on. I love a lot of different artists and a few of them are on repeat in my car currently.
Tagg: How would you describe your music?
Steadfast: I think of it as its very lyrical hip-hop. I think anyone who is interested in lyricism that dissect music, would find complex rhymes and multi-syllable rhymes throughout my music. I try to stay very topical; same concept I use for spoken word. I pick a topic and stay on it. I explore the topic and just allow the inspiration to go from there. I would call it, high art.
Tagg: How long have you been writing?
Steadfast: I’ve actually been writing since the age of eight, when I wrote my first poem. I started to learn to read really young thanks to my grandmother. She read a lot of books with me and I found interest in writing with trying to expand my vocabulary.
Tagg: So you also draw? Are there any other hidden talents you have?
Steadfast: I do a lot of things! I am pretty much well rounded to the things I can do. I do graphic design as well, videography, I make short films, and promotional films. Some are for non-profit organizations and some are for projects of my own. I just did one for TT the Artist.
Tagg: With the most recent current events happening such as the Black Lives Matter movement, how do you think your music influences these type of events happening in our community?
Steadfast: I have a current track that speaks on that topic. It explores the perceptions people have of the protestors and there is some very enlightening commentary in the track as well. I do believe a lot of people have a very narrow minded perspective on the black lives matters movement.
Tagg: Does your music touch on any personal experiences?
Steadfast: Absolutely. Especially being a poet, a lot of my writing stems from personal experiences. I think any artist involved in hip-hop should speak on personal experiences and create a visual of what they are talking about. I am still learning myself and experiencing those “new artist” growing pains.
Tagg: Do you have any upcoming projects?
Steadfast: I have a new song that will be released in the summer called “Direction”. I don’t have an album coming out, but everyone can look out for the mixtape. I will be releasing this summer. I will be opening for B. Dolan in April and I am super excited about that. I also have a few more performances later on in the year.
To follow Steadfast and to learn more about her music, visit https://soundcloud.com/steadfast410.