Artist Spotlight is a series that aims to highlight some of the most promising up-and-coming artists in hip-hop/R&B. From newcomers to veterans, mainstream to underground, we want to shine a light on the talented musicians that are making great music, gaining the respect of the industry, and pushing the culture forward.
Bri Steves (born Brianna Stevenson)
Bri Steves seems like the next in line in a lineage of talented Philadelphia artists. She became grounded in music at a young age; her mother is responsible for introducing her to multiple genres of music, especially classic R&B/soul artists — like Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Faith Evans, Jill Scott, and Mary J. Blige. Bri cites The Notorious B.I.G., Big L, and Camp Lo as the artists that inspired her to take up rapping, and claims Missy Elliot, Lauryn Hill, Foxy Brown, and Eve are the artists that influenced her artistry.
She attended Temple University, where she majored in Public Relations, and where she continued to make music while she attended classes. It was while she was an undergraduate that she made her first real hit, a summer anthem called “Summer’s Mine” (inspired by DJ Jazzy Jeff & Will Smith’s “Summertime”). She was signed to Atlantic Records during her time at Temple.
Why You Should Know Her:
Bri has been cosigned by the likes of DJ Jazzy Jeff, modern-day rap icon Kendrick Lamar, renowned hip-hop radio personality Sway Calloway, and legendary producer Pharrell Williams — and those names should mean something to you. She also has had her breakout single “Jealousy” featured in HBO’s hit show Insecure, which has been notorious for a couple years now for highlighting very talented, young, up-and-coming Black musicians.
If one thing is clear, it’s that Bri has incredible drive and is a student of the game. Based off of her musical inspirations and her work ethic, it’s clear that Bri Steves is focused on the direction of her artistry and isn’t grindin’ just to be a flavor-of-the-month rapper. Her career is still in its early stages, but she’s already shown, with the handful of music she’s released up to this point, that she has a lot of star power and a bright future.
3 Songs to Get You Started:
*BANGER ALERT* Bri puts her undeniable voice, contagious energy, and sleek lyricism on display in this super-energetic anthem, thanks in part to production from Charlie Heat.
“Jealousy” serves as Bri’s biggest song to date, amassing over 2 million plays across streaming platforms. It’s a groovy summer jam that displays her potential as a hybrid hip-hop/R&B artist.
Her latest single, “Miami” is Bri’s version of the rags-to-riches story. Bri puts her impressive pen on display as she boasts about the work she’s had to put in to get to where she is now — which, hopefully, is the verge of stardom.