January 1, 2013

“My full name is actually Stephanie Kong. I’m a 17 year old singer-songwriter from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I grew up in a suburb in Mt. Lebanon. But basically, my career started back when I was an elementary school. I picked up the violin in 5th grade and after that I basically dropped it in 7th. My parents didn’t really care about music and really discouraged any music but I guess everything changed around the summer during my freshman year. I basically bought my own guitar from a flea market…Trader Jacks..It was just a cheap Fender Squier. And I basically just taught myself how to play guitar..And along these past 2 and a half years..I just added mandolin, ukulele, piano, and percussion to my arsenal.

I’ve experienced a lot through my lifetime so far. I’ve busked around areas of Pittsburgh and New York. I’ve played around festivals and I guess the most important thing I’ve noticed was that there were people with gambling addictions, homelessness, and other issues that high school students should realize. I’ve personally dealt with these issues firsthand myself and I like to write music that tries to inspire other people. I know what mainstream radio wants: sex, drugs, and partying. But I like to reach further because I know what its like for that one person at school in freshman year to be made fun of. I’ve been made fun of. But I want to help other people realize that they can overcome these obstacles and become something great. That’s what I hope everyone finds within my music…whether a pop song..or an acoustic song. I try to reach something further than the daily love story between a guy and girl..Loneliness…just like Holden Caulfield in the Catcher in the Rye.”

Today I spotlight on an up and coming local talent. You can find her on ReverbNation, BandCamp, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Still in her teens, I was highly impressed from what I heard and the motiviation she has displayed in getting her music out there. My thanks to Stephanie for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • “Sycamore Tales” by Dan Petrich.
  • Your last album bought?
  • “Leavetaking” by Peter Bradley Adams.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • “Leavetaking” by Peter Bradley Adams.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?

  • Don’t have one.
  • First/Last concert attended?
  • I know it’s really embarrassing but I’ve actually never gone to a concert in my 17 years of existence.
  • Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • First time performing in a coffee shop at 15 and having an old man come up to me and tell me to never give up and I’ll get somewhere with the voice I have.
  • Thanks, Steph. Looking forward to hearing new music from you. Oh, and get out to a show!