If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times…teen pop will never ever die! Hehehe!
However, while there have definitely been a list of scammers out there who just find the prettiest boys in the mall and offer to make them a star with a fresh new style, a touch of marketing savvy, and some electronic voice modulation…every now and then, a decent producer finds a youngster with some real potential, and a boat load of natural talent.
Such is the case with the newest sensation, Stefan Benz!
At only thirteen years of age, Stefan (Full name, Stefan Bezuidenhout) came to showcase his singing voice at the World Championship Of Performing Arts in Long Beach, California, and it was there that a video of his performance was sent to the president of Republic Records by a music producer by the name of Manny Mijares. Impressed with what he saw, even showing the tape to other people in the industry, he decided to jump on the opportunity to give Stefan a shot and see what he was made of.
The babyfaced blond didn’t disappoint. Not only showing off a set of vocal skills that are beyond his years, but he also has shown himself to be a dedicated writer of his own music, as well as a charismatic stage performer. And with less than a year’s worth of practice and training, Stefan is already more than half way finished recording his very first EP of original music, as well as an EP for a collection of Christmas favorites. Geez, he works fast!
His first single has already begun to make a splash online, and his fanbase is rapidly growing bigger and bigger by the day. The single, ‘Cool 4 Me’ has all of the usual elements of a first hit teen record, and he couldn’t be more proud of being able to put it out there for the world to groove to.
When asked about the song, Stefan grinned, “We all have that person, maybe at school, who you think is too cool for you and that you really don’t have a chance with. That’s what this song is about. And ‘Cool 4 Me’, in my case, is about a grade 7 girl.”
Lord knows that I can relate to that concept! Hehehe!
By the way…in the ‘Cool 4 Me’ video…what’s up with him in the bathtub full of blue balls? Is that a metaphor for something? (::Giggles:: Sorry! I’ll behave! Promise!)
Now, the thing about Stefan traveling back and forth to Los Angeles to take a leap of faith to kickstart his career…is that it is a VERY long trip!!!
He’s no California boy. Stefan is actually immigrating to the US all the way from South Africa, where he was born and raised. When I hear him speak, I don’t even hear a hint of an accent. Which is amazing, considering that English is his second language. But he has expressed a desire to possibly make a few songs in his native tongue of Afrikaans in the future. For now, though, he’s mostly focused on building up his fanbase and enjoying the States as much as he can between performances and studio sessions. “We’re gonna start being a lot more busy with performing.” Says Stefan. “I’ve only been in three cities in America: Orlando, LA, and New York. So there’s a lot of places I haven’t been.” But I’m sure that’s going to change as soon as his EP is finished and he starts his American tour.
Mark my words, he’s about six months from being all over the place. And with public praise from artists like Jennifer Lopez, DJ Khaled, and Shawn Mendes…he’s definitely capable of possibly swerving right into Justin Bieber’s lane as the new kid on the block. Yikes, I can practically hear the tween girls screaming now!
With his second single, “Get Over You”, about a girl that he had apparently had a crush on for years, I’m actually kind of curious as to what he’s going to write about next. Artists that pen their own music always seem to put a touch of extra emotion into every lyric, and I would love to know how the world looks to him right now. “Writing is just something that, as far as right now, has come naturally. So it hasn’t really been any kind of hassle, it’s been really fun and came naturally. So that made it even funner and easier.” Stefan has a goal to release a new song every month until his EP is complete! Ambitious…but, if you think you can do it, I say go for it!
He really does seem like a sweetheart, and he’s having fun just expressing himself and learning how to make the best music that he can. How can you NOT blindly cheer for someone like that? Especially when he says things like, “When I’m down, I always remember that, cause I’m like, so many people are believing in me, that I have to believe in myself.”
That, my friend…is pure gold!