She’s a lovely young songbird who started singing at the tender age of 3. Stephanie Courtney, a 17 year old Long Islander, began, as hundreds of famed vocalists historically have, by singing in church in Brooklyn, NY. Her song choices seemed so ”grown up” for one so young, as she emulated one of the most powerful voices anyone has ever heard, that of Miss Whitney Houston. Since then, artists such as Yolanda Adams, Mariah Carey, Karen Clark-Sheard, CeCe Winans, Celine Dion and Michael Jackson have inspired Stephanie to focus on singing both gospel and R&B music.
Stephanie currently resides in Valley Stream, Long Island with her parents, Clinton and Ann, and older brother Christopher. She grew up in a family full of talent, as her mother is a singer as well, her father can play multiple instruments and her brother sings and plays piano. The brother/sister duo used to sing together at their church on Saturdays. All of the members of her family provide Stephanie with unending support, as well as unrelenting critiques. “My family just wants me to be the best,” Stephanie always says when asked about the criticisms of her family. However, there is one family member that pushes Stephanie to be her best more than anyone and that is her father, Clinton. He is constantly reminding his high school aged daughter that she can always learn and grow in music and she greatly appreciates him for this. Stephanie’s parents were both born in Trinidad and Tobago and her heritage has had a great impact on not only her music, but on the type of person she wants to be.
A versatile, well rounded student and person, Stephanie has many hobbies and interests, such as cooking traditional Caribbean food, writing poems and music, playing the alto saxophone, dancing, acting, being an active student at her high school and playing volleyball. Stephanie believes in balancing school and anything else that may be going on in her life. She is an honor roll student and is part of the National Honor Society. Balancing all of these interests and hobbies along with her music, she learned how to manage her time, develop discipline and be a hardworking person, things that many people don’t learn until much later in their lives.
At the age of 13, Stephanie started working on her first album, which was entitled “Lord Just Me and You.” Her album was completed at 14 and released when she was just 15 years old. Stephanie wrote her favorite song on the album, called “I Need You.” She wrote this song based on her own experiences as a teenager and the feeling of wanting to have a greater figure in her life that she could talk to and look up to anytime of the day. Stephanie writes songs especially for teenage girls who have low self esteem, so that they can find inspiration, words of encouragement, valuable lessons and be able to say “Oh yea this is me, I can press on, I can endure through anything.” For all teens, the message that Stephanie conveys through her music says “No matter what is going on around them, they are the one who controls their future and accomplishments—you’re in control of yourself, keep your head up and know that you can endure.”
Stephanie has performed her songs in churches all over the East Coast and has also performed at places such as the Cotton Club, The Sugar Bar and the Triad Theater in New York City, as well as at the San Diego Praise Fest. Some of her performances can be found on YouTube. Her debut concert was held in 2010 at the Excelsior School, called “I’m Ready for the World.” She is currently working on moving into soul-pop music and choosing songs for a new album that will bring out her vocals and reach people, especially the youth. She just started planning for her new album and she’s very excited about it.
Stephanie Courtney wants to have it all. She plans on attending college when she graduates from high school and has a pretty impressive list of where she wants to attend, including NYU, Manhattan College, College of Mt. St. Vincent and Stony Brook. Her ultimate goals in life are to accomplish as much as she can and better herself as an individual and as an artist, be the best she can be at whatever it is she happens to be doing, enhancing her vocal skills and incorporating all the techniques she can into her vocals.
She may be only 17, but Stephanie Courtney is as rare and mature as they come. This rising star is ready to turn the music world on its head and give the young voices of the future something they are not ready for. Stephanie promises to be a force to reckon with.