STEPHANIE CHIN – West Windsor Township, NJ

I’m always down for seeing a fellow Asian doing what they love in music. Am I being racist? Hell no! Most of us Asians are in finance or the medical field, so there are not too many truly famous Asian musicians… unless you’re in a boy band called BTS, which I’m not. So, when I saw singer Stephanie Chin’s name come up at Debonair Music Hall for a show next week, I was immediately interested in hearing what she sounded like…. And I curiously checked to see if we were even related. Anyway, what a powerful voice Stephanie has. I know that I tend to compare many female singers to Natalie Merchant, but Stephanie definitely possessed the same singing style as Merchant’s, but only really when she was a solo artist, and not so much from her work in 10,000 Maniacs. The songs that really caught my ear were “Caged,” “Life Is Good,” “Walk On,” and “Nothing Like.”

Although music has been Stephanie’s passion since childhood, she didn’t overcome her fear to start pursuing music until around 2013. In 2014, she began her vocal training with Katie Blackwood. Then she joined a band and her professional singing career began. Stephanie says, “My life’s purpose is to be playfully loving, to enjoy God’s blessings, and to give musical joy to myself and others.” Her mission is to release positive music to inspire people to be love, be present, and achieve their dreams. Dubbed a soulful songbird, Stephanie’s passion for music is evident in everything she writes and everything she sings. 

It wasn’t until 2015 that Stephanie started her solo career, and, in 2018, she released her debut EP, Hold on to Hope. She is currently working on an R&B and soul album. Back in February, she released a single called “There With Me,” and the lyrics to this song are pretty incredible! I can’t sing enough praises about her voice, too. Catch Stephanie Chin live at Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck next Friday night (8/16). If you can’t make that show, find out where Stephanie is performing next at StephanieMusic.com. 

NORTH JERSEY NOTES UPDATES:

It looks like my brother, Roger Manzo, is back on guitar for Sixty Miles Down. This is amazing news as he re-joins singer John Mosco in the band that they held together from 2003 until 2012. Mosco, in a Facebook post, said, “The line-up is finally 100% complete.” I’m not sure where that leaves Roger with his guitar duties for War For The Crown, but I guess I’ll find out soon. Welcome back, Rog! Also, 60MD posted a demo of a new song called “The Fear Is Real” and it is a killer! I can’t wait to see these guys live again on August 31 at The Stanhope House in Stanhope, NJ when they open for my bros in Killcode. For more info, visit 60MD.com.

My boys from Dead Fish Handshake begin work on their new album this week, too. I can’t wait to hear new music from these guys, but in the meantime, you can catch them live on a bunch of dates throughout August – including a date with Extreme at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA on Friday, August 16, which is followed by a stop for an acoustic set at Crossroads in Garwood, NJ. Then on August 29, DFH hits Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck, NJ with COLD. Keep your ears peeled for new music from Dead Fish Handshake on DeadFishHandshake.com…. And finally, speaking of new music, my band, Rahway, is still in the studio with producer, Mike Orlando (from Adrenaline Mob), working diligently on our next EP, Slumlords of New Jersey, featuring the songs “Acetylene,” “Only The Strong,” “Sugar,” “Stone,” and a cover song that will leave you begging for more. I’m not just saying this because I’m in the band, but this is some bad-ass stuff that we’re laying down. Keep a lookout for these new Rahway songs! We also have some cool new merch that you can check out at RahwayBand.com. 

That’s all for now! If your band is from North Jersey, and you want some exposure, send your press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140, Little Falls, NJ 07424, or you can email me at tim@theaquarian.com, where you can also let me know where you’re performing next! 

Just remember….We’re all in the same boat, so every little bit of exposure counts! 

Tim Louie is the Author of S**t Happens.

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