Sterlin Colvin Jr., known as “Stee,” is leaving an indelible mark on NBC’s singing competition ‘The Voice,’ proudly representing Bluffton, SC. In this exclusive interview for La Isla Magazine, Stee shared his story and how he has experienced this great opportunity to participate in such a significant contest, along with his special connection to Latin music.
From Washington, D.C. to Bluffton, SC
Although born in Washington, D.C., he moved to the lowcountry at the age of seven. Every summer, Christmas, and spring break, he would return to Washington, D.C., to immerse himself in the local culture, including GO-GO music, which connects him to his Cameroonian ancestry. However, the lowcountry provided him with proximity to Latin culture and openness to many other things, influencing his ideas and life from both here and there.
Growing up in the World of Music
Stee reveals that his singing journey began in childhood, being the son of two singers and vocal coaches. Music was an integral part of his life from an early age. At 14, he was already performing professionally, sharing the stage with R&B and hip-hop greats.
“The opportunities to sing would come to me throughout my life, you know, because I would just get out there and sing and perform with my dad or my mom. And by 14 years old, I was singing professionally. And it was so exciting for me because the music industry was looking for young talent at the time. And I was one of those people trying to get a record deal. So I got to open up for a lot of really cool artists, R&B artists, of course, like Ashanti and, you know, hip hop acts like Outcast. I got a chance to really get out there and perform with these really cool people I looked up to. Yeah, I love it. I’ve been ever since.”
Despite not attending a music school, his love for music developed naturally. Although not popular in school, Stee found his true identity outside the classrooms, becoming a musical phenomenon as soon as he left the school environment.
“I never even sang in school. I wasn’t very popular. So as soon as I would leave school, it was almost like I became like Superman. And then I would go back to school and be the unpopular kid and I would keep my head down.”
Now, on ‘The Voice,’ he has become one of the standout participants, gaining popularity for his talent and charisma.
“It’s amazing is I will say I didn’t expect to be as popular on the show as I am, but it’s really, cool. I just wanted the opportunity to be able to show the world what I could do, bring more attention to me, and it’s worked out very, very well and I feel very, very blessed and I’m not taking it lightly. There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done, and I’m ready to do it. I’m so happy to be on The Voice.”
A Latin Touch in the Competition
Highlighting his connection to the Hispanic community, Stee shared his experience singing an English-Spanish version of Sebastián Yatra’s song “Tacones Rojos.”
“I have sang in other languages before, so it was really, really cool to be able to do a Latin song. I wanted to sing more Español than I did, but we had to break it up. Of course, I did the song with the very talented Willie Gomez. He’s Dominican from Miami. And I told him, I said, well, you know, can I at least have one Spanish part? And he was like, you can have more if you want. And I was like, yes. And of course, John split it up more. I didn’t get to sing as much as I wanted to, but this was very important to me. More importantly, it’s very important to me because I do sing in Spanish, and I did want to be I did want to show that, you know, and to do my little thing. You know, I do a little you know, I have my little Latin moves and things like that. I really want to do all that on this show. And I can’t believe that I got the opportunity to do it. So, I’m very, very happy about that.”
Next Steps and Dreams
Stee expressed his desire to collaborate on a Latin album with Willie Gomez and his ambition to venture into film and acting.
“In terms of my music career, I know exactly how my music sounds. I definitely want to do a Latin record with Willie. We talked about it. I want to do a Spanish. I don’t know exactly what it is yet. We have some ideas about what it would be, but we want to do a record together and it’s going to be incredible because he’s talented… Also, I want to get into film. I want to I want to I want to get back into acting. I used to act when I was young, so I want to have a dual career with music and film or music and stage like stage plays and films. I want to do it all.”
Stee expressed his gratitude for the support received and his commitment to representing the Lowcountry in the best possible way. His story of perseverance and love for music is an inspiring testament, resonating not only in the local community but also on the national stage of ‘The Voice.’
“I am so happy, and I’m so honored to be in this position, and I cannot thank you enough for all the support that everybody’s shown me. I’m so glad that you all are into what I’m doing, and you think that I’m great, you know, And I’m just going to do my best to continue to be as consistent as I can and represent the low country the way that I feel like you should be represented.”
By: La Isla Magazine