Growing up shy and scared of her own voice, Casii Stephan began to write songs on the family piano at sixteen years old. Finding a voice through music, she began to communicate her life through song. When life pushed an ordinary story line in her face, music gave her hope for the extraordinary.
Now she sings with the power of knowing herself and is unafraid to share with others. Her songwriting is full of pop hooks that will get stuck in your head and emotional lyrics that will speak to your heart.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Casii Stephan - vocals, keys
Tye Slagle - guitar
Sean Ammons - bass
Amira Al-Jiboori - percussion
Ryan Graham - drums
For starters, what bands were you a part of prior to this? How long has the band been around?
I played a bit with another supporting band in the Twin Cities area before moving to Tulsa 4 years ago. The band, known as The Midnight Sun, has been formed since about January 2017. I've been performing in Tulsa for a little bit longer as a more acoustic version.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Casii Stephan is my birth name. My dad came up with the spelling. I have no idea how. He just did. It's pronounced like Casey.
While playing in Tulsa, people really wanted me to give the peeps that play with me a name, so I decided on The Midnight Sun. I loved the symbolism of a sun shining in the darkest part of the night and giving hope... kind of like music does. So, I release my music as Casii Stephan, but I perform as Casii Stephan and The Midnight Sun.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
I write all of the songs. The themes or topics just depend on what I'm going through in my life or what I see other people going through. Songs are my therapy and way of processing emotions I'm feeling. If you've ever taken the Enneagram test, I'm a Type 5 and our weakness is not being able to process emotions super well. So, songs are my way to do that, from sassy to sad, and anger to joy. I write it all.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
For "Letters", Adele was a huge inspiration, but other people working on the song heard Fleetwood Mac and Florence + the Machine. I thought they were all lovely compliments, and it's cool to hear what others think when they hear the song.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Personally, I just got addicted to the way songs come alive with drums, bass and guitar, compared to just me and my keys. It can take an okay song and give it something I never expected and I'm in love with it all over again. So, that's why I like playig with a band versus by myself.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
I have mental exercises I do. I'm a introvert by nature, so in order to perform, I have to really get in the mindset of being intentional with eye contact. Also, talking between songs and not making it feel forced is always something I'm working on. The more I encourage myself that the stage is friendly place, the better I do. For vocals, I drink tea, water, try not to talk a lot, and do vocal exercises.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
My favorite moment so far was being on an official music showcase artist for Tulsa in 2017, opening for Hanson. The crowd was packed and invested and it was such a high. And getting to do it with the people on stage that have played with me when it's been 5 or 10 people is such a cool reward for hard work and persistence.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Oh gosh. Alabama Shakes would be great. Brandi Carlisle, Florence + the Machine, Jack White would be fabulous as well.
Past - The White Stripes... because it sucks that I never saw them live. Tina Turner and Elton John (he's on his last tour, so I'm counting this as past.)
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I hope "Letters" becomes a song that people can connect with. It's a song born of frustration with online dating, and I know I'm not the only one that gets frustrated with that. At the end of the day, writing songs are therapy for me, and I'm able to really move on when I know that people have connected with what I've written. It's a good thing to know you're not alone, you know?