All You Need is BASS

Seeing the World With Steppa Style


Sometimes the most desolate landscapes birth the most candescent creativity, even if the product seems to be the polar opposite of its environment. As a society, we visualize Russia as a frozen, stark and generally Plutonian wasteland. We hardly think of the former U.S.S.R. as a pivotal reggae-manufacturing nation, cranking out vibey beach friendly hits. Apparently, our typecasting and stereotyping ways are completely wrong.

x_44e8bbef(1)Russian native Stepan Volkov a.k.a. Steppa Style has proven that ice cold Russian tundra can deliver a sizzling reggae artist akin to the most irie Trenchtown idols. With his full-length effort See the World, Steppa Style has exemplified the theory that isolated landscapes can be a powerful catalyst to the artist inside.

Although not always a reggae and dubwise enthusiast, Volkov has always had a solid foothold in music, and the broader world of entertainment as a whole. His entire life has set the stage for his first full-length album, as creativity was ingrained in his psyche while he was still in diapers.

“I been surrounded with creative people all my life,” says Volkov. “My grandpa was a famous Russian camera man, making that old school USSR films [sic], in which you can find real emotions, not like nowadays films.” He goes on to explain his family’s rampant creativity gene; the first seed to sow See the World. “My mum and aunt were working for governmental cinema, my uncle is quite a famous Russian actor and my cousin is a rock n roll singer.” With a family that’s an incubator of creative expression, it was only a matter of time before Volkov found himself on a stage.

Through bouts of impersonations, acting and musical exploration, Steppa Style began to find his voice. “I was always portraying other people … voices, sounds,” says Steppa. “The artist genes from my family were overwhelming me.” As his musical voice began to manifest itself through freestyling hip-hop rhymes at school and parties, Volkov discovered reggae and ragga – his future voice and sound. He was hooked on the riddims. “The pressure of the voice, vibes and music were generating fire inside me,” says Steppa. “In general, I think music chooses you. Not you choosing the music [sic]. It’s a mystical process.”

y_97a21905(1)And through this mystical process of finding oneself through music, Volkov has created a theme throughout his songs on See the World. “My main message is self-progress and confidence. No time wasting,” says Steppa. “Life is too short to smoke it out.”

Not smoking out your life seems to be an oxymoron for a reggae artist, but Volkov’s creative gene cannot lie dormant for long imprisoned in a haze. He’s been busy touring See the World, working with his partners on his musically oriented clothing brand – Good Vibes Clothing -, and recording tons of new sounds, everything and anything from jungle to breakbeat riddims. “I never stop recording new tunes and dubs, so my agenda is to continue with more confidence and power,” says Volkov.

See the World might only be a glimpse into the life of a born creative, but it sets the stage for what Steppa Style is all about nonetheless. His mantra for living life is Peace, Love, Unity and Respect, a theme that shows through the “good vibes” of his music. As we say goodbye, Volkov leaves us with some lasting words to live by:

“Travel, do good, respect the people, and kill sound!”


Buy Steppa Style’s See The World Album on itunes


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