This R&B Singer Won’t Be A Pawn In Any Romance

Out singer/songwriter Stephonne
Out singer/songwriter Stephonne (photo: John Brant)

Queer R&B singer-songwriter Stephonne drops his lush new groove, “The King’s Gambit.”

“A budding crush is cleverly revealed here as a game of chess,” shares the artist.


Stephonne wrote the track about having strong feelings for a man, but fearing rejection found himself afraid to share these sentiments aloud.

““Heartbreak wasn’t something I thought I could take at the moment so I just wondered if he felt the same way and I relished this fever dream,” he recently told OUTvoices Kansas City.

But over time, and with some investment in self-work, the dynamics between Stephonne and the object of his affection began to feel like chess moves.

“I wanted reality and clear communication so I read the signs and receipts and bounced,” Stephonne told OUTvoices. “It was always your move and you can’t control anyone else’s so make the move that is best for you. That is what I learned. Choose you. Choose clarity. Choose what you really see instead of what you want to see.”

Out singer/songwriter Stephonne
Stephonne (image via Instagram)

Sonically, glittering guitars are paired with heartbeat drums and crashing cymbals laying a groovy soundscape for the artist’s queer poetic lyricism.

Stephonne’s hushed romantic vocals are reminiscent of Janet Jackson in her intimate, euphoric Velvet Rope mode.

The Kansas City-based singers enjoys pushing boundaries taking inspiration from musical influences like Prince, Billie Holiday, and The Alabama Shakes blending music genres of alt-rock & R&B/Soul.


Stephonne recently told OUTvoices Kansas City that Prince, in particular, made a lasting impression on him after seeing the Purple One “be himself fully.” 

“Prince wasn’t a prisoner to gender, sexuality, orientation or genre,” Stephonne told OUTvoices. “When I looked at and heard him, I felt freedom and I felt seen.”

Hit play below and follow the artist on Instagram here.

Source: OUTvoices Kansas City

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