2012 Vocal Champion: Stephon
Stephon Mills does it all! Mainly known as an enchanting dancer and choreographer, he has received acclaim in several areas of stage performance to include spoken word, acting, and modeling. The challenges Mills has faced as a multifaceted entertainer and foster youth are daunting, but there is a confidence and assuredness in him that makes it clear that no barrier is going to hold him down.
The 2012 Beyond Idol (BI) competition was his first public presentation in singing and he never expected to win the title of 2012 Vocal Champion. Mills said he was simply happy to share the stage with so many of the other talented competitors at the BI finals held in October 2012 at New Parish in Oakland.
“I thought it would be something fun to do, I didn’t think I would win. I know there’s so much talent in foster care,” said Mills.
Like many of the innovators that come out of urban settings like Oakland, Mills has not received formal education in any of his pursuits. He credits his interest in performance to his 3rd grade teacher at Prescott Elementary, who used art as a teaching tool. At 15 years old, after taking part in oratorical fests and spoken word events, Mills got interested in dance at the Youth Uprising Center in East Oakland, which offered free classes for youth in the community. From there, he stuck to a regular regiment of dance, losing nearly 100 lbs, and ultimately joined several reputable dance companies from the Bay Area. Through groups like New Style Mother Load, Body Rock Culture, and Destiny Arts, Mills has toured the world, dancing in front of dignitaries and audiences of thousands.
Those experiences have given Mills a worldly view. This sophisticated perspective affirms his dreams, letting him know that his talents can take him anywhere.
“I want to open a business; an art complex for youth in Amsterdam. Ultimately, I’d like to live in Paris, France,” says Mills.
His experiences have also made it clear that hard work is the only way to achieve his goals.
“This entertainment game can be cruel, punishing and hard. It takes a certain type of person to be successful in it,” says Mills.
“If you want to get into the entertainment business, you have to work hard and stay focused,” he added.
Mills’ advice to other foster youth wanting to enter the music business echoes that of many of the greats; his inspirations like Frank Ocean, Michael Jackson, & Tyler Perry.”Focus in and be yourself. Others may make it before you or be better than you, but nobody should ever be working harder than you. You have to keep going. As Will Smith says, ‘The Universe just wants to get out of your way and get you to where you want to get to.’ Hard work is breathing, sleeping and eating your passion. Your passion is defined by what you are and who you want to become. ”
There is a common trait amongst winners and successful people, and it is the ability to be confident while remaining humble. Mills has that quality. He’s expects to do his best, but does not always expect to win. He looks forward to the great things his talent can bring him, but also recognizes the effort he must put forth to attain what he desires. Mills competently walks, dances, and sings that quintessential fine line that is for so many the invisible the path to success. He is a star on the rise, an intriguing personality and a Beyond Idol champion!
If you want to learn more, watch videos or download his music:
Stephon’s Reverbnation page »