At age 7, Stevi Daft had a serious bone to pick with her younger sister: lil’ sis’ percussions were all off-beat on their homemade cassette recordings, and that simply did not live up Stevi’s standards for her own music. Even when the drum set was a pot and pencil. These standards grew with her aversion to the mediocre. Her whole life turned upside down when she muscled the courage to move to Los Angeles, where she came out as a gay woman— unfathomable during her conservative Christian upbringing in Burlington, Iowa. And one of the reasons she ultimately left, driving 2,000 miles with her record collection filling up the entire trunk: PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, Led Zeppelin and Heart at the top of the pile.
When she’s not writing with Ruby, her beloved cherry Les Paul, she’s at her alter reading tarot cards and fully embracing her inner witch. Stevi’s interest in the occult manifests itself in her debut release ‘Empress’. She explains that the Empress card symbolizes the birth of creative projects. It visited her several times throughout the emotionally arduous writing and recording process. The collaboration between Daft and producer Andres Rebellon resulted in a collision of their respective rock and pop worlds. The 4-track record is an esoteric brew of classic rock riffs, pop melodies and modern instrumentation.
Daft conjures up some serous spirits in her live performances as well. You can see her exorcising her demons onstage, in a wild hurricane of raw, visceral emotion. Her lyrics touch on the disappointments of reality vs. the starry-eyed stories fed to children of the 90s. She untangles her disillusionment with the status quo and refuses to play by the old-fashioned rules of rock and roll. It’s time this genre had a new rule-breaker and, damnit, the future is female rocker Stevi Daft.