Chinese-Jamaican Uses Multiple Influences to Bring Thought-Provoking Art to the World
BROOKLYN, NY – When most people meet Odeis Stephenson, they are not quite sure where to place him; when they learn of his musical creativity, they are even more intrigued. He is actually of Chinese-Jamaican ancestry, and as soon as people listen to his unique style of conscious reggae music, everything starts to make sense. It’s out of that blend of sounds and influences that his nickname, now stage name, was developed – Blem – a name that he says stands for the mix of all the races and sounds that he brings to the table.
More than anything, Blem expresses himself through his music but wants to be known more for his conscious poetics. He has a passion for reggae and has been surrounded by it all of his life. Growing up around his older cousin, I Kong, a popular international reggae artist, gave Blem the confidence to nurture his writing and musical abilities. Today, his art is inspired by his many different experiences, and his unique sound and style lends itself to multiple genres, not just one. Through it all, he creates music that is thought-provoking and gives people more of a conscious self-awareness of the world around them.
“I’m not trying to push my message on anybody. I’m just expressing my thoughts and as such, it’s not up for debate. It’s just what I think,” says Blem. “That’s why I often think of my music as more of a conscious thing that encourages people to be self-aware and not worry about how others might think about or perceive them. Most times, I stand politically incorrect by myself…like my off-guard experience on Queenzflip’s favorite episode on YouTube. I am RASTA – Righteous African Stand Tall Alone – because my way won’t be like everybody else’s way, and it’s not supposed to be…because it’s my way.”
The most recent example of that kind of stand through art and music comes with Blem’s new single “Reggae Wise.” It’s a song that he says is a conscious take on dancehall that provides a close look at the influences of society. He considers himself to be more of a “chanter” than a singer or rapper, coming front-and-center with this new song. His unique cadence and flow is perfectly suited to reason with the listener through his music, almost as if he’s having a conversation that leads to conscious, eye-opening, new ideas.
“‘Reggae Wise’ is for people who are awake in today’s society,” says Blem. “It’s the first of seven songs I have coming out this summer, all of which will be on all major streaming platforms. And through it all, you’ll see that my voice is something completely original. I express my thoughts through my lyrics. The main reason to release this form of art is offset the negative influences out there in society and because I believe music can have a huge impact on individuals and generations to come.”
Another single, “Errks,” released on June 18th, is aimed towards a younger audience. The reggae song with a trap, hip hop-flare features Blem lyricizing in his usual Jamaican Patois. The title of the song refers to an expression that means “a sudden stop – errks – like the sound of car tires screeching to a halt.” He’s using the term to help young people confront the masks they tend to wear – the fake personas that often come with trying to gain attention and popularity from the masses or even just within their own group of peers.
Blem’s music is available on Apple Music, Amazon Music, iHeart Radio, Pandora, etc. To follow him on social media, please visit: