Steph Pockets began rapping for family and friends at the age of nine, and soon focused on learning how to program beats and write lyrics. As she developed her skills, she would often look to her neighbor, Will Smith, for inspiration (Smith even accompanied Steph to her fifth-grade career day!)
Later, while a student at Philadelphia's Temple University (she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude in Mechanical Engineering), Steph began performing at local clubs and at music conferences around the country - SXSW in Austin, Texas; NEMO in Boston, Massachusetts; the PMC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and the Route 1 Music Conference in Richmond, Virginia. In 2001 the song "Bum Bum Bum", written and produced by Steph Pockets, was included in the soundtrack album for the critically acclaimed film "O", starring Julia Stiles and Josh Harnett.
Steph's career blossomed after she licensed two albums for release in Japan-- "My Crew Deep" in 2004 (Handcuts Records/Media Factory), and "Flowers" in 2005 (Handcuts Records/Universal Music). "Flowers" was ranked #5 on the Tower Records Japan Top-10 Hip-Hop list for albums sold in 2005, and both albums made the weekly charts in multiple categories at Tower Records as well as HMV in Japan. Steph's popularity was cemented by two major tours of Japan, where she performed at the world-famous Blue Note in Osaka and Nagoya, and sold-out clubs in Tokyo, Nagasaki and Fukuoka.
The success of these two albums led to numerous producing opportunities for Steph in Japan. She produced two tracks for Universal Music Japans' recording artist A.I., whose 6th album, "Mic-A-Holic," contained the Steph Pockets track "Party", and sold more than 500,000 units. Steph also produced tracks for pop artist Aya Ueto (star of the "Azumi" movies and various other films and TV shows), and collaborated with reggae artist Karukaya Makoto, J-pop artist Can'no, and reggae artist Minao.
Steph's third album, "Can't Give Up", was released in Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan early 2007 by JVC Victor Entertainment. "Can't Give Up" was ranked #1 in pre-order sales by Tower Records, and ranked #7 in the top selling Hip-Hop albums of 2007. The title track, which features Speech from Grammy Award-winning musical group Arrested Development, was added to Japan Airlines' in-flight audio playlist. World-famous Japanese visual artist Dragon created the album cover artwork.
Early 2007 Steph received her first commission to score a commercial for McDonald's, which still continues to be aired worldwide. In November 2007 her fourth album, "The Early Works" (a compilation of her first three albums along with new songs and remixes), was released by JVC/Victor in Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
After completing a 16 city sold-out tour of Japan (sponsored by Carhartt Japan, Nov-Dec '07), she immediately started working on a collaboration with Japanese music producer/recording artist 45. The album, "Hello Friends," (containing "Night Life" featuring Steph Pockets) debuted at #1 on iTunes Japan for Hip hop in Feb. '08. "Night Life" was featured on the AND1 DVD in Japan Dec '08. In Dec '07 Steph headlined the AIDS/HIV charity event "Nippon Jam," presented by the New York Japan Student Association at the Knitting Factory in NYC. The concert and Steph Pockets exclusive interview were broadcast on all Japan FM Network radio stations (26 stations and 10 million audience) a week later.
On August 12, 2009 Steph Pockets, signed on with BFM Digital for the release and distribution of four digital LP’s , containing a catalog of nearly 50 songs, together with video content. The four digital LP’s, titled, Friend, Can’t Give Up, Life Goes On, and Mr. D.J. are available on all major digital platforms. “We are very excited to be distributing Steph Pockets’ digital LP’s and look forward to helping grow her already successful career outside of Japan. Her style is a great addition to BFM’s catalogue, which we continue to diversify with artists such as Steph,” says Steven Corn, CEO of BFM Digital.
In Spring 2009 Steph Pockets released her 5th album on JVC Victor Entertainment, Friend, and toured throughout Japan (18 shows in 14 cities). Steph was favorably mentioned in Sarah Morgan’s article “8 Lessons Bands Can Teach Your Business” published August 4, 2009 by Wall Street Journal’s www.smartmoney.com. She is also featured on a song, titled “Fight The Power”, alongside Sadat X (Brand Nubian), Sonny Cheeba (Camp-Lo) and Anna Tsuchiya (Kamikaze Girls) produced by Volta Masters, that was released March 2011. A year later she teamed up with Volta Masters again and they remixed the theme song from Japan’s popular cartoon, Lupin the 3rd. Steph completed her album, Forever, 2012 on Victor Entertainment, Inc. (JVC). She toured through-out Japan after the release of Forever to sold-out venues. The lead single off of Forever, "Round & Round", was played on JAL Airlines domestic flights. On March 11, 2012, Steph Pockets & Naoya Fukada released “Memories – A Song For Japan” produced by Asahi Suzuki, in memory of those lost and affected by the events that took place in Japan on March 11, 2011. Steph once again toured Japan in 2013 after releasing a single, “You Can Do It”, with DJ TAMA. “You Can Do It” is currently being played on Air-Do flights throughout Japan. In 2014 Steph teamed up with producer Avens from Poland and released the single “Everybody Loving It” in South Korea. Steph collaborated with DJ KOU and completed an album, 10 TEN which was released in the winter of 2014.
Her 6th album "ON THIS JOURNEY" (Goon Trax) was relased in 2016. The first single "My Crew Deep Together feat, Ai Ninomiya" produced by GEMINI was also included on IN YA MELLOOW TONE 12compilation (Goon Trax). This compilation album series has sold over 400,000copies throughout the world.Steph Pockets toured for 3months promoting "ON THIS JOURNEY" in Asia(Japan, Korea and Taiwan) in early 2017.
Steph's music combines rap with reggae, rock, folk and R&B. As a female in a male-dominated industry, Steph Pockets is committed to pushing the envelope of music. Look for this artist/producer to keep on giving but never giving up.