Growing up in a military family, Steph was from an early age exposed to a wide variety of cultures and musical traditions, and met a number of people who she credits with encouraging and influencing her artistic abilities. Steph was 7 when an all-girl band performed at her school in San Diego. It was her first exposure to the idea that women could make music. The band allowed her to come on stage to touch and try out their instruments. The experience was transformative; after that, she knew what she wanted to do in life. Steph credits two of her teachers in Australia with encouraging her artistic exploration when she was between 8 and 10 years old. Her homeroom teacher and her drama teacher convinced her that she could do anything that boys could do. And at her drama teacher's urging, Steph acted and sang in a Christmas play. An even greater positive force at that time was Steph's mother, who used to listen to popular music and dance with her daughter. Those supportive experiences influence Steph's musical tastes to this day. The family next moved to Japan, where by chance a choral director overheard Steph singing and asked her to join the choir. She did so, and quickly distinguished herself by her vocal talent. The choral director also urged Steph to learn an instrument. By age 15, Steph had learned to play the clarinet, piccolo and flute, as well as the alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. At the same age, while living in Hawaii, Steph begged her mother for a bass guitar. The young musician and her friends formed a rock band called the Ultimate Cross, and Steph also began working as a DJ at the Fort Shafter Teen Center on Oahu. The latter experience solidified her realization that to remain true to herself, she had to follow her calling in life, and that was to always be around music in some way. At about the same time, Steph started writing poetry. By age 21, she had worked to buy a 12-string guitar, then traded it for a keyboard, her instrument of choice. It was then that her poetry and music were united, and she began to write her own songs. Twenty years later, she continues to follow her muse to fulfill her creative imperative.