Project Description

Q & A with Steven Cristi

When did you start?

I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember (I probably belt out a few baby-pitched high notes straight out of the womb). My grandfather and my dad have had their own bands for decades in the Philippines and here in America, so music has always been in my blood. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2016 when I started to write my own songs, combining my musical background (years of piano, band, and choir) with my passion for English and Creative Writing (which I study at Northeastern Illinois University).

What do you hope to achieve through the Kollaboration experience?

Kollaboration is an opportunity to share a piece of myself onstage with an attentive audience—I’ll be able to showcase not just my voice, but a glimpse at who I am and what has happened in my life so far. The reason why I write and sing is to find clarity in this complicated, yet amazing world we live in; I hope that the Kollaboration Experience will connect my music with others while adding my story to a larger narrative. There are so many stories to tell (especially from an Asian-American perspective) that don’t get enough representation, and my goal is to open the conversation up—one song at a time.

On a day off, you can find me…

Reading a good book, watching any Marvel/DC television show or movie (except Spider-Man 3, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, or Green Lantern—we don’t talk about those films), writing in my journal, or doing something fun with my closest friends and family.

People would be surprised to learn that…

I’ve only been writing songs since last year. The first complete song that I ever wrote was with two of my friends (including fellow finalist Jonas Malabunga) around January of 2016, but then I went on to write my own music and record an EP in my makeshift home studio later that summer. I haven’t stopped since then!

My biggest inspirations are…

My friends and family. There is nothing like seeing them smile and making them proud—especially when I perform. Even though they may not always understand what my music is about (sorry, Mom and Dad), I am incredibly lucky to have them in my life because they believe in everything I do.

If I could perform with anybody in the world, it would be…

A three-way tie between Ed Sheeran, Michael Steven Bublé, and my grandfather. (I’m sure this Irish-Canadian-Filipino-American combo would be nominated for a Grammy).

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Get to know Steven…


Born in Chicago, raised in Skokie.




Singing and writing—often together.

Find me on

SoundCloud and Instagram: @stevencristi
YouTube: Steven Cristi

See Steven and the other talented finalists at Showcase 2017.

Get Your Showcase Tickets!