Steffan Argus has big dreams. Though he’s already the star of AwesomenessTV smash Web series The Commute and has a burgeoning career as a model, the Chicago native is shooting for a career as a musician as well.
The 18-year-old Los Angeles transplant performed cuts from his debut EP Lost at Sea (out now) at L.A.’s cozy venue for up-and-comers, The Mint, a few nights ago and hopes to one day perform his folksy tunes at the same place the Lakers play.
“I just want to connect with people on a special level,” the singer-songwriter says of his goals. “At [The Mint], all of these people came together. I feel right at home onstage, singing these songs that come from a place of pure emotion. If that happens to be at the Staples Center, then wonderful. If it’s at a coffee house, that’s good too. I just want people to listen and feel. We’ll see where that takes me.”
Argus was a musical theater kid back in Chicago. It was also during childhood that he learned to play several instruments. Listening to him talk about his early musical years could make those within earshot regret spending so much time playing tag or watching cartoons during their formative years. “I picked up the Spanish guitar in third grade,” he begins. “Then the piano. Then the French horn. Then the cello. Then the ukulele, mandolin, and banjo. Then the bass guitar.”
Steffan’s fans watched him and his band run through Sea, which opens with “Leaving London,” the EP’s lead single (with a video coming for it in the near future). Written two years ago on his ukulele, the track was created when Argus “had just started understanding what I wanted out of life. That song represents that feeling for me. It’s the epic introduction to my story as a musician.”
The recent high school grad is also a huge fan of fashion. Last year, he got his feet wet as a model in Barneys’ Saint Laurent Spring/Summer presentation. And with no homework to do anymore, Argus will spend even more time with his face in front of cameras — be it for acting roles or ad campaigns for heavyweight designers.
In his day-to-day style, Steffan refers to his look as “kind of like a fashion-forward pirate.” He laughs a bit at the line, but he’s mostly serious. “I’m very inspired by all thing nautical, but in a more organized way.” (FYI: Sea’s “Abandon Ship” is a bit of a pirate’s tale.) “I wear a lot of vintage clothes. I also like cool designer stuff with prints, like Gucci.” Add Calvin Klein and Raf Simmons to the list of brands he loves.
And while he may dress like Captain Hook with vintage and rustic frills, Argus explains that his music is inspired by the Disney villain’s adversary. “I’ve always been interested in the story of Peter Pan. The morals and the messages behind my songs are what I want for the world: universal connectivity. I just believe in love and want to spread that with my music.”
Diving into Sea reveals an artist whose lyrics are as imaginative as they are relatable. “I like to [write] in a way that’s fantasy adventure,” Steffan says. “That’s why a lot of songs incorporate wild metaphors and then I attach them to everyday things that happen to me. I like my music to be my deepest thoughts, the kind of things that you normally wouldn’t bring up in conversation. Funny enough, that’s the stuff that I’m broadcasting to everyone.”
The rest of his 2017 will showcase all of his interests. Season 2 of The Commute returns June 6. And this fall he’ll star as Jack, a mutant’s boyfriend, in X-Men spin-off The Gifted on Fox.
His modeling agency, Ford, promises he’ll be signing on for campaigns at an elite fashion house or two in no time. And, of course, he’ll be touring around Sea as well as crafting another EP. Simply put, Steffan’s future is bright. And he knows it. Toward the end of Sea, when the raucous “Abandon Ship” wraps and rain dissipates, an acoustic guitar strum enters. Then comes a few coos from Argus. “The best is yet to come,” he sings. It’s all smooth sailing from here.