Steven Moses always felt like an outsider. The 20-year-old rapper from Blair County, Pennsylvania remembers his small-town, middle-American upbringing as both liberating and confining. At home, where he and his sister were homeschooled for most of their lives, Moses was encouraged to explore an early interest in music. He picked up his first guitar at age 7, and remembers practicing for 8 to 10 hours a day until he was a teen. Moses taught himself to play multiple instruments throughout his childhood, learning piano, bass, drums, and dabbling in mandolin, and ukulele.
Outside of his home, he and other kids his age were pressured to fit into boxes and conform. “You have to do what everybody else does and be like everybody else otherwise you get made fun of,” Moses says about his hometown of Hollidaysburg. “Everyone played sports or skateboarded and smoked weed and did drugs. You were either an athlete or a really nerdy kid or an outcast, and I was one of the latter. I’ve always been like this.”