Sterlin “stee” Colvin
On the road to R&B fame
Sterlin Colvin began singing for an audience while most of us were still watching cartoons and working to master “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” At age three, Colvin and his six-year-old sister sang a duet in church, and he knew that being a singer was “it” for him.
The idea was further cemented at the ripe old age of 12, after a chance encounter with actress Debbie Allen of “The Cosby Show” fame. Allen was starring in a play in Atlanta in which Colvin’s uncle was also cast. Backstage, while visiting his thespian relative, Colvin met the renowned actress.
When he told her of his dream to be a vocalist, she was supportive and told him wholeheartedly to “pursue it.” And that’s exactly what Colvin has been doing ever since.
If optimism could be bottled, Colvin could sell his overflow supply from every street corner in the country. In addition to sheer talent, incredible drive and a downright likability, Colvin carries his optimism with him wherever he goes. For him, it’s not a question of “if” he becomes a household name (with a recording deal to match), but when.
He held his first CD “release party” last May and is moving forward, making his way through the maze that is the music industry. As the opening act for Big Boi of OutKast at his recent concert in Savannah, Colvin states that music is his passion. “I love to sing,” he said. “I love expressing myself through music—reinterpreting what you hear to make it your own.”
Colvin comes by his talent naturally, having grown up around music 24/7. His mom is a singer from Memphis who loves the blues; his dad chose to forego a big-stage music career for the jazz clubs and smaller venues that he loves. It’s no wonder that Colvin developed his talent at a very early age.
When asked the proverbial “Have you thought about ‘American Idol?’” question, Colvin says he’s more than thought about it: He’s auditioned in three different cities. But being wise beyond his 21 years, he realizes and readily admits that the music business is a numbers game, knowing that the more doors he knocks on, the greater the chance that one will open. For a talent like Colvin, that chance may be just around the corner.
Colvin’s CD, “Songs About Her,” is available on iTunes, Amazon.com’s MP3 store and all major music download sites.
In the last two months, professional cyclist and former Hilton Head Islander Chris Butler has traveled to Quebec, Italy, Germany, Austria and Belgium — mostly on two wheels.
As a student at Hilton Head Christian Academy, Butler took to the bike almost as a lark, a way to gain endurance for his cross-country team efforts. It was during his time at Furman University that Butler really began developing his love for a sport where was he was not only a natural, but somewhat of a phenomenon, beating others who had far more experience. When given the opportunity to turn pro and get paid to do what he loved, there was no looking back.
We caught up with Butler between races to get his perspective on his life beyond the Lowcountry.
Question: What is it about cycling that you love so much?
Answer: I love the freedom, the being able to train as hard as I want any given day. All the responsibility is on myself. Also, doing a five-hour bike ride in the Blue Ridge Mountains, or in Tuscany, or even here on the quiet back roads is a very enriching and cleansing experience.
Q: What did it feel like crossing the finish line on your first race as a pro?
A: The finish line was very rewarding, but the biggest memories come from the start line of my first pro race. This race was in Italy during my spring semester of college; the team had flown me over to do this one race. I was pretty nervous, but once the start gun went off, everything was the same as it has always been for me on a bike.
Q: What other careers were you considering before cycling entered the picture?
A: I double majored in economics and accounting at Furman and had applied to and gotten into some top accounting graduate programs. I was thinking about specializing in auditing and eventually use that knowledge to transition into financial investments. But now I have put that aside, because I am getting paid well to have the time of my life and do what I love.
Q: Who do you admire and why?
A: George Hincapie, who is one of the most famous and accomplished pros in the U.S., has taken me under his wing. I have learned so much from him on our daily training rides, and he has also become a great friend and advisor.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: Right now, I am the youngest and least experienced on the team. My greatest strength is my rate of improvement. While most pros have hit a plateau, I keep getting significantly better month by month. I am currently in a great career position and plan on being much higher up in a few more years.
To keep up with Chris on his cycling journey, follow him at twitter.com/cbutler88