Deborah “StepDawta” Stephney is a long-time contributor within most aspects of musical production, writing, voice-over performance and filmmaking. Debb grew up in a home where music flowed throughout. She learned to play the drums by watching her dad play to his collection of jazz albums, while listening to her mom’s beautiful singing voice. As time went on, Debb played in several bands and learned to write, play other instruments and perform with her brothers. Her brother, Dan, wrote many rap songs and performed with his group. He actually wrote some of her favorite songs. Debb’s oldest brother, Bill, was a huge source of inspiration. He was the president of Def Jam Recordings, where he signed and produced Public Enemy. He was also the music supervisor for several motion pictures, owned Soul Records, StepSun Music Entertainment and various marketing companies.

Debb’s interest in music production was piqued while working with producers Anthony “Tuck” Richards, Dave “G-Hop” Felton and Rudy “Roxx” Jones at Long Island’s stomping ground for many famous artists, 510 Studios, in Hempstead, NY. Watching the way they mastered sampling, sequencing and recording was mesmerizing. She was hooked!

Debb’s years of experience in music entertainment include her work for StepSun Music Entertainment, Grooove (yes, 3 o’s…lol) Entertainment, FatBaby Entertainment, Image Sight and Sound and most recently, her own, StepDawta Productions. Her production talents, along with Pia “Petey” Johnson’s, led to the formation of the group, “Pregnant Pause”, which signed to StepSun Music Entertainment (joint venture with Tommy Boy Records) where their song, “Give it up”, was placed in a club scene in LL Cool J’s movie, “Out of Sync”. Unfortunately, like many young groups, “Pregnant Pause” broke up just as a buzz began to build. Instead of going through that again, Debb changed direction. She went on to work for Image Sight and Sound to advance her skills in music production, voice overs and film. Debb co-produced, narrated and composed music for a powerful documentary called, “The Invisible People of the Upper West Side”, which was accepted into the Long Island International Film Festival. 

Debb is also an author and has written two children’s books called, “Simon’s Alphabet Adventure” and “Simon Saves the Land of Colorloo”.   She created a delightful audio version of “Simon’s Alphabet Adventure”, which shows off her vocal talents and musical production skills, as she delivers the voices of all of her characters over original music.

Debb continues her work with Image Sight and Sound, in addition to growing StepDawta Productions.  She had the pleasure of working with house music artist, Carolyn Harding, who performed the soulful house song, “Beautiful”, a StepDawta production.

Always open to contributing to a great cause, Debb wrote and produced a COVID-19 hand-washing PSA, called, “Protect Yourself”, with Image Sight and Sound’s owner, Anthony Richards, who made it come to life, visually.

As you can see, Debb “StepDawta” Stephney is a true lover of the arts!