Sufjan Stevens (pronounced
1975) is an
Some people think he is part of the
folk revival in
indie pop, but he gets ideas from many things. His music is similar to
 and the
 Stevens says that he has plans to make a
concept album for each of the 50 U.S. states. He began with
Michigan (2003) and
Stevens was born in
Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in
 He went to Harbor Light Christian School as well as the
Interlochen Arts Academy. He also learned at
Hope College in
Sufjan is an
 that famously belonged to
Abu Sufyan, a man from early
Islamic history. The name was given to Stevens by the person who founded
 Stevens said in an interview, "It sounds like
Devendra Banhart kind of grew up in this strange kind of cultish environment, and I don't mean that word in a demeaning way. I think we probably come from similar backgrounds. There's a little bit of that in my history."
Stevens is a multi-instrumentalist, a person who can play many musical instruments. He is well known for his use of the
banjo, but also plays
drums, and several other instruments, often playing all of these on his albums by using
multitrack recording. When he was in school, he learned the
English horn, which he also plays on his albums. He is one of the few musicians in
pop music to use these instruments. A lot of instruments are played in unison to give his songs a "symphony-like" sound. Strings and horns are used very often in many of his songs.
Stevens lives in the
Brooklyn part of
New York City in the neighborhood
 where he makes up the
Asthmatic Kitty Records staff of the Brooklyn office.
 His brother
Marzuki Stevens is a marathon runner.