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Sufjan Stevens

Born in Detroit, MI, Sufjan Stevens is a self-taught musician who composed sonatas on a toy Casio in his youth and would later play such instruments as the oboe, recorder, banjo, guitar, vibraphone, bass, drums and piano. In 1999, with his stepfather, Lowell Brams, Stevens began Asthmatic Kitty Records, home to his albums Michigan, A Sun Came, Enjoy Your Rabbit and the breakthrough Illinois. He moved to New York, where he enrolled in the New School for Social Research's masters writing program and fashioned his fiction writing into lyrics. After writing and recording songs while on road trips, Stevens released Michigan and Illinois as part of his 50 States series.