Freda Steffl wears a lot of hats.
Director. Producer. Military servicewoman. Model. And, of course, musician.
Steffl’s new song, titled “Mater,” is meant to empower others. The title in Latin means mother, but the title is more of a metaphor.
“It’s my way of saying ‘Hey. I’m independent. I’m totally in control of my life.’ It doesn’t necessarily mean ‘mother,’” Steffl said.
She wrote the song after a bad experience in Atlanta trying to record two others. The song was inspired by Steffl’s struggle with bullying throughout her life, especially here in the United States by a small group.
“I wasn’t good enough to be around them. One of the females actually told me to go back to Africa,” Steffl said.
She used that negativity to fuel her fire and help her create this song. According to Steffl, the hiphop song is danceable and empowering.
“I want every single person who listens to my song to get empowerment out of it.”
This isn’t the only big work that she has hoped will help others in one way or another.
The last time The Free Press talked with Steffl, she was directing and producing a movie titled “Alexandra.” The Mankato native and Minnesota State University graduate’s film won an Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Movie Produced by an African.
“It’s a movie about escaping domestic violence and abuse,” Steffl said. “It’s about a girl; she fell in love with someone online. She found out he wasn’t who he said he was.”
Empowerment seems to be a common theme with Steffl’s work as this movie was also meant to empower survivors of these situations and potentially warn others about the dangers of online dating.
After the film, she began working on a reality show about women in interracial relationships.
She says she worked on it for about six months and had the cast in place, but it was suddenly cancelled, she says, after some cast members’ tweets drew the ire of the network.
“It took me a while to sit down, recoup and keep moving. I didn’t let that end my career. I just let it go and kept moving,” Steffl said.
She decided after this letdown to continue pushing forward in another area of entertainment: her music career.
Since she released “Mater,” she has heard many positive reviews of her music. A music video for the single is already in the works. And that isn’t the only thing she’s working on. Another song is on the way. She didn’t give away a lot, but hinted that the genre would be Afro.
“I already recorded it. It’s just getting mixed and mastered,” Steffl said.
Her goal is to release it as soon as possible. As for her most recent song, she just wants people to give it a listen.
“I would like people to check out my new song to give me the opportunity to do more songs if I’m liked,” Steffl said.
She dreams of potentially being the next Prince out of Minnesota and likens herself to other popular African American artists such as Lizzo.
Steffl’s eyes are still on the stars with her goals.
“My goal for the future is to become someone others look up to.” Steffl said.
With her empowering artistry, perhaps that goal isn’t too far out of reach.