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Trivia / Sufjan Stevens

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  • Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: Outside of his career as a solo musician, he has been a member of the alternative / comedy hip-hop group Sisyphus; has written music for the New York City Ballet; has collaborated on a classical music project commissioned by the Dutch concert hall Muziekgebouw Eindhoven; has contributed to the work of (and appeared in concert with) The National; has done movie soundtracks (Round-Up, Call Me by Your Name) and directed music videos.
  • Big Name Fan: Aside from some of the examples listed under Referenced by... below:
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    • Kanye West tweeted a photo of him listening to "Death with Dignity" on YouTube.
    • Danny Brown named Carrie & Lowell as one of his favorite albums of 2015.
    • Jeremy of CinemaSins took a sin off of This Is Us for, among another reason, its inclusion of "Death with Dignity", which he called an "incredible" song.
  • Breakup Breakout: In the late 1990s, Stevens was a member of Marzuki, a college band that enjoyed minor success in Michigan. The band failed to make it big and eventually broke up, but Stevens and bandmate Shannon Stephens (no relation) went on to have successful solo careers.
  • Copiously Credited Creator: He has his own label, which he co-founded, and is normally the one writing, recording, engineering and producing his albums (although the exact percentage of his contributions varies from record to record). In addition, he's also served as the art director / graphic designer on some of his album covers, and has directed animated music videos for his label.
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  • Creator's Apathy: He has stated in interviews that the commissioned project The B.Q.E. sapped his creative strength and led to a temporary Creator Breakdown.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Songs for Christmas exists only in digital form or as a deluxe box-set collection (5 discs, 40 pages of liner notes, including guitar tabs and short stories, an animated music video, a poster with a full-page comic strip on the back, and stickers).
    • The soundtrack for The B.Q.E. can either be purchased as a CD / DVD combo pack (including the soundtrack album, the complete film, and a Viewmaster reel) or as a vinyl album (with an accompanying comic book).
  • Referenced by...:
    Put Sufjannote  Stevens on / And we'll play your favorite song
    "Chicago" bursts to life / And your sweet smile remembers you.
    • The Roots have used "Redford" (from Michigan) as the lead-in to the instrumental piece concluding their 2011 Concept Album Undun. Redford Stevens, the fictional character at the center of the album's narrative, is also named after Sufjan.
    • His music has been frequently sampled in hip-hop, e.g. by Social Club Misfits, Kaleb Mitchell, and Asaiah Ziv.
      • Kendrick Lamar sampled "All for Myself" in "Hood Politics".
      • Mac Miller sampled "Vesuvius" in "Donald Trump".
      • Chiddy Bang sampled "Chicago" in "All Things Go".
      • Lecrae sampled "Djohariah" in "Can't Stop Me Now".
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    • Childish Gambino, going under his DJ alias mcDJ, made an album called Illin-Noise that consisted of several songs from Illinois sampled into beats. He also mentions Stevens in the track "Fire Fly":
    No live shows, cause I can't find sponsors
    For the only black kid at a Sufjan concert
    Yeah so, whatcha gonna do man?
  • What Could Have Been: Sufjan reportedly sent his song "Tonya Harding" to the music supervisors of I, Tonya, but they couldn't find a proper way to utilize it in the film.
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