Intonat, also known as Steven Nguyen, was born into a Vietnamese family in the Regent Park projects in Toronto, Ontario. He led a very hard life, baking and selling crack cocaine with his crew at the tender age of four. On his sixth birthday, his father died, a tragic event that has impacted him for the rest of his life. A family friend, Lenny Chilelli helped out his mother, but he himself had a little daughter to raise, so his sustenance couldn’t carry on for long.
Shortly after his seventh birthday, Steven had fallen in deep with many gangsters and gangbangers. He, his mother, and his brother were forced to hide off the map in a small Brazilian community. They escaped under the cover of fire Lenny had set to throw the gangbangers off with, saying the Nguyen family had burned up in the blaze.
Once in the small Brazilian community Steven heard the trance-like beat of the local samba squads, deriving their rhythms from Caribbean style drumming. Unlike Neil Peart of Rush, Steven did not become a world renowned drummer, though the interest continued as he lived in the villa. It grew exponentially when his family migrated to Philadelphia when Steven was 11.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Steven’s love for Caribbean beats gravitated him towards a whole other kind of beat. The urban beat. His heritage from the Toronto projects really propelled his emcee skill. He had taken the name Ikon the Verbal Hologram as his street moniker. Taking inspiration from other Philly underground rappers like Apathy, Celph Titled, Chief Kamachi, Killah Priest, King Syze and Daz Devious, Steven grew to be a strong rapper with his rhymes surrounding religion, personal despair, the government and war. After gaining speed in the underground he changed his stage name to Vinnie Paz and met up with producer Stoupe, the Enemy of Mankind. Stoupe and Steven toiled and sweat over the tracks. They created rap group, “Jedi Mind Tricks”, producing six albums, all selling over 50,000 copies. Though Philadelphia made Steven flourish, his brother unfortunately, age 9 slipped back into his drug addiction, causing a near overdose. Knowing they couldn’t go back to Toronto they had no choice but to move to Brandon, Manitoba.
While in Brandon, because of his amazing musical abilities was placed in a high school music class at the age of 13. He was placed along side a normal high school student by the name of Doug Friesen. Steven and Doug became very good friends both participating in many of bands that circuited the Brandon indie rock scene. Though after only one year it became obvious that Steven’s musical abilities surpassed Doug’s in every way, shape and form. Pulling from every musical influence he had Steven was offered a job as a composition teacher at the same school Doug was attending. Quick after Doug severed his ties with Steven saying “I’ll go be a music teacher at some arts school in Toronto!”. After a year of teaching, Steven knew this wasn’t for him. So he left the job to move with his family to the quiet city of Surrey, British Columbia. Steven would then try to fit in and he made sure no one would know of his astounding musical abilities and continued his education at a local high school.
Steven has taken in the name Intonat. Shedding himself of all possible links and biases that may rise if people were to learn he once was Vinnie Paz. Now, producing his electronic music from his modest home, Steven is soon releasing an album, on his own terms with no help from the big record labels that helped Jedi Mind Tricks.