Stephen Prayog took his first step into the Music Industry in the year 1986 at the age of 19 as a Rhythm Guitarist by joining the Blue Boys Orchestra. After 2 years, in the year 1988, he joined the Mohan's Jimpets Orchestra as a keyboard player and thereafter moved ahead to play the Bass Guitar. Here he got to meet Layendra (a versatile drummer) who is the elder brother of Sadhu Kokila (present Actor, Film and Music Director in Kannada Film Industry) and Shabbir Ahmed (a talented keyboardist and a great musician from Dharwad, Karnataka). It is believed that Shabbir played a pivotal role in Stephen's early years by inspiring and encouraging him to step further ahead to learn Indian Music, Hindustani Music in particular.
In course of this time Sri. Sadhu Kokila gave Stephen Prayog an opportunity to play the keyboard for one of his records on a devotional theme. This was Stephen's first chance in his Career to play in a studio recording. And soon after that as he lived up to expectations he grew up to become a Studio and Session Musician.
Soon, Stephen joined an Orchestra by the name "Melody Creators" in 1989. The owner of this Orchestra was Sri. Shankar, who was basically a singer, was also an Income Tax Officer by profession. He had tremendous confidence in Stephen and always cheered him to attain greater heights. It was here that Stephen teamed up with Shabbir Ahmed, Guitar Srinivas and Keyboard Harikrishna (at present a Music Director) to form a team that would deliver quality Film Songs.
Subsequently in the year 1990, another opportunity knocked on Stephen Prayog's door. He got a chance to work with Music Director Mr. Manoranjan Prabhakar and Mr. Damodar as an Assistant, Music Arranger and Conductor. It was at this juncture that his journey as Music Arranger and Conductor began.
Consequently Stephen Prayog got to work with a lot of diverse personalities in the Kannada Cine field. On one such occasion, while working with Mr. C. Aswath (Music Director/Composer) for the movie "Kottreshiya Kanasugalu", he met celebrated Writer, Novelist and Director Sri. Nagathihalli Chandrashekar, the Director for this movie. Stephen Prayog believes that this was the turning point in his Musical Career.
Impressed by his skills Sri. Nagathihalli Chandrashekar called upon Stephen Prayog to work as an Assistant Music Director/ Arranger/ Conductor to Mr. Manomurthy from California, US for his next movie venture "America America". Mr. Manomurthy was the Music Director for this Movie. From then on, since 1996, Stephen Prayog has been assisting Mr. Manomurthy in all his Films.
"America America" brought Stephen the recognition he needed. In 1997, a couple (Ravi Ravindranath and his wife Sandhya) from US, California met Stephen Prayog in Bangalore through a common friend, Mr. Peenya Gopi, after they heard his Musical Composition, Arrangements and Orchestration for Mr. Mano Murthy's songs in "America America". They were quite impressed with Stephen's work and called for him to work on their dream project- Music Album's- "Sandhyaa", "Divya", and "Vishwa Kannada". Prior to that Ravindranath(maternal uncle to Anil Kumble - celebrated Indian Cricketer) had composed a number of Bhavageethe's and Patriotic Songs. And his wife had been a good lyricist for a number of songs. The albums proved to be a step ahead in Stephen's career and brought both the couple and Stephen into closer acquaintance.
In the Year 1995 while Stephen was working with Sri. V. Manohar for the movie "Lali", he happened to associate with Sri. Dinesh Baboo (Film Director). He was so amazed by Stephen Prayog's Musical Arrangements and Programming that he offered an open opportunity in 1998 to score Music for his Movie "Premothsava", Starring Mr. Vishnuvardhan (Celebrated Actor in Kannada Film Industry).
This was Stephen Prayog's first break as an Independent Music Director.