Getting to know Stella Prince!
Stella Prince is heading back to the UK on tour after a successful debut here last year. Since that first show on British soil, Prince has released a number of singles which has further cemented her as a rising star of the genre. Her latest release, ‘Two-Faced’ sees her team up with Steve Fishell, the Nashville-based pedal steel guitarist and Grammy-winning record producer. The emotive lyrics are beautifully punctuated by Fishell’s pedal steel. Prince has another song due out in just a couple of weeks and I caught up with her before it’s release.
When did you first know you wanted to be a musician?
I've pretty much known my entire life but I was maybe around three or four that I was adamant about doing this. I wanted to do it immediately, and came to my parents because I wanted voice lessons, which to me is still so weird, because my parents aren't musicians at all. I've really just always known that this is what I had to do.
When you were growing up, what kind of music did your parents play to you on long car journeys and what are you choosing to listen to now?
My parents are huge music lovers, so they had a massive CD and record collection. Growing up that was like my homework, I just spent hours going through it and listening to things that I liked over and over and just picking things out. My favourite things to listen to growing up were Broadway recordings. Interestingly enough, I love musical theatre, so like, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, I was obsessed with those soundtracks when I was really little. I grew up, also listening to pop music, contemporary pop music on the radio. So it's really a mix of everything. But now I'd say my favourite music really is 70s music, I just love it. It's like a melting pot of everything.
The pandemic, it sort of decimated the music industry in a lot of ways. But you sort of took the positives from that and you say that it really helped you focus on your music. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Prior to the pandemic, I was 14, and I knew that I wanted to do this professionally, I just wasn't really sure how to do it. Four months before the pandemic started, I went to Nashville for the first time and I was planning on going every couple of months from Woodstock, New York, where I'm from, and then the pandemic happened. I was very upset, and I didn't get back to Nashville for like, a year and a half after that, which was really frustrating. But it kind of made me realise, I have to make Nashville happen in my own home. So how am I going to do this, and I pretty much just found a way to just get down to it and meet with all these people via zoom every day, and make those connections at home. That really helped so much, it got me to focus and it really took my career to the next level.
I wonder if you can tell me a little bit more about the story behind your single ‘Two-Faced’?
This is a very personal and intimate song. The main lyrics are loneliness is two faced and I kind of had that idea because I feel like loneliness draws you in, in a very kind of negative way sometimes, and you're not entirely aware of what you're doing. So that was really the idea for the song. The verses are different scenarios of when you're alone and how weird and difficult that feels. It’s an insight into the negative feelings of being alone. It's definitely one of my favourite songs I've ever written.
How did the working relationship with Steve Fishell come about?
Steve is someone that I wanted to meet with for years. I knew his name for a long time and my manager reached out to him and he didn't answer and I was so disappointed. There was one event that I was at right when I moved to Nashville six months ago, and I saw him there. I just went over to him and I was like, Hi, I'm Stella, I think my manager might have reached out to you, but I'm not sure. He was like, I never received any text about you or email about you but it's great to meet you. So we really connected and it was just one of those random moments where it was perfect timing. He invited me to record with him and it was pretty much the highlight of my career so far. It's just been amazing.
You’re coming to the UK soon, but what else have you been working on?
I'm about to release a new single, called ‘Dear Future Me’. It's coming out on October 13. It's kind of like a letter to my future self, pretty much. Just asking questions as if I were writing to who I am 10 years from now just like, am I still lonely? Am I still disappointed? Do I still punish myself if things don't go the way I wanted them to go? It's very personal so I'm very, very excited to be putting that out into the world. I hope people can relate.
What's the strangest thing that you've ever written a song about?
That's a really good question. The first song I pretty much ever wrote was the day my dog died. I knew that he was about to die, because we were putting him down and I just went to the piano and I wrote a song about him dying and just being in the point of view of an old dog, like an old sick dog. I think that's kind of the most unique song I've ever written. I was nine years old but it has always stuck with me.
You’ve already told me your proudest moment so far, so what would you like to achieve? What’s your biggest goal?
I really just want to have my music resonate with every generation, from all walks of life. Because I feel like sometimes fan bases are kind of just enclosed to your demographic; your gender, your age or whatever. I just love the idea of having them resonate with what I’m saying. So that's really my goal.
Saturday 21st October The Drawing Room Chesham
Sunday 22nd October Spice of Life, Soho London
Monday 23rd October Temperance Leamington Spa
Tuesday 24th October The Gladstone Arms, Southwark London
Free entry. Reserve seating: https://www.facebook.com/thegladpub
Wednesday 25th October The Bedford, Balham London
Free entry: https://thebedford.com/
Thursday 26th October Betsy Trotwood, Clerkenwell London
Thursday 2nd November The Greystones Sheffield
Friday 3rd November Forty-Five Vinyl Café York
Saturday 4th November Town Hall Kirton in Lindsay*
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/586010#tickets *Support to Lauren Housley
Monday 6th November Thirty Cafe & EateryFiley