Q: Congrats on your new EP, A Glitch In Our Virtual Reality. Each song showcases your talent as a songwriter and your knack for creating interesting and infectious pop soundscapes. Walk us through the making of and the inspiration behind A Glitch In Our Virtual Reality.
STEF: Thank you! A Glitch In Our Virtual Reality represents the lifecycle in a relationship. Each song being a sentence long forming a paragraph. I wanted the EP to tell a story. I have also assigned a work to each song to break down the emotion. I had some of the songs written and knew I wanted to release an EP. I also knew I wanted to make a concept EP so I thought long and hard over how the songs I already had can fit cohesively together and other songs I needed to write for it to come together. Switch was the last piece of the puzzle and I wanted that song to represent the part in a toxic relationship where you can feel the other person pulling away, falling out of love, and having a switch of emotion.
Q: Which track was the most challenging to make and which one is your favorite?
STEF: None of them were challenging because I work with the best people ever!! We did have to lay more vocals on “here’s what we’re not gonna do” to make it sound fuller. My favorite track is either “switch” or “hi, my name is lonely”.
Q: Let’s talk about your upcoming music video for “switch”. It’s a trippy video full of symbols from the book you’re reading in the opening scene to the ghost that appears at your bedroom door. How did this video come together and which scene was your favorite to make and why?
STEF: I am so happy you caught on to the book! I wanted there to be a children’s book in the beginning and I had an old friend make the book. It says “who are you when no one is watching” and I almost called the ep that. I had a great team of friends who directed and shot the music video; Directed by: Noah Tidmore, Bryant Bural and Grant Ivie, Bennet Self, Liza Miggo also worked on the team.
Q: You have a really cohesive aesthetic. When making your visuals, what spurs you creatively?
STEF: Branding is one of the most important things behind the music for me. Thankfully my mind works in visuals so i have a pretty good grasp on what i want everything to look like. Some things I love- architecture, frank lloyd wright, dali, surrealism art, space, 90s high fashion, 00s graphic aesthetic. Anything that looks a little off or it isn’t supposed to go together I love and I feel like I even carry that theme into my music. I am happy i get to hire out many creatives to help my visions come to life.
Q: What is the key to your sound and how do you make your music stand out?
STEF: Anything that sits on the lower register and “darker” I will like. I do not like high end sounds. I also sing in my lower register usually so I feel like it is cohesive. Christian Fiore has done most of my production so far and he knows exactly what I like since we have been working together for two years now. He is also wickedly talented and should be working in the big leagues at this point.
Q: Your TikTok and YouTube content features thrift hauls and your fashion sense. What sparked your love for fashion? How does your style and fashion influence play into your music?
STEF: I have always loved fashion and I feel like that also ties into my brand. I mainly love vintage fashion and having something no one else has. Lately I have been liking to wear more quirky fits and also inspired by some 90s/00s trends that you can see in my graphics as well.
Q: Who are some of your style icons?
STEF: I love Devon Carlson, Bella Hadid, Lin Mick, and all my friends on social media.
Q: You’re very active on your depop shop. What drew you to selling on depop and how do you use this platform to promote yourself and your music?
STEF: I lost my side hussle job top of 2020 so I was like how do I make money doing something I love and this was my first thought. I used tiktok to promote my shop and it blew up. I have been using depop since 2016/2017 but never sold seriously. I do use it to promote my music!
Q: You’re originally from Alabama but now reside in Nashville. Since Nashville is the country music capital, what drove you to pursue a career in pop?
STEF: I started in country and just knew it wasn’t the route I wanted to take and it was not the type of music I wanted to make. I don’t even listen to country. Not knowing anyone wasn’t going to stop me but it was harder to make initial connections. Nashville has a unique little pop scene and I think it is just growing more and more.
Q: Of all your releases so far, which track would you recommend to new listeners as the quintessential stef song?
STEF: If we are talking old songs, don’t sleep on the three tracks on “why do i laugh when i cry?” I love sour or lucid but also voodoo is a crowd fav.
Interviewed by Brynn Hinnant