Young singer-songwriter Stella Prince spends time between New York and Nashville performing (pre-COVID) at venues like Nashville’s The Bluebird Cafe, Pig N’ Whistle in Los Angeles, Woodstock’s The Colony, The Falcon, and Club Helsinki, and New York’s The Bitter End—quite an accomplishment for the New York-based sixteen-year-old.
Prince recently released her debut single, “Before You Leave,” which she tells us has a universal message. Prince filled us in on her new single, her background in music, musical influences, and what she hopes fans take away from her music.
Can you tell us a little about “Before You Leave” and the story behind the song?
“Before You Leave” is my debut single that was just released on March 12th. It was such an amazing experience to have it arranged and produced by Ned Ginsburg and mixed at the studio where Lady Gaga did her earliest recordings. Being able to share my music with the world is the greatest feeling. This song has such a universal message, especially now in the pandemic. It focuses on the deep desire to have more time with someone you are losing. It has been such a difficult year for all of us with the pandemic. The amount of loss is overwhelming. And not even being able to visit with family and friends or lead a normal life has been devastating. “Before You Leave” really focuses on the idea of loss, whether of a friend or a partner, a pet, or even one’s normal life. It captures that feeling of desperately wanting just one more moment before it is all gone forever.
Do you have a favorite part of the song or even a favorite lyric?
It would definitely be “Like an earthquake with shifting ground, searching for ourselves in the lost and found.”
You self-penned “Before You Leave,” which is just incredible. Tell us a little bit about your songwriting process and bringing your songs to life.
The process was an amazing experience. As this was my first time releasing a song, it was probably the most exciting time of my life so far. The actual songwriting process was very quick because when I sat down to write, I already knew exactly what I wanted to say. The tune came really easily, and some of the lyrics did as well. Whenever I get stuck on a line, I find that taking a walk in nature really lets my mind open up and thoughts just flow. The recording was quite fun. We added cello and keyboards and a second guitar to the track, and I love how the instruments work with my vocals to really create and enhance the mood and feeling of the song.
Interview continues after video.
How did you first get started in music?
I always knew music was exactly what I wanted to pursue in life, and I think around the age of four was when it clicked. My parents found me this conservatory pre-college program for kids when I was seven, so I was actually trained classically from a very young age. I started voice lessons at four, piano at seven, and guitar at nine, but I didn’t start songwriting until ten when my dog died. I had so much emotion from that loss and I realized how to express it creatively.
When did you first start playing guitar? Were you self-taught, or did you take lessons?
I actually started when I was in fourth grade by taking lessons after school, but my fingers were too small, so I stopped shortly thereafter. I didn’t really start playing super seriously until I was around thirteen, and that was when it really clicked. My teacher is a classical guitarist, and he is so knowledgeable with all genres of music.
What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?
I want my music to feel timeless and to speak to everyone. I write about things, people, and events that are personal to me but are hopefully a shared human experience that everyone can relate to.
Having just celebrating Women’s History Month, share with us some of the females who have influenced you along your journey.
Most of my idols are female! Great artists like Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Emmylou Harris, but of course, I also love a ton of other singers from all genres and times like Patsy Cline, Judy Garland, Karen Carpenter, and Taylor Swift!