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Juanita Stein: “Confidence arises from experience”

How do we encourage more empathy in people? A movement of profound awareness. The lack of empathy staggers me on a daily basis. How is it even possible that one does not feel sadness or anger or a sense of greater humanity when watching overloaded boats of migrants washing in to the shores, or groups […]

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How do we encourage more empathy in people? A movement of profound awareness.

The lack of empathy staggers me on a daily basis. How is it even possible that one does not feel sadness or anger or a sense of greater humanity when watching overloaded boats of migrants washing in to the shores, or groups of minorities being grossly targeted whether physically or mentally? The lack of empathy for mother nature. All of it. If we were able to somehow allow people to be OK with feeling all these things, I think some historical differences would be made.


As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Juanita Stein.

Striding out of Howling Bells’ long shadow, Juanita Stein emerges with her third solo album ‘Snapshot’.

“It feels fundamental to understanding the devastation and eerie silence thrust upon us after his sudden death in 2019,” begins the Brighton-based, Australian songwriter, discussing the moment of great sadness that inspired the record. “It was a daunting task to sum up the life of a brilliant man such as my father.”
It’s within this processing of a life well-lived and attempting to wrestle with the tides of her own grief that what would become the album began to ebb and flow out of her.

Whilst there’s always been an existential charm to the bruised dark blues and swirling-rock anthemics to her songwriting to date, you can sense a new poise and purpose to this collection of songs. Capturing these upward and downward spirals of emotion wouldn’t be easy.
The result is a record that feels crafted from a life lived as much as it was clearly excavated from loss. It’s a record that strives to capture more than a passing moment, and succeeds in laying its hands on something bigger than most of us will ever fully understand.”
https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/7584d9a20a78f7e7af682a788c3cdcef


Thank you so much for doing this with us Juanita! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Hello, I grew up in a quiet neighborhood in a very loud house in Sydney, Australia. I was close to some amazing parks and sprawling ocean. I had a lot of time to write songs and forge a musical identity.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

There was never a moment’s silence growing up, my father was a musician, my mother a deep lover of music. Whether it was Dylan, deep blues, jazz, Stevie Wonder or Tom Waits, we were fed an extraordinarily healthy diet of solid stuff. There was really never any doubt that I would end up creating/ performing music in some capacity.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Having Ric Ocasek produce the single for my first band was a pretty interesting/valuable experience early on. He showed me a lot in the short time I worked with him. Namely, how impactful simplicity is. A lifetime of touring and making records has also been very interesting, but that first experience seems to have carved a memorable path for me.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I suppose I don’t believe anything was really a mistake as it’s such a deep part of our identity. I could list a hundred decisions I wished I’d thought twice about, but again, I am where I am and who I am because of those!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

My third solo album, Snapshot. It’s profoundly personal and I’m looking forward to sharing my stories and feelings with people who want to tune in. It’s coming out October 23rd and I’ve been drip-feeding singles from it, getting the response from people thus far has been very rewarding, as it’s mildly frightening putting so much of yourself on the line.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Without diverse representation steering the entertainment cruise ship, we don’t get a diverse point of view. Without a diverse point of view, we have only one incredibly structured and impenetrable perspective on everything. Life, love, religion, sex, history, currency and modern society and that, unfortunately, gets passed on and on. Historically, audiences have formed their own views and ideals based on whichever art has been filtered through the system. Therefore, I truly believe it’s integral that a multitude of strong voices are heard and not just for the sake of representation, which can be diminishing, but because they are truly gifted and have something meaningful to contribute.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Every valuable lesson I’ve learned over the years has been a result of growth in confidence as a person, a woman, an artist. Confidence arises from experience. The experience arises from trying and failing and trying and failing and trying again and failing again. No short cut for that.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Again, just to be understanding of the process as much as you can. To know that there will be thousands of decisions you’ll have to make and that it’s OK if you make one you’re not pleased with at the moment, it’s all a part of the process.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

EMPATHY!

How do we encourage more empathy in people? A movement of profound awareness.

The lack of empathy staggers me on a daily basis. How is it even possible that one does not feel sadness or anger or a sense of greater humanity when watching overloaded boats of migrants washing in to the shores, or groups of minorities being grossly targeted whether physically or mentally? The lack of empathy for mother nature. All of it. If we were able to somehow allow people to be OK with feeling all these things, I think some historical differences would be made.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My father. He was the musical and spiritual anchor for me and my brothers. He very sadly passed away in 2018 and the experience triggered a deep well of music within and I got to making my third album, Snapshot. So, I am eternally grateful to him for showing us the light and the shade within everything.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I don’t really have one quote. I heed my own advice when it comes to moving forward and growth, as mentioned above in one of the answers, just to be accepting of the process and embrace MY journey — not yours.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

So, in the sense that one of my all-time ambitions is to soundtrack a film, I would say Sofia Coppola or David Lynch because I love watching their films.

I feel my music shares a similar atmosphere to these directors’ work, an unsettling beauty, a quiet chaos. The simmering anxiety and lust for life that bellies our existence defines their and my work. In my mind I’m meeting them to discuss life, death, the pandemic and an upcoming project!

How can our readers follow you online?

www.juanitastein.com

Insta — @msjuanitastein

Twitter [email protected]

FB — @msjuanitastein

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

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