Be able to recognize the difference between helpful, constructive criticism from people you trust and just plain old negativity from those you don’t! We’ve all had negative people bring us down and it is so liberating to realize how important it is to keep that negative energy out of our lives.
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Stella Prince.
Stella Prince is a 16-year-old singer/songwriter who enjoys sharing her original acoustic music to a multi-generational audience. She currently resides in New York’s Hudson Valley and is frequently in Nashville. The maturity in Stella Prince’s talent transcends her age; probably by a fair few decades. Stella’s vocals don’t just offer an extraordinary range and the ability to hit celestially high notes. Stella is a proud member of ASCAP, NSAI, and Global Songwriters Connection. You can hear more of her music on Instagram and YouTube. Stella Prince’s Debut single “Before You Leave” released March 12.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/26ca67d0277ffb9aec84bcbab9674d4a
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in the country with artist parents, dogs and a cat. We were surrounded by nature and art and only 2 hours from New York City. Although my parents are not musicians, we listened to all genres of music all the time. My mom still has her first stereo from the 1970’s and all her folk albums on vinyl! From the time I was four, I was obsessed with music, especially singing. Ever since then, I just knew this was exactly what I was meant to do with my life.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve been obsessed with music since I was around age three, although I didn’t start studying seriously until age 7 when I began classical training. I can’t remember a time where music wasn’t my entire world. The first song I ever wrote was the day my dog died when I was 10 back in 2014. I was so upset because my dog Scout was like a sibling, he’d been with us my whole life. So I put all my emotions into writing my first song called “Old Dog”, and it was a huge life moment to realize I could put my feelings somewhere creative. I knew that was what I wanted to do with my life.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Hearing my newly released single played on the radio for the first time ever, on Radio Sobro, was absolutely thrilling. As is seeing the locations of streams for my song and knowing that people all over the world are listening. I find it completely fascinating, and a huge honor, that people around the globe would find my music worthy of attention.
Can you share with us a few of the best parts of spending time in Nashville? We’d love to hear some specific examples or stories about that.
Nashville is an amazing place, because you have the sense that everyone is connected to making music. I’ve met so many fantastic songwriters and performers, and have had so many co-writes that I’ve learned so much from. It is really unlike anywhere else and is a musician’s dream.
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?
When I first got to Nashville and had the amazing opportunity to perform at the legendary Bluebird Cafe, I was beyond thrilled. After my first song I placed my guitar leaning against a table in an unstable way. It fell and I wasn’t aware something was slightly damaged so when I got up on the stage to do my next song, my guitar was in a different key and completely out of tune! When I tried to tune it it wouldn’t stay in tune at all, so after an awkward moment I grabbed the house guitar the Bluebird kept on the stage and started playing. It was terrifying but it all worked out well. I kept my cool outwardly but I was a wreck on the inside! Definitely a learning experience!
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?
I am so fortunate that both my parents are artists, my mom is a painter and my dad a writer, and so they really understood my creativity and my need to live an artist’s life. So we’re three artists living in the country and always working on our art, so it’s kind of like an artist’s residency here! And finding Global Songwriters Connection, which is by far the most amazing music mentoring and artist development company in Nashville, this past year has been just amazing.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
The recent release of my debut single, “Before You Leave” and all the excitement around being interviewed, getting on playlists, and releasing my first lyric video has been such a whirlwind of exciting activity. And while I’m in the middle of it right now I’m beginning to plan my 2nd single release and start that process all over again in a couple of months!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why?
1. Get a good lawyer! When I started signing my songs for representation to various film/tv publishing catalogues, I had no idea what I was looking at when it came to a contract. A great entertainment lawyer is really important!
2. Create your dream team! It takes a lot of time and a lot of energy, and it definitely can be discouraging when you meet with people who don’t quite get you, but once you find the right fit and create an amazing team of people who really understand you, it’s just magic. They can really help take you where you want to go.
3. Be able to recognize the difference between helpful, constructive criticism from people you trust and just plain old negativity from those you don’t! We’ve all had negative people bring us down and it is so liberating to realize how important it is to keep that negative energy out of our lives.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
You really have to live in the moment and try to enjoy each day; be grateful for what you have and don’t sweat the small stuff. That’s something I’ve definitely been trying to work on myself, and it’s hard! Also, remembering to take care of myself by getting outside for a walk every day to clear my mind really helps.
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
My dream is to bring authenticity to mainstream music and a new generation. I think the best music comes from a real place of emotion, and feeling real emotion is something that everyone can understand and everyone needs especially in these difficult times. Real emotion resonates with everyone.
What is your favorite “life lesson” or quote? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite quote is from Gilda Radner. “There are no guarantees in life. There are no promises, but there is you, and the power to fight for what you want out of life. And always, always, there is hope.” That quote really resonated with me because I always wish I knew what was coming next in my career, and I have to realize that I’m the only one that can make sure I get what I want.
If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
If we’re talking about people who are alive, it would definitely be Dolly Parton, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris, or Loretta Lynn, but if we’re talking about someone who isn’t alive I would definitely want to have lunch with Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, or Karen Carpenter! Actually, I think I’d love to get them all together at one big table for a party! That would be a really great lunch all right.
How can our readers follow you online?
My website is stellaprincemusic.com, which has updates and more information about me, and of course you can follow me on Instagram and YouTube at @stellaprincemusic or on Spotify, where my debut single “Before You Leave” was just released on March 12! And my brand new lyric video is on my YouTube channel.