Growing up in a family driven by music, STEMIN has been creating engaging R&B and soulful pop renditions, propelling his unique sound onto the stereo's of listeners worldwide. His latest release "Closer," is his debut single off his much anticipated upcoming second album, "Tell Your Heart." "Closer" gives the air of a jive Motown track with catchy pop whips of sound.
Appealing synths and snapping fingers beckon you into STEMIN's "Closer," as you cozy up to this inviting sound profile. As STEMIN enters the track, his smooth vocals comfort you with his endearing and flirtatious voice. His truly romanticizing aura extends a hand to the listener pulling them into this joyous world of sound. The downbeat is met with the applause of claps and snaps, as the back kicking beat weaves into the composition. A cool RnB tinged guitar serenades the track, and a saxophone injects notes of soul and harmony. The lyrics tell the tale of a heavenly meeting of lovers, floating along on cloud nine together. Lyrics like "come closer to me, let me be your one desire," "lost in space, no regrets, no time to waste," paint a dreamlike atmosphere for the listener. We are awestruck by STEMIN's latest hit "Closer," we know you will be as well.
Cozy up to "Closer" here.
Hello STEMIN and welcome to BuzzMusic, its great to have you here. Can you start by telling our readers a bit more about yourself and why you chose a path in music?
Hello BuzzMusic, thanks for having me! My name is STEMIN and I’m currently working on the promotion of my second debut album ‘#tellyourheart’ which will be released worldwide on August 28th. The album features a number of pre-release singles, the first one ‘Closer’ was just released on June 16th. The second single ‘Better Than Wine’ will be released next week, on July 7th. Ever since I can remember, I’ve gravitated towards music. I grew up in Italy, as the youngest child of six and I was introduced to professional classical and jazz music training from a very early age. I started to study piano and saxophone when I was eight and wrote my first song when I was sixteen years old. Somehow, I was always surrounded by music. I started to pursue music professionally just shortly before my twenties. Being influenced by several music styles increased my interest for becoming a polyhedric musician. I was listening and appreciating different music genres but always went back to RnB and soul. Over the past few years, I researched and discovered a personal sound for my music and wrote songs that would include different styles. This whole process inspired me to produce and publish a new album which, as mentioned before, will be released at the end of August: a reflection of my personal journey and of my influences. #tellyourheart has a contemporary RnB feel, both in the song-writing and production style (in part directed by the renowned Australian, electronic music producer, Nick Thayer). The album depicts the dating part in a relationship as one of the most beautiful and challenging seasons. Different feelings are involved: it is a fresh, wonderful, and exciting time for the relationship. Everything looks new. The flourishing love changes each little thing: emotions, expectations, dreams, and the overall atmosphere. #tellyourheart is a journey into one’s heart: a gracious, joyful and colorful heart; a heart that is young in its ways and behaviors; a heart that has much love to pour out as a generous gift.
"Closer" has an infectious vibe we can't get enough of. Can you tell us a bit more about the song and how it came about?
‘Closer’ describes a story of meeting someone new, the butterflies you feel and the uncertainty of whether both people are equally attracted to one another are all aspects shown in the song. The song portrays the feelings involved when that special encounter takes place. It also describes that moment when you start thinking, dreaming, fantasizing about a stranger that you barely know but who catches your attention. Your mind is completely taken and your thoughts are sailing through a sea of excitement and emotions. Sometimes, the feelings one has for a person are connected with a desire that is concealed, a thought that withstands prejudices, and that, in the eyes of many, should be banned. ‘Closer’ is an invitation to let go of false myths, prejudices, and mental limitations; an invitation to find closure with the one you love, enabling your eyes to see bridges instead of walls and grow closer, either mentally or physically.
My hope is that ‘Closer’ becomes one in a series of musical messages to people: it’s easy to become trapped in life, but there is always a way out. I try to be a living example of this! I wish for my journey to empower others. Life is not about being told you are one thing and not another or being put in a box. You can be many things and too many people - and I hope my experiences allows others to realize the same, whether now, or in time.
What themes do you inject into your music that you feel creates joy for your listeners?
I project different themes into my music, mostly personal experiences. I try to be as honest as possible in the way I write and perform, in the hope that many people can relate to the message. I think that what really makes listeners involved, is presenting real stories, honest emotions, and have an open heart while speaking from the inner soul.
For the first single ‘Closer’ I wanted to include positive and happy vibes in the way one tries to connect to others without hiding. Personally, I have been hiding for a long time and I have always avoided showing my true colors to others for fear of judgment. Also, at the same time, I was judging myself over and over again for not being enough. Because of my traditional upbringing, I was pretending to be something that I wasn’t, I was playing another person’s role. This was making me very insecure and made me grow tired in a way that I couldn’t bear it anymore.
In time I had to come to a decision: keep on hiding from others by pleasing them and showing something that I was not, or letting go of all that insecurity by allowing people to finally see my true self. After a long time fighting with myself, I came to find personal freedom and reached a stage of self-acceptance. This outcome has been the best feeling ever.
I strongly hope that this message can help others as well. You have every right to live your life in an honorable and respectful way. Unfortunately, we still struggle with issues connected to race and gender diversity. The peace and the freedom that we all seek can only happen once we let go of our judgmental acting towards ourselves as well as others. Acceptance does not mean that we have to agree with everyone, it means that we respect others and live in peace with each other.
We loved the percussive elements created by hand-clapping and snapping on closer. Can you tell us more about how you construct engaging elements of sound within your compositions?
I wrote ‘Closer’ on a winter night while sitting at my piano and jamming around over some chords. Btw, the piano is my faithful companion, the one that I trust and to which I connect very easily: it’s the first instrument I run to when I write songs. So, while sitting at my piano I started to play around with four chords and had this melody stuck in mind over the words ‘come closer to me girl, let me be your own desire.’ The story that inspired ‘Closer’ was the encounter of a girl that I saw for the first time at a friend’s party and kept on meeting over and over again, strangely enough, in different occasions. From the first moment I met her, I felt something strong, only realizing in time that this feeling was not reciprocated.
After writing down the chords, the structure, and the lyrics and creating several demos in my home studio, I recorded the song with my band under the supervision of a sound engineer. The last step was to work with a producer, in this case Nick Thayer (who has done a lot of electronic productions and is also featured on the soundtrack of the motion picture Step Up Revolution). Together we completely rearranged the song in the way you can hear it now! The first part is constructed on a simpler sound and vibe, built around a strong synth-bass, a snap, and a synthesizer for the keys. The intro and the outro revolve around a catchy reef that came up while rehearsing with the band and the pre-chorus and the chorus are built upon vocal harmonies and the presence of a strong drum pad.
The vibe that I wanted to create throughout the song was a happy vibe that could enhance the lyrics and the arrangement while being enriched by a crisp electronic sound. The song is also really fun to play live: it is surely something I am looking for, once live concerts will resume again.
What can fans expect next from you, STEMIN?
There are several projects on its way: the biggest is the release of the second single ‘Better Than Wine,’ which will happen next week, on July 7th. The song, as the title already suggests, talks about wine and love. Love and wine have a lot of things in common, and as legend says, love and wine are the best things in life: they taste sweet, sour, bittersweet, sometimes with an aftertaste, sometimes they have a healing effect, sometimes they can be harmful. The single is followed by the official video featuring some professional dancers I am working with here in the Netherlands and will be filmed by the famous director Andres Fouché.
Among the fun projects, I just launched a dance challenge for ‘Closer’ on YouTube and on TikTok. If you are a professional dancer or an amateur, or you just like to dance under the shower, in your house, feel free to participate! You can send your moves to email@example.com or tag my profile on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The aim is to create a final dance video for ‘Closer’ in which as many people as possible can participate. At the moment I am also working with a DJ and creating a remix of Closer! Hopefully, I will be able to release it soon! Lastly, there are some concerts planned, here in the Netherlands as well as more nice initiatives on social media, similar to the dance challenge!