At the mere age of 20, Nashville Pop artist stef graces us with the bittersweet taste of reality with, "sour reimagined." Still fresh to the pop scene, stef's music has made its way to a variety of Spotify playlist's alongside sold-out shows.
Gearing up for the release of a concept album/EP, stef's recent single "sour reimagined" gives us a glimpse of the upcoming body of work while pulling us in close with relatable messages. The young pop artist decided to take more of an alt-pop approach with this track, as celestial alternative instrumentals accompany stef and shine a light on her introspective message.
While "sour reimagined" opens with rich acoustic guitar strokes, stef's clear and intoxicating vocals take the track by storm while displaying her profoundly poetic lyrics. She begins singing a 'sour' story of love gone wrong and expresses the long and dreadful nights she's endured under the wrong person's wing. The down-tempo instrumentals keep the track swaying with droning electric guitar and heartfelt piano melodies. Around the chorus, the entire instrumentation merges into a soaring wave of emotion and pulls us under with each melody.
There's nothing we admire more than an artist who's made a life-changing realization and transmutes it into a body of work for the world to relate. Precisely what stef has done with "sour reimagined," and to say that we're excited about her upcoming album/EP would be an understatement.
Hello stef, thanks for sitting down to chat with us at BuzzMusic. We love every inch of your single "sour reimagined." What pushed you to create a song about harsh realizations you've made towards a bitter relationship?
I think everyone has been through a similar situation in life; where you put trust in someone and they break it, resulting in the overall realization they aren’t who you thought they were. I’m a very visual artist, especially with lyrics. I wanted the listener to not only feel the emotions of the song but see them with the imagery in the verses. I also like to take a darker more poetic approach in writing which is why we say things like “spilling all your feelings on the counter,” rather than something like “you’re standing there saying how you feel but they mean nothing.” They both mean the same thing but the first is more impactful. Rikki Randall is my go-to co-writer and we basically write everything together.
I wanted to write something that was relatable to my life, and thankfully like I said I think everybody can relate about being in a toxic relationship one time or another.
Within "sour reimagined," you incorporate these transcendent alternative instrumentals that soothe the soul. Does your music usually capture these natural and soulful instrumentals, or do you experiment with synth work as well?
Yes! I prefer darker more interesting sounds on all my tracks. Christian Fiore is not only one of my good friends but also my producer I use for everything because he gets the direction I want to go in. It’s very important to me the song represents a whole feeling, not just one part of the feeling. The track needs to line up lyrically, and melodically in perfect harmony with the production. That being said, I have been featured on a track with Berlin duo Steam Phunk called “Love Myself,” as well as I also released a remix of “Voodoo” by Austin James. Earlier in 2020, I released two-song EDM mixtape called The X Files under Stefx to spice up my catalog a little, however, that is not the stef brand or sound! I have a new conceptual album/ ep I am gearing up to start releasing in October and I’ve never been so proud of the music that is about to come out! The new tracks are more in the vein of “why do I laugh when I cry?” My first ep rather than The X Files.
We've heard that your upcoming album/EP is more of a concept project. How does it differ from your debut EP "Why Do I Laugh When I Cry?" and might we see "sour reimagined" on the project?
The new project will walk through each emotion in the stages of love and heartbreak. Each song tells a part of a story. I like to describe it as every song is a chapter in a book to put it into perspective. There is a new sound as well as a wave of writing being introduced with the new project, however, we are still incorporating the darker sounds and tones listeners associate within “Why Do I Laugh When I Cry?” The songs are going to be driven by the melody running alongside the progressive production style. Sour Reimagined will not be on the project, but the new songs are something I think the new generation is ready for.
Seeing as you're relatively new to the pop scene, how will you go about locking in a loyal fanbase that continually returns for more?
I think every artist has their own way about growing their following in this day and age, which is extremely difficult with the overload of content in the world. The best thing I can do is continue to make music and content that I like and enjoy, and if I’m staying true to myself people who appreciate the things I like will hopefully stick around! I am extremely into fashion and launching the second collection of my brand stef! in a few months. I have a very loyal fan base on TikTok that purchases from my vintage store, which I think sets me apart from people; that being not only do I have fans listening to my music I have fans investing in my brand.
What has been keeping you inspired throughout this challenging year?
My answers vary by the day! I think I have felt discouraged at some moments but I try to always keep busy. I am a 3 on the enneagram and need constant little feeling of accomplishment. They range from big to small. They can include small things like completing my to-do list throughout the day around the house, seeing extreme growth in my vintage brand, or landing an editorial Spotify playlist! I don’t like sitting around and waiting. The only way I can make things happen in my life is if I am the one putting in the effort and work. I would say what’s keeping me inspired are the wins throughout the day to day life, as well as I am so excited for the future and what it looks like! I am extremely excited to release my new project.