A refreshing prospect for the R&B and Soul scene, Stella Angelika’s music draws upon a melting pot of influences. Those influences, plus her Greek heritage, combined with the relatability of her lyrics make Stella an exciting artist to watch out for. As she shares her personal growth for new project, ‘That Girl I Hate’, Stella Angelika has a bright future ahead of her.
Tell us a bit about your story: who are you and what has your journey looked like so far?
I’m Stella Angelika and my musical journey to this point has been a bit winding and weird. Born to Greek Cypriot parents and a musical father, I grew up singing Greek folk songs. My early teens were spent listening to the likes of Destiny’s Child, Lauryn Hill and Whitney Houston, as well as being part of a local gospel choir. I was then introduced to classical music by a singing teacher I started lessons with, and even though I had never really been exposed to that kind of music, before long I had fallen in love with it, opera in particular. At 19 I auditioned and got a place at the Royal Northern College of Music, thinking that would be my path. It was not. Unfortunately within my first year I began what would be an annoyingly long battle with my mental health and by the time it got to my second year I was advised to take some time out to recover. I did not recover quickly and actually the next few years saw me get worst before I started getting better, so I never returned to finish my training but I did start writing my own music again. Around that time I also got introduced to Jazz, learning from and performing with some amazing UK Jazz musicians. Which brings me to where I am now, releasing my own music and still very much working out who I am as an artist, day by day, song by song.
Who inspires you musically and creatively?
I’m endlessly inspired by and aiming to be more like artists that seem to just really know who they are, that feel completely authentic. To me that is always the ultimate goal creatively, musically and just in life in general. I love Billie Eilish a lot for this and will pretty much always feel inspired when I listen to her.
What was the creative process behind your new release?
Well aside from recording some of the live elements where we got different people in, it was mainly just my guitarist and co-writer and I working away in my little studio set up at home. This EP, as with a lot of my music, is pretty personal so having the space to be vulnerable and open with someone I really know was important I think. However I experience a lot of doubt as a creative and so at times I think that just working on it with one person wasn’t the best for that. So I’m thinking for my next release I’d like to involve more people, different perspectives and approaches, and even just the different energy that each person brings to the room.
What's the best advice you've received during your journey?
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.
How do you nurture your creativity?
I actually don’t think I’m very good at this but it’s something I’m actively trying to work on. There are some things that I do without even thinking. For example morning pages, which for anyone that doesn’t know is a practice created by Julia Cameron in her book The Artists Way. It’s basically just three A4 pages of writing down whatever comes to you, first thing in the morning before you do anything else. It’s basically a brain dump to clear the decks for the day ahead and it definitely allows for more clarity creatively and just generally. Something I have been trying to do more recently is just listen to way more music, which is a sure fire way to nurture my creativity and I don’t do it anywhere near enough.
What do you hope your music will reveal to your listeners?
Well for me, when I hear a song that I really relate to, whether it’s in the experiences or thoughts being expressed or just a feeling present in the music it really helps me. It’s connection I guess, someone out there has felt or thought something that I have. So I would say that’s definitely a driver for me with my music, revealing to the listener something I’ve gone through in the hope that it makes them feel more connected and understood and less alone.
Are there any upcoming shows or projects we can look forward to?
I’m already working on my next EP which I’m really excited about.
Is there any advice you want to give to new artists?
Keep stripping away the layers of trying and just be.
Stream her brand new EP, ‘That Girl I Hate’:
Images by Wesley Aaron Beckles