Interviewing talented artist STEMIN, who is going to release his contemporary RnB album #tellyourheart, awaited later this year.
Hi STEMIN, welcome to Nova Music blog, and thank you for taking the time to do this short interview.
Thank you so much for having me!
You come from a jazz and soul background, as well as having grown up in close contact with R&B, gospel and black music, in a family where music was at the center of everyday life. Can you tell us more about all this?
I grew up as the youngest child of six and throughout my childhood we all were exposed to music in some kind of forms. My parents were listening mostly to classical music and introduced us to professional music education while we all were still very young. Eventually, all my siblings stopped with pursuing music professionally, while I completely fell in love with it and never left. The study of different instruments, such as piano and saxophone, as well as being always surrounded by music in different forms, increased my interest for becoming a polyhedric musician and artist. While growing up, among many things, I often sang and played in church: this environment also became the platform where my interest for gospel, spirituals and black music was shaped.
How did this wealth of inspirations shape and influence you?
The way my parents were listening and appreciating music influenced me the most. They taught me how to actually ‘listen’ to music. I guess the secret to grow artistically and musically is to really enjoy listening, appreciate different types of music and develop a personal music taste and style. I was encouraged to pursue this path and I was exposed to all sorts of styles, especially since I grew up in an environment that would cherish music on such a deep level. Music really nurtured my creativity and my thirst for stepping out of my comfort zone.
Staying on your relationship with music, do you feel there is something that has changed while growing up as an artist? What does your music represent for you today?
Yes, definitely, everything changed thanks to music. I always say that music, for me, can be compared to a good friend: you can have an amazing time with your friend as well as be confronted with hardships; you can be honest with your friend; you can be happy one day and sad the other. Like a real and good friend does, music is never letting you down and mostly, it’s always there, and never leaves you. Growing up with music is what gave me the confidence to just ‘be’ in life; it gave me the strength to overcome my fears; it gave me the courage to move on from difficult times in my life. Lastly, it gave me that extra sensibility to understand diversity and it showed me what it means to appreciate people and life in deep.
Today, the music that I am lucky to write and perform, represents the journey that I have been going through in life. I grew up in a very traditional way, and throughout my childhood I was often hiding from others because I was afraid of showing my true colors; I was afraid of judgement and people’s opinions. These dynamics directed my life for a long time and made me very insecure. On the other hand, music represented a hiding place, the place in which I could take shelter and find answers to my emotional side. What captured my attention in music was the sensibility of it and the way music connected to me personally and intimately. I am a very sensible and emotional individual who has been exposed to some difficult experiences as a kid, therefore music represented for me that world to which I could run to, a hiding place; a world where emotions were associated to different colors; a world where acceptance and understanding was ruling; an imaginary world that helped me overcome these dark moments. I remember listening a lot to Donny Hathaway and finding a connection with him in the way his sensibility was being portrayed through the music. Music gave me the confidence to overcome my fears. In my opinion, music has a universal power, it does not judge you for who you are, it accepts you the way you are, it meets you in the place where you are at, and, like a good friend, takes your hand and tells you that everything is going to be alright.
Yours seems to be a real journey, which has also brought you on tour, from Italy to the Netherlands, from Europe to Asia, developing in parallel in, out and around jazz music. What is behind this?
I published my first album int 2017, after I finished my jazz studies in Italy. The album is called ‘Love Through My Eyes,’ and it reflects my previous relationship, which was kind of disastrous and difficult. The album was influenced by jazz music and represented my first self-promoted work. Thanks to this album I had the chance to tour worldwide and be able to perform in several locations throughout Europe and Asia. The album describes the way I looked at love after my break up and the search for hope in believing that love, somehow, could still heal and overcome disappointments. Releasing this album also represented a ‘trauma elaboration’ and gave me the strength to move on.
Your next album #tellyourheart, which will be released later this year, has a contemporary R&B and soul feel, both in the song-writing and in the production style. Can you give us any other anticipation about it?
#tellyourheart is my upcoming album which was recorded and produced this year (2020). The album was recorded in the Netherlands and is, in part, directed by the renowned Australian, electronic music producer, Nick Thayer and supervised by the Swiss producer Lorenz Schaller. #tellyourheart depicts the dating part in a relationship as one of the most beautiful and challenging season. 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, dreams and colors. #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.
The album features a number of pre-release singles. The first single ‘Closer’ as well as its official video, was published on June 16th. ‘Closer’ describes a story of meeting someone new, the butterflies one feels and the uncertainty of whether both people are equally attracted to one another, all wrapped up in a seemingly modern take on jazz-meets-RnB. 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 am 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 to many people – and I hope my experiences allows others to realise the same, whether now, or in time.
Is there any place on the web where curious and fans alike can find out more about you and your music?
You can follow the journey on my social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tik Tok) as well as listen directly to my music either on Spotify or through my website.