Stella Prince, talented and mature beyond her 17 years, is a singer/songwriter from Upstate New York. Imagine the perfect mixture of Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins all packed into one young musician. Stella has just released her third single, “The Rain Might Fall,” a personal song to Stella about getting tired of waiting to see what lies ahead for her. Stella has a long and impressive resume that most seasoned musicians would love to have. She has already performed at iconic venues, such as The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville and The Bitter End in New York City. Between June 2019 and Fall 2021 Stella has performed a monstrous 50 shows, with some stops in New Jersey, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut. She has also been featured on podcasts of The Devon O’Day Show and Crazy Train Radio, as well as being featured in publications like Nashville Entertainment Weekly, Guitar Girl Magazine, Medium and Authority Magazine.
Stella was born in Rhinebeck, New York and now calls another area of Upstate, New York home. She is the only child of artistic parents, with her Mom being a painter and her Dad a creative writer. She spends time between New York and Nashville Tennessee. For her recordings, she uses a local recording studio in Woodstock, NY. Stella graduated from high school at the age of 15 and received her two-year college degree by the age of 16. Stella’s goal is to have her music bring the authentic, acoustic sound back. When she was 12 she had her own radio show that featured the music of the 1930s and ‘40s. Her show ran for three years. A Stella “fun fact:” she can say many words backwards.
“The Rain Might Fall,” written and produced by Stella, is a beautiful and poetic song that speaks to the heart. Stella’s beautiful and versatile voice is given the chance to show off its incredible range in the song. The lyric video is beautifully executed and features photos from Stella’s mother. “The Rain Might Fall” is Stella’s third release. Her debut single, titled “Before You Leave,” is a song exploring the feeling of loss when someone or something you love goes away. Her sophomore single “Scared” is about the fears her generation faces today, growing up and realizing that they are in control of their destiny. Stella’s songs are emotionally charged and written with intense feeling and insight.
I had a chance to interview this talented young woman, I found myself forgetting that I was speaking with a 17-year old. Stella has the poise and maturity of a music veteran. Stella opens up our eyes to her generation through her music. She lets us have a peek into what they are thinking and feeling. She is determined and ready to make the music industry her future, and we will have fun watching her as she continues to grow. Check out her social media for videos of her own songs, along with cover songs she has done. (links below)
Here is our conversation.
CN: Tell me about yourself, where you are from, fill me in a bit.
SP: I am a 17-year old singer/songwriter. My goal is to bring authenticity back to contemporary music. I grew up and currently am living in Upstate New York. I live right by Woodstock, the Folk Music Capital of America. I am definitely in love with folk music and inspired by it. I go to Nashville as often as I can with my family. Country music, of course, is also one of my inspirations.
CN: Do you come from a musical family? Where does your interest come from?
SP: I am an only child and my parents and I are very close. Both my parents are artists, my Mom is a painter and my Dad is a creative writer. I have gotten so much inspiration watching them do their art my whole life.
CN: Do you work with your Dad when you write a song? Do you sit and talk to him about it or do you keep it a surprise until it is done?
SP: I usually keep it a surprise. I love co-writing as well. That is something that has really grown my songwriting. It’s such a special experience to write songs with people in Nashville who have been doing this for so many years. They are sharing their talents and everything that they have learned with me, it’s really special.
CN: Do they realize that you are 17-years old?
SP: (laughs) I think they do, they are extra nice to me that way.
CN: Who are some of your favorite co-writers in Nashville?
SP: One of my favorites is Jeffrey East, he is incredible. Another favorite is Victoria Banks, she has written tons of hits for Carly Pearce and tons of my favorite singers. It was a huge honor to get to write with her.
CN: Who is on your list of who you would love to write with?
SP: Actually one of my favorite singers is Erin Enderlin. She is so incredible, she performs at the Opry all the time. Her music is just fantastic, I am hoping to write with her.
CN: Is this something that you are working on? Have you met her?
SP: I have not met her yet, but I’m hoping to. She is booked months in advance, and fingers crossed that it happens!
CN: How does it work? Do you get in touch with her and say, “Hey, how about a writing session?”
SP: It depends. For the past year and a half, I have been working with an incredible woman in Nashville and her name is Sheree’ Spoltore’. Her company is Global Songwriters Connection. It’s an artist development company that connects you with everyone in Nashville and all over the world. It has helped my career incredibly.
CN: When you co-write with someone, what do you feel you get the most out of? The camaraderie or word usage? What is the bonus?
SP: I think it would be being exposed to other peoples’ guitar chords and their hooks and just learning and seeing how they do it. Putting that into my own music later on has been a huge thing.
CN: “The Rain Might Fall,” your current song that is out. What is the inspiration for it?
SP: I wrote it because I was so tired of waiting, it always feels like I am waiting for something to happen. I came to the point where I realized that I have no idea how my life will play out. I have to realize that there is no way of knowing. I tried to put that into the lyrics of a song. It’s definitely what “The Rain Might Fall” talks about, no one knows exactly when the rain will fall.
CN: Your lyric video was really beautifully done. I thought it was so touching.
SP: Oh, thank you so much. It just came out, it was so much fun to make.
CN: Who helped you with the video?
SP: Actually, I am so blessed to have my mom not only be an artist, but also a photographer. She holds many hats. She has really helped me with all of that.
CN: I was thinking how you have the perfect marriage of the mother that is the artist, the father that is the writer and you the songwriter. This is a family made in heaven for sure.
SP: (laughs) I know, they help with everything, it’s incredible.
CN: I went on your website and counted all your live shows. From June 2019 through the Fall 2021 you have done about 50 shows, with some being live streams.
SP: Oh my gosh, I have never counted myself. That’s crazy!
CN: I was looking at the shows and the list kept going and going. I saw that you did shows in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey and more. That’s a taxing lifestyle for an adult. For someone your age what’s that like? Is it exhausting? Is it fun? What is it like to go on the road?
SP: Honestly, I think performing is the thing that made me love music first before anything else. Starting at around five-years old, getting up at my school talent show and performing. It totally made me absolutely love music. I love performing, and it is my favorite part of my entire career and the entire music industry. It does not tire me at all. I get the most joy out of performing. I could do it every day of my life.
CN: Would you say that at five-years old you knew that this was what you wanted to do, or was it before that?
SP: Honestly I think it was before that. I say that like I always knew, I really mean that. I have home videos of me when I was around a year old, and my mom is saying, “Oh, you’re going to be a singer someday.” It’s very strange that at three I remember saying that I wanted to be a famous singer someday, so I have always known.
CN: What did your parents do to encourage you? What types of things did they do?
SP: They were totally encouraging starting at a young age. I think the first thing that they did was put me in voice and piano lessons. I started voice lessons when I was four and piano started when I was six. That’s when I started guitar as well. From then on, it was finding performance opportunities.
CN: You play piano and guitar. Do you play any other instruments?
SP: No, only piano and guitar, and I tend to lean to the guitar for my releases. I have not played piano in a show yet.
CN: Do you have any friends who share the same traveling and performing lifestyle or interest? Do you have any friends doing music as well?
SP: It’s hard finding people my own age that are doing this that are as serious. That’s been the main struggle, finding people who I can relate to. Of course, I have a wonderful community in Nashville, and they are very supportive, but a lot of them are older. It’s hard to relate as a good friend. That’s definitely been a struggle for sure.
CN: Someday you will come across someone your own age and you can share stories and tales of the road.
SP: I will wait for it!
CN: I hope you don’t mind me bringing this up, but it is about how you can say words backwards.
SP: (laughs) Oh, my gosh, it’s funny, it started as something I did in my head when I was nervous. It turned into doing all these words, it’s really funny.
CN: Do you think you will ever incorporate it into a song?
SP: Maybe, I will have to think about it. I think it would get me a lot of attention.
CN: I think it would make for a fun song. You know people would try to play it backwards. It will be worth it for the buzz.
SP: (laughs) I think so, I definitely have to do it
CN: You had your own radio show as a kid where you focused on music from the 1930s and 40s. Is that something that you’re into? Was that your choice?
SP: It really was. The funny thing is that when I was super little, up until pretty much now, my parents had a huge CD collection with hundreds of albums. That was mainly where I got my biggest inspiration. The thing that was very incredible about it was that it was all genres. A genre that I really got inspiration from was big band music and oldies from the 1930s and 40s. When I started doing the radio show just for fun, that was totally the music that I was really into.
CN: I also love that era of music. That was the era of music that my own parents listened to. I could see how that could translate into your music. It is such a unique sound and I see how it could be a jumping point for your music.
SP: Absolutely, it’s so inspiring and beautiful.
CN: Your first release, “Before You Leave,” and your second release, “Scared” and “The Rain Might Fall”, are these telling a story together?
SP: No, they are definitely very different. I try to pride myself on the fact that my music is very relatable, especially now. “Before You Leave” talks about what it’s like to have someone leave you and go away. I think that could be someone who lost a dog or a cat or a parent or a husband or wife or something like that. “Scared” talks about my generation heading into adulthood and thinking that they are scared, and realizing it’s up to me to live the life that I want.
CN: Do you have something in your hip pocket for number four?
SP: Possibly. I actually finished it yesterday! I am hoping to get into the studio next week, and I am hoping that my fourth single comes out in mid-November.
CN: Awesome, congratulations! Do you have a co-writer on it or is it just you?
SP: Thank you. It’s actually a solo-write.
CN: Where do you record your music?
SP: I actually have a recording studio in Woodstock that I have been going to. That has been a lot of fun. I get to have creative control and I get to figure out my own sound as I go along. It’s been really great.
CN: Are you pretty much bouncing back and forth between New York and Nashville?
CN: What are the things you like to do when you get to Nashville?
SP: Performing there is so much fun and so invigorating. I am hoping to get there next month. I have quite a few co-writes lined up, and that is something that I am really looking forward to.
CN: What is it like walking into The Bluebird Cafe and sitting on a stool to play and not to watch?
SP: Oh, my gosh, that was an incredible night. It was my first performance that I ever did in Nashville when I was 15. It was an incredible feeling. You automatically feel how many famous people were sitting right there in the past.
CN: How many people were in the audience that night?
SP: It was insanely packed that night, it was crazy. It was amazing.
CN: Do you set goals for yourself? Do you have bucket list places to play or moments you want to accomplish?
SP: My main bucket list moment would be playing The Opry. That is definitely my biggest dream.
CN: Do your parents travel with you or do you go to Nashville alone?
SP: It’s definitely a little hard, I am at the age where I am not quite an independent adult yet.
CN: I am sure you enjoy the camaraderie and having someone there with you as you are doing all of this. Someone to share the excitement with.
SP: It’s really nice to be with my parents as we are driving to Nashville. I want to keep it going a little longer because someday I know I will miss having them.
CN: It is so nice that you can share this exciting time with them. They must be going out of their minds with all of your success.
SP: They are definitely very excited about this. I don’t think that they ever thought that something like this would ever happen, that they would have a child like me. I think of them and where they were before they had me.
CN: I have a final question for you, this is called “One Grab”. The scenario is that you are running out of your house. Everyone is safe and your pets are safe. You can go back into the house and grab one thing. What do you grab?
SP: I would have to say my song folder that has all my lyrics in it.
CN: How many songs do you think are in it?
SP: Oh, at least 50. I do have most of them on the computer, but there is nothing like handwritten lyrics.
CN: Do you think there are songs in the folder that you will be releasing?
SP: I am definitely hoping to release three to five more songs in the next six months or so. I am hoping to release a new song every six weeks or so. I think the rest I am saving for an album.
CN: Thank you Stella for your time. I am going to have fun watching you and seeing what you are doing.
SP: Thank you, have a great day!
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*Featured photo credit: Lily Prince
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