Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Tight Skirt”?
This has been a track that has been in the works for quite some time. I’m super excited to finally have the final version drop and I couldn’t be happier that the homies over at The Black Marble Collective are hosting it.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
One day my buddy Kai (produces as Wessanders) who I met in college in Boston reposted this dude Tessellated’s music. This was over a year ago and I was immediately hooked on this kid’s sound. I grew up in Bermuda and like to think that my music has a tinge of island influence to it. Tessellated’s sound was pretty similar because he was making forward thinking future beat tunes which were heavily influenced by Dancehall tracks.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Probably not. Tessellated and I have actually never met in person. Although a ‘Tight Skirt’ video isn’t in the works, you can expect a video from me very soon. It’s actually not going to be a STEL★LEO video. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I have another project entitled Princess Cyberspace, which is fronted by Rebecca L’amore. We write songs about how the advancement of technology affects how we interact and socialize with one another. Look out for the video for our debut single ‘So Relatable’ coming to an interweb near you 😉
What was it like to work with Samantha J and tessellated and how did they come on board?
So Josh (tessellated) and Samantha have been friends for a long time back in Kingston Jamaica so when he asked her if we could flip her song she was all for it. After stumbling upon Josh’s tunes on Soundcloud I slid in the DMs and after chatting about our tastes in music and exchanging production tips, we started sending WIPs back and forth until he sent me an early early version of ‘Tight Skirt’
How was the recording and writing process?
I went to town on flipping what he sent me. I added my own percussion, changed around the sound design and chord progressions and chopped up the acapella. After sending it back and forth many times, we finally finished it up.
What role does Bermuda plays in your music?
I’d say growing up in Bermuda has affected my music on a subconscious level. I actually don’t listen to that much Dancehall, Socca, or Reggaeton in my free time. My musical ear and how I write music is however affected by these island sounds because these tunes were playing around me all the time growing up. When I’d go home for the summers after I started living half my life in the US, Jamaican music was playing all the time, and aspects of these songs have slipped into my deep subconscious. I think it comes out most in the way I approach rhythm and syncopation but even some of my sample choices come straight out of Dancehall tunes. I actually love warping classic dancehall drum loops and turning them into something completely different. When I do put some time aside to go home and visit my friends and parents, it’s always very refreshing. It’s such a beautiful location that one can’t help but feel inspired in that environment.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Definitely! We don’t have anything in the works quite yet, but Josh and I are definitely interested in working on another tune together in the near future.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
I’m not sure how long until we have something ready to release together but you can expect lots of new originals from me coming out on a fairly regular basis.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’ve always thought of myself as more of a producer than a DJ. The studio is definitely my happy place and although I love performing, I don’t have any desire to tour. Well not just yet at least. As of now, I’m staying put in Los Angeles. I still feel that I’m honing my craft as a producer trying to sculpt my signature sound. Until I’ve found that, I would rather spend my days in the studio working towards it. When I do go on tour, I want to have the resources to make the shows more engaging than just a DJ set. I want theatrics, fire shows, dancers… the whole nine yards. I’m just not there yet. But I will be.
What else is happening next in Stel Leo’s world?
This Princess Cyberspace video is the number one thing I’m excited for at the moment. We’re spending a lot of time to make something very special. You can also expect an EP dropping soon featuring my own writing, production, singing, and graphic design. Not sure if I’m going to create a new alias for the projects I sing on, or if I’ll just keep running with the STEL★LEO moniker. I’m currently sharing my graphic design work as The Renaissance Mane, so I might utilize that. Either way, I’ve finished the first single for the tape (the rest are still demos) and I truly feel that it’s the best work I’ve made thus far. It’s not just dance music either. There’s a mix of a lot of different vibes and I’ll be paying homage to the artists I truly look up to (Kanye, Pharrell, Drake, RIhanna, Diplo… the list goes on). No date for this yet. I really want to make it perfect so I’m guessing this won’t surface for another couple of months. Keep your eyes on the interwebs <3