Singer Stela Cole was born and raised in the Georgia suburb of Peachtree City. She started playing piano at the age of six and eventually learned to play guitar as well. After uploading her music online, Stela was signed to RCA Records. This year she released her 2018 major label debut EP, Throwing Up Butterflies. YEM spoke with Stela about her music and budding career.
Young Entertainment Mag: How did you first get involved in music?
Stela Cole: I always loved music growing up, but I never really pursued it until I was about 16-17 years old. I grew up as an athlete, playing soccer, and had a severe back injury when I was 16. I wasn’t able to walk normally for about a year, and during that time I fell in love with songwriting and it was very therapeutic and helped me mentally/emotionally recover. Soon enough, I decided music was going to not only be my career, but also become my entire lifestyle.
YEM: How would you describe your sound? How did you find your sound?
Stela: It took quite a while to develop my sound, and I wrote every day for about 2 years straight before I really knew what I wanted. I would definitely say my sound is primarily influenced by 50s-60s doo-wop, and hip-hop. As an athlete, I listened to hip-hop every day to get pumped up for practice and games. My dad also had me listening to all kinds of music, and I gravitated towards anything doo-wop because it was so easy to sing along to and the melodies/lyrics are so charming. When I starting to write, it was natural that those two genres blended together and really made themselves present in my music.
Credit: Kacie Tomita
YEM: Tell us about your new EP!
Stela: I’ve never been so excited/proud to call something mine before, but my debut EP, Throwing Up Butterflies, is something I put so much hard work into and the wait was more than worth it. It’s a perfect representation of who I am as a person, which I think is the best part. I had been writing for so long developing my sound and finding my place, and I feel like this EP really captures everything I could possibly want it to.
YEM: Do you have a favorite song from your EP? What is your favorite song to perform live?
Stela: I’d have to say my favorite song on the EP is “If I Were You”. It’s such a confidence booster, and it’s super energetic and spontaneous… most importantly it makes me feel good every time I sing it or listen to it. Which is exactly how I want my fans and audience to feel when they listen to it too. My favorite song to perform live is probably You F O, which is actually the last song I perform for my show. I think it’s such a fun way to close the set.
Credit: Kacie Tomita
YEM: If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
Stela: I would pick Freddie Mercury… but since he is unfortunately not with us, I would have to say Bruno Mars. I think he is such an incredible singer and performer, and the energy he brings to the table is so inspiring. Doing a collab with him would be a dream.
YEM: What’s ahead for you? Will you be touring or releasing a music video soon?
Stela: I actually just shot the music video for “Lucky Day”, which I’m really excited about… I can’t wait for everyone to see it! And I am starting to look at some possible tours for this spring, and I’ll hopefully be playing some festivals next summer!