Stella Wembley – Interview – The Record Machine Show
Stella Wembley – Interview – The Record Machine Show
J.H. Where are you from ?
S.W. I am from Italy, Naples.
J.H. At what age did you start singing and playing music? What is your Musical Background ?
S.W. I have started writing poems when I was 10 , and these poems, later, became lyrics for my song.
My grandfather used to listen to classical music everyday, so I fell in love with this type of music to, especially with Maria Callas voice, a greek soprano, her voice was the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. And I fell in love with many composers such as Mozart, Beethoven , and Verdi.
At 16 years old a friend introduced me to rock music, and amazing songwriters like Nick Cave, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen.
I felt a deep connections with that type of music, even if I have never seen those artists or bands performing live. I was listening also too led Zeppelin, the Doors, Nirvana, The Melvins, Pink Floyd.
I was 16 when I started taking singing lessons, more precisely I took contemporary singing lessons, and then opera singing lessons, and then guitar lessons. ! I realised that I wanted to be a musician, I wanted to be on a stage, performing , it was my passion.
I have been singing rock /metal for five four years in many bands and then I decided to start the Conservatory and sing as a lyric soprano, to improve my skills as a singer, and as a musician.
J.H. I Believe every artist or band is influenced by someone, who are some of yours?
S.W. My artistic vision today is very clear and so are my influences which in recent years have changed as I understand who I am and what I want to communicate with my music, and lyrics my artist vision today is very clear and so are my influences which in recent years have changed as I understand who I am and what I want to communicate with my music, and lyrics. I would say that Depeche Mode, David Bowie, Gary Numan, Lana del rey have had a huge impact on my songwriting and composition.
I love Depeche Mode earliest work , like Black Celebration and Speak and Spell, and from the 90’s.
l absolutely love Songs of Faith and Devotion . Black celebration and Songs of Faith and Devotion are the albums have inspired me the most. I really love that album but also the most recent work Blackstar is fabulous . Many says the Cure influenced me too. But I can hear also blues, in my music, so perhaps The Doors as well, and there are classical influences too, I would say composer such as Wagner , and Giuseppe Verdi. I also take inspirations from other forms of arts, like the horror cinema, especially Kubrick, Dario Argento, Francis F. Coppola, The Hammer Production movies and Quentin Tarantino. I love poetry and the work of Charles Baudelaire and writers such as Edgar Allan poe, and Stephen King.
J.H.This podcast will feature 2 of your songs- Images of death and All that I need. What is the story behind each song?
S.W. All That I Need is the first song I have produced and mixed ,and I have written the lyrics and melody many years ago after my mother died. The song is about the connection we make with the light, and what we go through to reach it , and all the most intimate and hidden wishes, and what we miss and we desperately need that is not on earth anymore. . I have represented this making a narrative music video, which I have directed, and it is on my youtube channel.
Years later in London I met a mysterious men, the first I have ever loved, but it was an impossible lover, he was a narcissist and unable to love waived together the two out of biographical stories and I’ve wrote the story for the video which has narrative style with illustrated the texts. There are three characters in the the all that I need video, I have the role of the gothic lady, then there is the the demonic men, with whom I am in the Tudor suite and who killed me in the cemetery and the other is angelic woman at the end the video takes me to the light.
Everything is authentic in the video The tudor Suite and the church are real locations, and we we really shot in a graveyard with the full moon.
As for the Music Production I can post composed the whole song and played both the guitars and and synthesizers live and programmed the drums.
The voice was recorded in the studio but the experience was not the best in fact I decided to record the voice myself for the other songs. It took her almost 2 years to develop the arrangement of the song and above all to record the guitars, there are four Lines of of live guitars, and a lead guitar, it was difficult not heading a studio available the seem to sounds are from korg microkorg where is the drums are e loop .
Images of death is the most recent work, again for the video production I used references to horror culture, but this time less gothic and more grotesque, and with reference to black magic and witchcraft, and using symbolism to tell the story. I used real bones, animal bones to simulate the sacrifice, made in a wood with the full moon.
I used red roses to symbolise passion and love and white ones for loss and there is the use of blood which symbolises life and that, power, and the sacrifice.
It was very difficult to make this video alone, I did not have a professional video camera and shooting with my smartphone, for technical reasons, made the process really long and exhausting. As I am a very stubborn and determined person and I continued the shooting despite the difficulties, shooting during the night, bringing with me the equipment in example lights and stands, and and the costumes.
I did the video editing myself, with the free version of Da Vinci resolve. The video is available on my YouTube channel. Music production and composition it is my work too.
The Cellos and strings and orchestral arrangements and even the synthesizers were composed and played by me even the drums.
I used the Korg synthesizer again, this time using a digital stereo reverb unit that a dear friend gave me. I composed the song in a few weeks why the mixing lasted a few months. Recording the voice was also along the process, about a month and a half , as I was not completely satisfied with the sound and the voice was often very distorted.
Now I own a new condenser microphone and AKG c214, which is considerably better than the SE electronics I had before and I have no distortion issues.
The text is autobiographical and is dedicated to my mother who died at the 11 years ago it was very traumatic experience, which only after many years I was able to elaborate, and I represented the images of that in my mind through the song and the video.
J.H How do you approach song writing? What is your creative process like?
S.W.When I write both the themes and the references are horror, life and death, love and eroticism, and I like to represent this through visual art, with the use of certain colours and elements that evoke distance, so I can create a deep connection between me and your audience. My lyrics are always autobiographical but I use horror references in the videos comma exacerbating the content even more.
Usually melody and lyrics come to mind together, as soon as I have a melody in mind I immediately recorded it with the korg on my computer. If anything else that comes to mind I keep recording, and when I no longer have inspiration I leave the song alone and go back to it the following day. Sometimes I have a clear idea of what the song is going to be like, in terms of Sound , arrangement and rhythm.
Other times not and I let myself be guided by inspiration. I am a perfectionist, almost obsessive in attention to detail, and for this reason when I start to song I almost never managed to finish it in a short time I believe that having a collaborator, however, would help me speeding up the production and arrangement process.
J.H. Besides recording music I understand you also enjoy directing and photography. Do you enjoy working on video and photography as much as recording music?
S.W.I also deal with video production and photography. I recently bought a great Canon camera that allows me to work better and I also have a small photography Studio with various light. Since the visual arts are connected to music, and to my artistic vision, I like to recreate the dark atmosphere of a song through video, images. However, video production is really very complex, requires software and equipment that I don’t have yet, but which I should get hold of shortly. Without a great computer is almost impossible to work on video editing. The music is still what I love most definition of everything and the rest is just to complete the artistic Vision.
J.H. Do you have a website you’d like to promote ?
S.W. of course! It is http://www.stellawembley.com , Website I have created and I manage, and there is also an online store to buy the merchandise . There is also a join us page , if you like to subscribe and became a member, there is a free membership and there are also membership plans for superfans who wants to get extra contents and pay a monthly contribution.
I am also on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and linkedin. And please follow me on spotify where you can listen to my music !
Is there anything you’d like to mention that we did not talk about today ?
From January 2022 I will start working on my next album , titled” The Alchemy of Dark arts”. The album shall be released on February 2023. I plan to produce 3 videos to promote the record and I am currently looking for a better music management, and also other collaborators for video and audio production. Moreover, I am also working on a new business plan for my project with my label.
I have a live date coming soon, in London, 9th December, at The Dublin Castle , as a headliner. There will be other 2 amazing supporting acts, Machine Rox and DJ CyberAsh. Doors opening at 7.30 pm . Advance tickets (only £6) are available on my website stellawembley.com– and on wegottickets.com.
Limited time offer: The first 20 persons buying a ticket will receive this FREE poster signed by the bands.