“Scared is about how overwhelming it is not knowing what is coming next in life and the frustration of waiting for what you want. Realizing that pursuing my dreams is up to me is scary yet empowering. The up-tempo melody helps make it a really positive message. Relying on myself is the only way to go” – Stella Prince
One thing I love about music is how human it is. We as people never stop changing, growing, re-framing our lives and the way we see not only ourselves but also how we see the world around us. The music we love and the music we’ve written then starts to take on different meanings depending on where we’re at when we go back and listen to those particular songs/stories. The way we speak about genres of music also works the same way. What once was Pop, became Rock n Roll, which became Classic Rock or Adult Contemporary, and even Easy Listening on certain radio stations. So, you can imagine my surprise when I was asked to premiere this song written by a 16-year-old singer/songwriter from New York City named Stella Prince. Given her age and just how many artists, from Taylor Swift to Bob Dylan, are considered singer/songwriters; I thought I was going to hear something more along the lines of “Me”, “Cardigan”, maybe even “Driver’s Licence” By Olivia Rodrigo. What I did hear, was surprising and brilliant!
The song starts off very stripped down with a beautifully raw acoustic guitar riff, and Stella Prince’s vocals. The melody she chooses to sing is very unique and combined with her vocal performance, tone, and the level of emotion in her singing voice; I was immediately reminded of troubadours and storytellers like Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul, and Mary. Stella sings with a slightly more nasal sound, almost mimicking the singing style of the 1960s folk music movement. Combining that singing style with the beautifully stacked harmonies in the choruses, and the raw, introspective nature of the story she is telling; this song made me feel like I was sitting front row at Woodstock. The instrumentation that builds around Stella’s vocals only serves to highlight the story being told, and the raw Laurel-Canyon-esque nature of the track. The light jazz organ added into the mix in the second chorus brings depth to the remainder of the song without taking away from the ethereal, peaceful, and heartfelt nature of the existing mix and story.
Having, myself, found so much inspiration in the singer/songwriter movement in the 60s and the multitude of artists and creators that came out of that time; I loved every minute of this song.
I cannot wait to see how the world reacts to this song and the ones I am sure Stella is already in the process of writing. Y’all, this is Stella Prince, and her new single “Scared” coming out tomorrow, and streamed exclusively on Essentially Pop today!