Monday, December 16, 2019

Stephanie James Visits Section 36!

Section 36 Music has another visitor! Stephanie James is a Berklee grad currently living on the West Coast. It was great to talk about her music, her upcoming album, and more! I'm sure you'll enjoy what she had to say.

So, let's see what happened when Stephanie James visited Section 36!

You’re a graduate of Berklee College of Music. What was that experience like?
Berklee College of Music was my dream school and sometimes it felt like a dream. I was surrounded by some of the most incredible musicians from all over the world. My teachers, mentors, and classmates really helped shaped the musician and artist I am today. After the first few weeks of school I remember calling my Mom and crying tears of joy on the phone. I was so happy and felt like I was finally surrounded by my people and was in the right place for the first time in my life. Music was always my calling but now I was in an environment with people I could grow and thrive with. The Berklee community is strong and I am forever grateful for the relationships I made at school.

I really enjoyed your videos for your songs “I Deserve Better’ and “You Fill Me Up”. What was it like to put those together?
“You Fill Me Up” was my first music video. A friend referred me to Danny Chamberlin, a film major she knew at Emerson. We met at the popular Berklee coffee hang, Pavement, and we brainstormed some ideas! It’s funny because we filmed the first half of the video on a very warm fall day in Boston and weren’t able to finish filming until November when it was a windy and cold 20 degree day. For continuity, I had to wear the same outfit which consisted of shorts, a tank top, and high heels. I remember people on Boylston street yelling at me that I was going to catch a cold but we had to do to finish filming.

I wanted to collaborate with dancers and have their movements help tell the story for “I Deserve Better”. The dancers were students at Boston Conservatory and the music video was made by friends at Emerson, Grayson Kohs and Zaji Zabalerio. The dancers, Santiago MacLean & Jenna Mitchell, improvised over the entire song and we filmed from a few different angles. I learned so much about making music videos from these experiences and loved the creativity that comes from collaborating.

Have you been working on any recordings, and when might we be able to hear the results?
I’ve been working on my debut album with my producer, Jorel Corpus. I’ve recently launched a Kickstarter to help fund the album and all the different costs that are involved. If the Kickstarter goal is reached, I am hoping to release the album in March or April. I will also be releasing 2 singles before then in the next coming months.

You've been able to perform at several live shows. What have you liked about those experiences?
What I love most about performances is that it’s always different. Even if I am singing some familiar material or I’m at the same venue, the energy and the audience is always different. I love connecting with people with my music but also having conversations with the audience in between sets. I treat all performances the same no matter how big or small. People make the effort and take the time to come out to see live music and they want to be moved, they want a story, they want to connect to something. 

Do you have any upcoming appearances you’re especially excited about?
Right now I am deciding when and where I want to have my album release show. I am really looking forward to performing my new music with a full band out in Los Angeles. I’ve spent so much time in writing sessions and at the studio so I am really looking forward to breaking into the live music scene out here. 

Right now, what would you say is your biggest career challenge?
My biggest career challenge right now is building my audience and building a team who can help me further my career goals. 

What are your immediate career goals?
I honestly can’t wait to release my album! This album is so personal and special to me and I can’t wait to share my baby with everyone! I want to play more shows, collaborate with writers, brands, and other creatives in the industry. I want to get representation so I can do more of the music making and have more guidance while navigating such a fast paced industry.


Hopefully Stephanie can reach that goal and release that album! If you want to help her do that (and I'm sure you do), be sure to visit her kickstarter and help in any way you can!

As always, I want to thank Stephanie for chatting and for sending along the pictures that accompany the interview. They’re perfect.

Since I know you’ll want to follow along with Stephanie to see what she's up to and how her career is progressing, I suggest you check out and follow her social media accounts: Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. You should also be sure to check out all her music on Spotify. You also will want to visit her website often. It’s the best way to make sure you don’t miss any of the exciting things she teased during the interview.

Of course you should also check out her Section 36 Music profile page. There you'll find more links, pictures, and some of her music. It's a great way to enjoy everything Stephanie has to offer.

Thanks again Stephanie, and good luck with your next endeavor! 

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