Today we’d like to introduce you to Stella Stephney.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Stella. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Where should I begin? I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. Somewhere around the age of 5. I grew up in a very musical household. My brother was in a band and both of my parents have beautiful voices. My cousin, Bill Stephney, was a founding member of The Bomb Squad which was the founders of the group Public Enemy. Bill also went on to become President of Def Jam Records. Throughout high school, I sang in talent shows and in the church choir, but it wasn’t until I met up with producer Toni Randall that I actually took my singing seriously. The first song I ever wrote and recorded was a house track, something I never thought I’d sing. I’ve always liked house music, but I never thought I would actually do a house track. The song I wrote ‘Don’t Stop’ actually started out as a ballad, that is, until Toni heard it. He sped up the tempo and made it a house track. Well, the song was a big hit in the clubs. I performed the song at Cairo’s up North in Chicago and eventually in concert with Darryl Pandy, and it was very well received. I am forever grateful for Toni giving me my first break in the music business, however, unfortunately things didn’t pan out between us, so I went on a search for other producers.
In 1996, I released my very first CD entitled “Stella Stephney – One Step at a Time” which I, along with three partners, executive produced. It was produced and recorded by Gee Pierce for U Be U Production House out of Saginaw, MI and mixed by Bernard Terry for Silversun Recording, LTD out of Flint, MI. The CD did exceptionally well in Chicago whereas it sold out in the 28 stores we had it in. I performed throughout the city and surrounding suburbs/states performing at various benefits to help raise money for AIDS and underprivileged children. I also performed on ABC’s “Steppin’ At Club Seven”, at The New Regal Theater, the Clique Nightclub and various other clubs throughout Chicago, Kankakee and Indianapolis with artists such as DJ Kool, Darryl Pandy, and Al Hudson just to name a few. During this time, I received rave reviews from the N’Digo and Chicago Defender, and received a Dymond Award for my accomplishments in the music industry. I also created the intro for WGCI’s (107.5 FM) Bad Boyz show which aired Monday through Friday at 6:00 p.m. The intro played from January 6, 1996 to November 14, 2001. Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of my control, the project didn’t go any further and I ended up taking a 10+ year hiatus from music.
Fast-forward to 2014, I moved to Arlington, TX at the suggestion of my best friend, TLaroyce, whom I met while recording my first CD back in 1995. One thing led to another and I was back in the studio pursuing my lifelong dream of being a recording artist.
Has it been a smooth road?
The one main obstacle I’ve had to deal with has been self-doubt due to people close to me telling me things like “You’re an amateur writer. You need to stick to singing.” I’d constantly hear negative feedback but never receive any positive feedback. It was as if they were purposely trying to break me down in an effort to control me. So, unfortunately, after dealing with that for a while, I allowed them to get in my head to the point where I started doubting myself. Hence my 10+ year hiatus from my music.
Tell us more about the business.
There’s so much going on right now I don’t know where to begin. I’ve been in the studio working on my soon to be released EP titled “Throwback” which consists of 5 songs…4 of which were written by me and my best friend TLaroyce. We worked with some of DFW’s heavy hitters on this project. Norman “MouseQuake” Barrett at The MouseTrap, Carlos Ellis at 3-21 Studios and Ty Macklin at Alpha Omega Recording Studios. We wanted to bring that old school vibe back to the forefront but updated with a lil bit of today’s flavor. There’s something to step to, or as they do here in Texas, swingout, there are love songs, sad songs and inspirational songs. The first single which was released December 15th, “I Miss You”, is a remake of the girl group/band Klymaxx. We also did a video for the single which was released January 1, 2020. I’m very excited about that!
I’m most proud of the fact that this time around, I’m in complete control of my destiny. I’ve surrounded myself with people who truly believe in me and are not just along for the ride. I’m meeting new and exciting people in the industry every day who have been more than willing to help me navigate the music scene here in the DFW metroplex.
This time I’m stepping out on FAITH. I can see it. I can feel it. Now I just want the world to hear it. It’s my time.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Music constantly evolves. The music I write is a glimpse into my life and the things I’ve been through expressed through song. Issues that everyone has either gone through or know someone who has so it’s very relatable.
- My Single “I Miss You” is available on All Digital Platforms for $.99
- Website: http://www.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.
- Facebook: https://www.
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.
Kenya Abdul-Aleem – @kidken_817