Music Review: I want my songs to resonate with everyone, all generations

There can’t be many people as young as Stella Prince to headline a night at the Greystones. At the age of 19, the American singer-songwriter is embarking on her first major UK tour which includes a visit to Sheffield 11 on Thursday, November 2.
Stella PrinceStella Prince
Stella Prince

She is stretching her reach after beginning to make waves on home territory with her beguiling amalgam of country, folk and Americana.

It’s something of a surprise that some of the declared influences on her music date back to well before she was born and brought up in Woodstock, New York.

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Long gone singers such as Judy Garland and Doris Day rank alongside classic country artists such as Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris and 70s stars such as Karen Carpenter and Carole King.

More up to date, Taylor Swift is up there.

It’s not a surprise to find that her musical direction was to take her to Nashville once she had graduated from high school at the early age of 15.

She loves old country music, she says, but not the full-blooded version. “It’s not quite who I am. I’m from New York and I have a lot of folk in me. But I do like blending folk and country together.”

Stella’s painter/photographer mum and writer dad and their extensive music collection no doubt helped to inform the creative early years.

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She had voice lessons at the age of four, piano lessons at six, guitar lessons at nine (although she struggled with her tiny fingers), and wrote her first song at 10.

Aged 12 to 14, she hosted a 1930s-1940s oldies radio show.

Strikingly, there’s a maturity about her songs for somebody so young.

“My big goal is for someone to play my song and think, ‘That’s exactly how I feel’.”

“I want my songs to resonate with everyone, every generation, every issue – loneliness, fear, all of that.”

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It’s such an early stage in Stella Prince’s career that a debut album is not due until next year.

Her reputation in America has been built primarily on live performances, videos and singles.

Who knows how far Stella Prince will go. But playing gigs such as the Greystones can only serve as an important step and indicator of the potential.