NASHVILLE singer-songwriter Stella Prince will play FortyFive Vinyl Café, Micklegate, York, on November 3 and Thirty Café & Eatery, Belle Vue Street, Filey, on November 6 on her 12-date autumn tour.
Still in her teens in and seeking to progress her career in the UK as well as the USA, she has booked these tour dates herself, including a third Yorkshire gig at The Greystones, Sheffield, on November 2.
Born and raised in Woodstock, New York, Stella is now based in Nashville, Tennessee, where she hosts a monthly all-female Americana/folk showcase at The Underdog; the only one of its kind in Nashville.
Founded in May 2023 with the aim of creating a space for women in music to perform and meet other performers, specifically in the Americana and folk field, each bill features four or five women, Stella included, singing up to three songs each and introducing themselves. The events are sponsored by the legendary organisation changetheconvo.net
Stella is the only child of creative parents – a painter/photographer and a writer – and was immersed in music from an early age, thanks to her parents’ extensive, all-genre CD collection and her frequent attendance at concerts, where she first encountered Levon Helm, Amy Helm, Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul And Mary fame), Tracy Bonham and Natalie Merchant.
Growing up, Stella was influenced by pop and oldies music too. She began taking voice lessons at the age of four, piano lessons at six, guitar lessons at nine, and wrote her first song aged ten. From 12 to 14, she hosted her own 1930s–1940s’ oldies radio show.
She graduated from high school at 15 (during the early months of the pandemic in 2020) and earned her two-year associates degree – with a focus on music – at 16.
The pandemic pushed her into deciding to focus on a career in music. In 2021, she began to release songs and play live, travelling to Nashville and Los Angeles. Four singles emerged that year: The Rain Might Fall, Scared, Before You Leave and Alone For The Holidays
2022 was groundbreaking, marked by Stella’s first international run in the UK and an 18-city tour of the American Southwest. Her first single to be aired on the radio, Crying On A Saturday Night, charted on the Americana Singles Chart; her July follow up, Eighteen, debuted on the Folk Alliance International Charts and the Alternative Country Charts.
Closing Doors, produced by Professor Louie (who did likewise for three albums by The Band), was released in November 2022, debuting at number 15 on the North American College & Community Radio Chart. The accompanying video has received more than 118,000 views on YouTube since its launch in May 2023.
In February, Stella was awarded a First Timers Scholarship at Folk Alliance. She has been performing around Nashville since her move there and has a busy autumn diary ahead.
For her latest single, Two Faced, out now, she had the pleasure of working with Steve Fishell, Nashville pedal steel guitarist, Grammy-winning record producer and educator, whose stellar credits include Dolly Parton, John Prine, Mavis Staples and Emmylou Harris. “No-one sings like Stella Prince,” he says. “I was transported the first time I heard her and I bet you will be too.”
Accentuated by Fishell’s pedal steel, the song opens with the harrowing lines: “You got her right where you wanted… Lonely enough so she’d take the bait… Blinded by words that were only an empty promise… Desperation paves way for mistakes.”
The chorus asserts: “There’s all kinds of empty… but the hardest one to take… is lies that seem tempting… Loneliness is two faced.”
Stella says:“My big goal is for someone to play my song and think, ‘That’s exactly how I feeI’. I want my songs to resonate with everyone, every generation, every issue: loneliness, fear, all of that.”
Self-produced, Two Faced was recorded at the legendary Sound Stage Studios on Music Row in Nashville, where the likes of Johnny Cash, George Strait, Miranda Lambert and Buddy Guy have held recording sessions.
“It was an amazing experience: my first time ever recording with a full band”, says Stella. “Actually, this song specifically is the first ever song I recorded with more than just me. It was wild and incredible.”
Joining her at SoundStage, along with Fishell, were Nashville players Ben Garrett (keys, guitar), PJ Schreiner (drums), Mike Dunton (electric guitar) and Father Phillip (bass).
Should you be wondering, Stella names her era-spanning influences as Judy Garland, Karen Carpenter, Patsy Cline, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Taylor Swift.