After taking backing roles in friends’ bands in her early teens, and battling through bouts of creativity-stunting anxiety, Stevie Parker is ready to step into the limelight. The 24-year-old’s stunning electro-folk EP ‘Blue’ has just dropped, and was written around the time a relationship was coming to an end. Her music would never have happened without the anguish, she says.
Why did you pick a school singing competition for your first solo performance?
“I’ve always found it easier to boost other people than take any space for myself. I just felt like it was a necessary step for me and maybe it was an inner-subconscious thing. I didn’t win, though.”
Did dealing with anxiety and insomnia affect your music?
“It’s something I still wrestle with constantly. But at the same time it makes you see things in quite a unique way. If what I have to go through feeds my creativity, then ultimately I’m going to be giving more to the world doing that rather than having loads of fun.”
What’s your EP ‘Blue’ about?
“Collectively it’s a homage to feeling s**t, really. All the songs are about not being able to find peace in relationships. They’re never easy and it’s like holdinga mirror up to yourself. Nothing questions your relationship with yourself more than your relationship with someone else.”
The EP is big on both ambience and intimacy – was there any point where you tried something different?
“If you just want to go out and have a great time and write bangers, then fine. Everything has its place. But if you describe heartache, everyone understands it. People say they often feel very moved by my music and that’s the intention. I’m all about trying to tug on the heartstrings.”
Why is now your time?
“There are a few girls in pop who are just being completely blasé about the whole system and the industry. I was obsessing over how I wanted to look or who I wanted to cite as inspiration. Eventually I just went, ‘I don’t care any more.’ I think Lorde was one of the first people in pop to do that, and it’d be cool to further that movement.”
Best track: ‘The Cure’: Set to a subtle blend of R&B and electro, the lyrics show Stevie at her most vulnerable and honest. Will have you reaching for the tissues in no time.
Like this? Try This: Bob Dylan – ‘Blood On The Tracks’ – Penned just after his first divorce in the mid-70s, the resulting record is a blend of regret, anger, love and even tempts a reconciliation. An essential album for jilted lovers everywhere.
Strange But True: Despite only just getting round to releasing her first EP, she’s already recorded and completed her debut album with producer Jimmy Hogarth (Sia, Amy Winehouse)
Stevie Parker’s Blue is out now via Virgin EMI
PHOTOS BY Zoe McConnell
STYLED BY Koulla Sergi
HAIR AND MAKE-UP BY Johanna Dalemo using Mac cosmetics