Introducing Stella Wembley, a darkwave singer/songwriter and visual artist inspired by the more dimly lit side of life. She recently released ‘All That I Need’, an EP that tells a hauntingly dark story of intimate personal experiences with a horror spin sure to conjure up feelings of fear in anyone. ‘All That I Need’ EP was produced, written and performed by Stella Wembley and is now available on select digital platforms. Torched had the opportunity to speak with Stella about her new release, horror and cinematic inspirations, her musical and artistic beginnings and more!
What was your inspiration behind the new EP single and video for ‘All That I Need’?
“All That I Need” is about personal experiences of death, eroticism and lust.
I have written “All That I Need” in a very dark period of my life, after my mother passed away. This has been a terrifying moment of consciousness; I realized what is death and experienced real sorrow. There is also an inner struggle between good and evil.
The music video has a nonlinear narrative style, with illustrative lyrics, and it takes place in the Tudor and early Victorian era.
I am a young gothic lady who has lost herself into the darkness and plays with skulls and bones in the cemetery. The demonic man represents a man I fell in love with in the real life and he symbolizes the dark side; the Angelic woman represents my mother and she symbolizes the light.
Finally, in terms of mood, style and scenography, I paid attention to every detail, as I wanted my video to be as authentic and realistic as possible. I have chosen white, red and black to set the mood of the video. The Tudor Suite has rich furnishings and oak beamed ceilings; the dark wood paneling makes the room feel dark. Also the nave of the church is made of oak, more precisely of large split oak tree trunks; I don’t like imitations.
Are your lyrics based on real life situations or do you like to add imaginary elements?
All my lyrics are based or related to personal experiences and, most of the time, painful situations. I definitely not use imaginary elements in my lyrics, but I do in my music videos. For example, in “All that I need” video I have played the role of a Gothic lady and I have created characters like the Demonic man and the Angelic woman. When I created the characters, I took inspiration from Gothic art and Dark beauty and Horror photography. But imaginary elements should always complement a true story.
I understand that you enjoy horror movies.. What are a few of your favorites? Do you feel like this inspires your art? If so, how?
I do like horror but also drama and fantasy movies.
I would say a few titles: The Shining, Kill Bill, Dracula (1958), The Godfather.
There are similarities between the colors I have chosen for my video and the ones used in the hammer movies (burgundy, deep red), and it also reproduces a classic hammer style.
The use of blood and elements of violence are related to my personal experience, but also to Tarantino and Kubrick productions. When I had to set the mood of the video and choose the colors, I have used photos from movies as a reference; some scenes from Suspiria, Inferno (Dario Argento) and the Godfather (Francis F.Coppola).
There is a cinematic component in the video. Visual arts, especially cinema and photography, play a very important role in my work.
When and where did you first learn to write lyrics/play music? Did you grow up in a musical environment? Who are a few of your musical inspirations?
No one taught me how to write songs. I just do it and I don’t know how.
I was 16 when I took my first singing lesson, and I have started learning the guitar too. My grandfather used to play records of classical music and opera; my mother was a painter, and a very creative person.
No one in my family ever played a musical instrument though.
As I am a classically trained musician, I am a very disciplined person and this helped me a lot during the songwriting process and the video production, as they require constant work.
The Doors, Depeche Mode and artists like David Bowie, Gary Numan and Bjork influenced me and classical music too.
Revolution Radio Online has been a big supporter of yours and this is how I first heard your music. Can you tell me how this came about for you? How has this helped your progress as a newer artist?
Revolution radio Online is fantastic! The shows are amazing and they support new artists a lot.
I sent my Ep to the radio station and asked if they wanted to play it. It has been played the first time on Darkness & Chaos show hosted by Nick Court.
The station has been supporting me since my Ep has been released in October 2019 and featured my music video too. I also won the Roar Awards as a Best Newcomer 2019.
They put me in the section “Artists we support” and Darren The Baron wrote an article on Revolution Radio online website, describing my music as “darkly seductive, eerily provocative”.
Being played on the radio station is very important for my music career and a great satisfaction, as this means my songs are appreciated and new people can discover my music.
What do you like to do outside of music? Do you have any hobbies that help spark your creativity?
I am fascinated by Esoterism and Kabbalah , and tarot cards. I love taking long walks in the nature and l also practice meditation.
When I write songs it happens very naturally, So I can’t think about any activity which helps me with it.
Is there anything that I may have missed that you would like to share? Thank you so much for taking the time for Torched!
My new single “Images of Death “ (was just released) and I have also directed a new music video for the single.
“Images of Death” had a very positive review by Darren the Baron on Revolution Radio Online website and has already been played on many radio stations.
The CD can be ordered on my website www.stellawembley.com
Thank you for the interview, it has been my pleasure!
All images courtesy of Stella Wembley