Interview: Who is Stolar?


Concert Crap: Can you describe your Raw Emotions project to our readers.

Stolar: Raw Emotions is a year-long living music journal. Each month I am releasing multiple songs that are all connected by a particular emotion for that month. For example, last month, the emotion was invisible, and that sensation of feeling invisible is a common thread woven through each song released that month. Raw Emotions is also about collaboration — with designers, artists, photographers, dancers — and how their contributions are also inspired by the months’ emotions and songs. The project is by far my most real and raw undertaking to date. Throughout the year, I’ll be pulling back the curtain and sharing how everything is made — releasing videos that show how the songs were created and what went on behind the scenes. For me, Raw Emotions is about making music and art and sharing it all with people all of the time without concern for filtration. Ultimately, I wanted to have a project that isn’t as “curated” and “calculated” as albums I’ve made in the past. With Raw Emotions, it’s simply about creating music that makes us feel and not holding anything back.

CC: You have an EP releasing December 8. How did you decide which songs made the cut for the EP?

S: Throughout the Raw Emotions project I will be releasing compilation EPs every 2-3 months; each one representing the feeling I had on a specific date and place in NYC. This first EP is a collaboration with my friends Take a Daytrip and the whole thing was recorded over 4 month’s worth of late nights in a studio in Soho, NY.  In terms of song choice, we selected the songs that we thought would make people feel the raw, tumultuous, complex experience of being on the verge of heartbreak in NYC during the fall/winter.

CC: “Back Where You Belong” is my favorite track on the EP. What’s something we wouldn’t pick up the first time we listen to it?

S: Thanks so much 🙂 It is one of my favorites, as well. The story in this song is meant to feel like a movie; each verse is a different scene that takes you through the seeds of a breakup. If I had never heard it before, I would want to go back and listen again to really visualize the movie that is taking place throughout the song. I also LOVE the big choral breakdown before the final chorus. It was a complete accident where we unintentionally muted all the other tracks and were shocked by how it sounded. I then went back and sang a lead over it to make it what it is now. I think that “accident” really tied the whole song together.

CC: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

S: As an artist, Paul McCartney is one of my biggest influences. It is not just about his music with him, it is how he has never stopped pushing to make new music. He is still playing and creating music at 70+ years old! He is an outspoken advocate, seems to have a great balance of art and life and is doing his own thing on his own terms. With regard to lyrics, it’s a mix of the old school guys like Paul Simon and Leonard Cohen, modern hyper-real artists like Julia Michaels and the melting pot of music I have listened to over the years. That ranges from Prince to Michael Jackson to Jack Garratt to Tupac to modern rap music that I personally LOVE. I guess the short answer is: my biggest musical influence is listening to a lot of different music.

CC: What do you hope listeners take away from your music?

S: I would hope that it provides a soundtrack for whatever moments they need it in. Whether it’s a road trip, a party, a night alone heartbroken or an intimate evening with someone, I want the music to be there for you if and when you need it most.

CC: How did you get started releasing your music with a message about mental health

S: I started telling my story about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 3 years ago with an incredible mental health awareness organization called Love is Louder started by Brittany Snow. Once I started speaking publicly about my story it felt natural to make my commitment to mental health awareness a part of my world as an artist. Now, I am constantly meeting people who struggle with mental health challenges and have no outlet for it. I am hoping that the music released through this Raw Emotions project provides such an outlet.

CC: Do you have any tour plans?

S: We are putting together a “Raw Emotions Live Experience” show for 2018. The catalog is gonna be over 30 songs so I’m currently figuring out how to handle that best haha 🙂

CC: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

S: Thank you for your support of Raw Emotions and stay in touch to follow along throughout the rest of the year.

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Post and interview by Karen Shalev

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