Stolie is a pop-rock, singer/songwriter that has been performing live for more than 15 years now. Based out of Chicago, she has played at multiple venues including Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Chicago Botanic Gardens, performed at dozens of rock clubs and restaurants, toured the country in support of her original music and played hundreds of cover songs at weddings, corporate functions, private parties and even grocery stores! Always keeping busy, she splits her tour time between the US and Mexico, and balances a performing season as a children’s musician under the stage name “Super Stolie” as well. Make sure to keep an eye out for her most recent project titled “Follow Me.”
What got you into music?
When I was 5 or 6, I was fascinated by the piano. My mother remembers me running down to the band area after church and plunking on the keys, so she signed me up for piano lessons. I’m a technical perfectionist so the instrument suited me well and I continued learning until high school, then started teaching myself guitar. The transition made sense — both stringed instruments, so the theory is similar. But it was the guitar that got me into songwriting, and I wrote my first original during American History class, unbeknownst to my teacher. It’s not a song I ever play anymore, but that’s my history!
What is your favorite part about being an artist or band? Songwriting, performing, recording, etc.? Tell us why.
Wow, interesting question! I don’t think I can pick a favorite as these are very different parts of the process — I think a lot of people don’t realize that. I absolutely love performing because I’m pretty great at pulling energy from a crowd and helping create an in-the-moment positivity! I guess being live feels like it gives more purpose to what I’m doing since it’s a shared experience. But, I love the introspectiveness of songwriting and recording, as I do both mostly solo. Finishing a song finds a sense of accomplishment. And there’s actually a physical feeling that goes along with landing on a “finished song” that is kind of exhilarating. I can only compare it to what it probably feels like to meet your baby after nine months, hahah!! So it helps me recognize my artist. And recording is like the final step of the song, writing arrangements and creating a personality, dressing it all up to bring out to the show and introduce it to the world.
Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you?
I have mostly done recording on my own at home, and usually in a closet. I don’t wear make-up or shoes. I forget to eat for hours. Since it’s my own time, I have done up to 80 takes on a single vocal part. That’s really tiring, but I know when I feel good about it and when I don’t! I have also played most of the instruments on my recordings, and lots of secondary instrument lines I make up on the fly, record it, and see which take feels good. I love hearing a new song come to life, and after a recording day, I like to lay in bed with the lights off and listen over and over with my big headphones.
As an artist or musician, are there any obstacles you have had to overcome or obstacles that you are facing right now in your career?
I think most independent musicians, like me, are working their butts off to make stuff happen with their music careers, trying new angles of creativity or promotion. Very few get that streak of luck that helps them take off or make lots of money. If money wasn’t a question, I would hire the best booking and PR team so I could focus solely on being a musician, record my songs in a quality studio with pro studio musicians and hire an amazing crew with a drone to make music videos. In the meantime, I’m doing it all myself, within my means, and experimenting with how I can put a little more money in these directions — I now have a publicist and use Fiverr and Upwork to hire outside help with database work or video editing.
Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why?
For the past 11 years, I have been making music for kids, so now I split time as a children’s musician and an “adult” musician. I’ve found balance by putting focus on both career paths simultaneously. I think the big inspiration for this was Chris Ballew, from The Presidents of the United States of America — remember “Peaches” or “Lump,” from the 90s? He performs in the summer months as Caspar Babypants, playing music for kids, but continues to tour and rock with his band. He has built up followings for both, and has a lot of cross-demo because original fans are now parents! I wrote him an email a few years ago, finally saw him live (for kids) last summer in Seattle, and now I’m booked for that same series and have built a tour around it. I’ve since been promoting my kids music to new markets as well and now my tours can easily mix shows for kids, adults, and build in time for travel, too, which is very important to me.
If you could be granted one wish, right now, as an artist, what would you ask for?
A driver! (Or an Airstream, with a driver, who is really hot and single, and preferably Latino.)
What is on the horizon in the next year for you?
I have spent the past few years living and performing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, during the winter months — mostly for English-speaking tourists and expats, though I am fluent in Spanish! I want to continue the roadtrip through Central America and South America and hopefully land on a few more loveable towns that I can camp out in during the winter and play music. This winter I will be recording a bilingual children’s album in Mexico, and I’m looking forward to seeing what opportunities may come from that creative effort.
To date, what do you think your best song is? Can you describe the song for us?
Omg, I have different choices for “best recording,” “best lyrics,” “best melody line,” etc… I think I have around 100 songs on Spotify. (including kids music as Super Stolie). But I think the best representation of my personality is probably “Poor Boys (Tequila Lips).” A friend said, “the perfect guy doesn’t exist. If he did, he would be made of chocolate and filled with tequila.” This became the inspiration for the song along with the "winning qualities" of the poor guys I keep choosing to date! I think a lot of gals can relate to this, and I’m happy to be the one to write an explicit, self-deprecating song with a mouth-trumpet solo.
Tell us where fans can access your music.
Stolie Website: www.stolie.com/ Super Stolie Website: www.superstolie.com/ Stolie Spotify: open.spotify.com/artist/4ZnfS5fVBnOAT0qWCWUmFv Super Stolie Spotify: open.spotify.com/artist/7Iecg2VUYaP0Ym0NbnLFAI