Since her first, tentative performance as a solo vocalist aged 15 - at a school competition - singer-songwriter Stevie Parker has emerged with an understated aesthetic of simplicity, soul, and fragility in her music.
Having introduced the world to the breathy vocals and down-tempo soundscapes of her debut EP, ‘Blue’, last year, she’s developed a following fixated with her narratives of raw emotion.
Stevie cites the autobiographical songwriting of artists such as Amy Winehouse and the independence of PJ Harvey as influences in her music. “I really admire artists who speak the truth and sing from their experience,” she explains, stating that in her own music, she “never lost that fragility and innocence; I’ve always been drawn to the honesty of depicting a situation how it really is - warts and all.”
Despite encouraging a “looseness and impressionistic approach” in recording ‘Blue’, a personal theme resonates throughout. “These songs are about melancholy and the unfulfilled potential of relationships,” Stevie states, resulting in the confessional of ‘Better Off’ and cinematic sweep of ‘The Cure’.
This propensity towards creating atmosphere in her music is something that Stevie links to her living in Bristol. “There definitely is a Bristol sound,” she states. “I've always been drawn to the decaying darkness that comes from artists like Massive Attack.” This effect is compounded by the solipsistic purity of her accompanying videos, a choice rooted in Stevie’s personality. “Aesthetics are something I struggle with,” she admits. “From six-years-old, I have worn what I wear now. I’ve always wanted to keep my visual presence as simple and as non-detracting as possible.”
Stevie believes that “with girls there’s more pressure to be something very specific - it's not enough to just be talented,” but with ‘Blue’ and her forthcoming debut LP, she is fronting a wave of female acts whose talent speaks clearly for itself. She happily exclaims: “It’s an exciting time to be a solo female artist.”
WHAT: Emotionally charged pop set to a cinematic soundscape
GET 3 SONGS: ‘Better Off’, ‘Without You’, ‘The Cure’
FACT: Stevie’s work has been informed by insomnia and anxiety, which she has struggled with.
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Words: Ammar Kalia
Photography: Sophie Mayanne
Styling: Vincent Pons