Check out our interview with indie-pop artist Stacey Kelleher who just released her second single of 2022 “Writing My Own Gravestone” this month.
The track is a dark pop anthem driven by electric guitars, synthesizers, and sub bass. Written by Kelleher along with Nashville songwriter Anna Kline and Alex Fansel, the track was co-produced by Kelleher and Fansel at Red Shed Sound in Franklin, TN.
“Gravestone” is a vulnerable admittance of pessimistic thoughts. Wanting to get out of such a dark place, Kelleher sings about wishing that she could let her feelings go and stop thinking so negatively. The song paints an honest narrative of the ups and downs of mental health.
Stacey’s EP “Songs So Far” was released in November 2021 and has received over 90,000 streams across DSPs. It won the coveted ‘Album of the Year’ award from Nashville artist management group Another Great Day Entertainment and was featured on No Country for New Nashville, Nashville Unsigned, We Are: the Guard, Young Music City, Jrod Concerts Podcast, and many more.
Follow Stacey @iamstaceykelleher
Hi Stacey, please tell us a little about you?
Hey Naluda, thanks so much for having me! I’m an indie-pop singer/songwriter/producer based in Nashville, TN. I write songs about the human experience and things that have happened to me in my life that affect me. The whole reason I make music is to let others know that they’re not alone!
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Motivated, funny, and busy!
How did you get started in the business?
I’ve been singing for my entire life and my parents enrolled me in piano lessons at the age of 6. From then on, I was addicted – I started guitar at age 9, joined band and chorus at my school, and did other musical extracurriculars like theater, a cappella groups, jazz band, and more. In high school I applied to Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and received a scholarship to go, where I majored in Songwriting and graduated in 2019! I decided to move to Nashville to continue my artist career and have been here ever since.
How has this changed your life?
Music has deeply enhanced my life and I’m so lucky to have a career in something that I love so much. I can’t count the amount of times that music has picked me up when I’m down and I’ve been so fortunate to have such an outlet in my life.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
After attending Berklee and making a network of friends in the business as well as collaborators, I decided to move to Nashville to further pursue music. I think it’s my love of music that’s gotten me in the industry this far and my drive to succeed that’s kept me going!
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
Some of my main influences include Maggie Rogers, Lennon Stella, Holly Humberstone, LANY, Phoebe Bridgers, and Madison Cunningham. I chose to make music because it’s the only thing throughout my life that’s been consistent and has always been there for me – once I started writing songs at age 10, I realized that it was an art form that truly could help myself and others. I’ve been writing ever since!
Do you play any instrument?
Yes, I actually play quite a few! Piano, guitar, bass guitar, and I played in the percussion section in my middle and high school band.
Do you ever get nervous?
Sometimes, yes! But not usually. I love what I do so much that I usually just get excited. But if it’s an important show or appearance, I’ll definitely get some butterflies.
Tell us about your new single “Writing My Own Gravestone?”
I wrote this song with Alex Fansel and Anna Kline about what it’s like to struggle with your mental health. I often tend to think on the negative side of things and wish that I could stay positive, but it can be hard to get out of that thought process sometimes. Alex and I co-produced it at his studio “Red Shed Sound” here in Nashville.
What’s the story behind the song?
We were sitting in the writing session and I was just talking about how pessimistic I am and how it sometimes can make me feel like I’m thinking myself into oblivion, oftentimes for no reason at all. We came up with the title “Writing My Own Gravestone” and then immediately started writing the song.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Definitely whenever people say that one of my songs helped them through something that they were going through. That’s the whole reason of why I make music – I want to help others and let them know that it’s okay to go through tough times. Even when things get rough, I want to let folks know that they’re not alone.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
If they’re in music, definitely “How to Make it in the New Music Business” by Ari Herstand!
What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
That it’s a marathon, not a sprint and pacing yourself (both in your career and in life) is important! Also to create a workflow that’s sustainable for you. Scheduling in when to work on music in my day to day life is super helpful in ensuring that I get things done but also don’t overwork myself.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
That you don’t have to be perfect to be successful!
How would your best friend describe you?
Funny, determined, and a great person to chat with about anything!
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
This is such a fun question! The title would be “Writing Her Way Through Life” because I write about all the different things that have happened to me.
What’s next for Stacey Kelleher in 2022?
Lots of new music, a tour in New England in July, and loads of more cool shows in Nashville!
What is your favorite healthy food?
I’m a big fan of quinoa!
And your favorite cheat food?
Tacos all the way!
How would you explain your fashion style?
Simplistic with lots of neutral colors.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Getting to do what I love while still having some free time to spend exploring the world and seeing my family, friends, and loved ones. And my dog!
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
This is so cliché for a musician, but I’d seriously love to meet John Mayer and ask him about songwriting and touring. I studied with one of the same professors that he did at Berklee so I’ve always wanted to chat with him, especially since I’m just one degree of separation away!
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
Going to Europe and traveling between countries with my partner!
Best advice ever given?
“Keep doing what you’re doing – you’re doing all the right things.” told to me by numerous folks in the music industry. It’s really validated me and made me feel like my hard work is seen and lets me know I’m on the right track.
Do you support any charity?
Yes – there’s a local charity in Nashville run by my friend Ava Suppelsa called “Hope on the Row” that aids Nashville’s homeless community. I try to donate whenever I can as well as perform benefit shows to help raise money for them!
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Writing lots of songs, hopefully touring a lot all over the country, having a few cuts for other artists, and to release lots more music…an album would be so fun!
Favorite song? Why?
This is a hard one! I love so many songs but I especially love “Progress” by Bre Kennedy. It’s so true to my life and sometimes it’s so hard to feel like you’re getting anywhere, but each day you’re getting one step further to the person you want to be.
What do you think of Social Media?
I think it’s a great tool, but it can be very hard on one’s mental health. I think it’s important to set limits and boundaries so as not to feel overwhelmed by it all, which for me happens often.
Where we can follow you?
You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook – my handle on both is @iamstaceykelleher! I’m also on TikTok at @staceykelleher, Twitter at @staceylkelleher, and you can stay posted on shows, merch, music, and more at my website, www.staceykellehermusic.com.
Book: People You Follow by Hayley Gene Penner
Quote: “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain!” – Dolly
Movie: The Hunger Games Tv Series: Selling Sunset
Favorite Food: Tacos!!!
Travel Destination: Italy
Sports Team: Boston Red Sox