Our interview with talented Justine Iaboni who many may be familiar with from the popular fashion blog Jetset Justine. Justine left her successful blogging business behind to follow her true calling in life: music.
Now guided by a spiritual awakening, Justine is introducing her transformation into Stellina, an electronic artist and pianist with high soprano vocals who recently released her first mixtape Star Seventeen on November 17th. The mixtape features five tracks including her first single Extra Sunny. Followers and fans can expect music that is upbeat with influences of house, hip-hop and dancehall while marrying her spiritual sensibility to it. Star Seventeen is now available on Apple Music and also Spotify.
Hi Justine, please tell us a little about you?
I’m a fashion blogger turned musician, and spiritualist. My sun is in Leo, my moon is in Virgo and my rising sign is Cancer.
Describe yourself in 3 words
Loving, Creative and Kind.
When was it that you first realized that you wanted to pursue music as a career?
When I was very young. It’s the only thing I really remember wanting as a child.
What is your musical background?
I’ve got my grade 8 piano, grade 10 voice, I was in a professional choir for 5 years when I was in elementary school, we toured Australia and New Zealand. I’ve trained with Greg Enriquez in Las Vegas on and off over the past 15 years. I love all types of music, especially hip hop, rap, jazz, chill out, electronic, house music and RnB.
Is your family musical?
Yup, my dad is a musician. He plays piano, organ, and accordion. Basically, anything with 88 keys.
What kind of music do you listen normally?
I listen to everything. Depends on my mood. Sometimes I’m streaming Solfeggio healing frequencies, other times I’m on a Kendrick Lamar bender – which could last weeks.
Tell us about your single “Extra Sunny”
It’s a creepy reggae-esque tune that features high soprano vocals, rap and a catchy melody. The song is all about casual sex and flipping the stereotypes about women being unable to have no-strings-attached relationships.
Why did you choose to take on the name Stellina?
My grandmother used to call me that when I was growing up. I’ve always gravitated towards star symbolism – Stellina means little star in Italian. it’s very personal to me. I was less concerned with picking something “commercial” than picking something from the heart. TBH I’m so over doing things so that other people understand.
Explain your sound in 3 words
Ethereal, Nostalgic and Cheeky.
What is your next goal as a musician?
I’d like to get into production. I really feel like when you put your sound into the hands of a producer, it becomes a joint message. I want to be able to find my soul’s message to the world before I work with anyone.
You had a very popular fashion blog Jetset Justine? What made you change this path to music?
I was deeply unhappy and the dynamics of the influencer industry really were not aligned with my truth anymore. It was beautiful when I started out, and when things were very organic and authentic. Then I started to put money before my heart, doing things to appease clients, thinking of the “business” more than anything else – and I thought I was being “smart” and what a “successful” business person would do. Instead, I was lying to my soul. Sooner or later, the Universe revealed itself to me. And I had no choice but to follow the calling.
Do you still write for your blog?
I’ve taken a break. Instead I send out a private newsletter to my loyal readers who have displayed interest in hearing more about my journey.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
My breath, my voice, my connection to source, yoga, and water.
Any loves other than music?
I love yoga and I love to cook! I love anything that has to do with spirituality. Moon retreats, crystals, tarot cards. I love writing poetry as well, I guess writing sort of has to do with music. I love film, too. I have an MA in film studies. I wouldn’t be surprised if film becomes something I get into at some point in my life.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
Hmmmm. Going for brunch with my boyfriend, having family over for dinner, doing a yoga class at some point, meditating, going for a walk…
What is your favorite healthy food?
I LOVE Greenhouse Juice’s Kefir water.
And your favorite cheat food?
Pizza!!!!!!!! C’mon it’s not even a cheat food lol. Potato chips?
Best advice ever given?
Find your people.
Do you get nervous before a performance?
Omg yes. But once I’m on stage I don’t want to get off lol.
Any advice for upcoming singers?
Don’t give up. Please. If you can hear that calling, follow it. I gave up on my dream to be a singer for 15 years and even though I’m following the dream now, I met a woman who gave up on her dream and she cried in my arms. She said, “please don’t give up. the regret never leaves you. when you feel sad or doubtful, remember me. do it for me.”
If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
Writing. But like, I’d be dead inside.
Any exciting news you want to share with us?
I’m going to be mentoring University students at the Univerisity of Toronto in 2018! That was a big goal for me this year and I’m so happy to have made it happen!
What is your own definition of happiness?
To accept everything as it is. Right now.
Who is your biggest beauty inspiration?
I love anything that Milk beauty posts – like the little star tattoos on the eye. Love that. I think the Kardashians have been beauty inspirations for me, and for many people, over the years. I love natural beauty as well.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
Um, if my date put me down.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
OMG my friends and I did this last month, it was so hard to pick just ONE person. I think I’d want to meet Cleopatra – actually her and Dr. Wayne Dyer.
Do you support any charities?
I do. Mostly dog charities 🙂 I support Save our Scruff, the Humane Society and the St. Assis Sanctuary in Puerto Rico. I also have a group of homeless people that I give money to every time I walk to yoga. They are in the same spot every time, so I feel it is my duty to help them every time I walk by. I put money aside for them every day. I would like to get more involved with charity work now that I have lots of time on my hands.
How important is Social Media for you?
It’s really important. Social media is my love made visible. It’s a way to connect to people in the world, to help them, to inspire them, to be inspired. I think when you apply Wayne Dyer’s 7 faces of intention to something like social media (he says that the Universe is kind, loving, creative, beautiful, ever expanding, abundant and receptive to all) you’re using it in a way that aligns with the higher good of yourself and all people involved.
Where we can follow you?
@stellinaxvii – and if anyone wants to subscribe to my newsletter “Brb, Talking to the Universe” they can send me a DM on IG.
Quote: “We are infinite spirit having a temporary human experience”
Food: Pasta any kind, any way.
Actor/Actress: Meryl Streep
Drink: Kefir Water
City: Toronto, LA, Miami, Rome
Movie: In the Mood for Love
Sport Team: ugh, the leafs lol
Song: I don’t have a fave! That would be way too hard.
Photo Credit: Mauricio Calero