Gabriella Stella: Singer-Songwriter Advocating for Women Empowerment
Updated: Nov 28, 2020
This year has impacted the creative industry in many ways. Today, we're focusing on one of the positives, which is how it inspired artists to create an impact. Whether it was with art, in the form of dance or music, quarantine seemed to elevate some to a whole new level within their craft. You've probably experienced it yourself when it came to social injustices like women’s inequality.
We sat down with Dallas-native and aspiring artist, Gabriella Stella, to talk about how her music has shifted during a pandemic. We talked a lot about her inspiration rooting from past gender bias experiences and how she's using her platform to speak up. From Women's Equality Day to the current election and prejudice, keep reading for our exclusive interview with the pop artist.
Q: Who is Gabriella Stella? Gabriella Stella: I am a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Dallas, Texas. I've been singing since I was two. I wouldn't stop singing everything. Everything had to be a song. Music has always been something that has helped me understand what's goes on in the world and in my life. Q: How long have you been in the Dallas music scene? Gabriella: I started taking my music more seriously when I was 15. I started taking vocal lessons and doing any training I could do. So, I started taking Septien vocal training in Addison, Hollywood Launch in Frisco, and anything I could get into. But as far as the Dallas music scene, I've started putting myself out there about two to three years ago. I waited because I wanted to find my sound before putting myself out there. Q: What I've heard so far from your music, you kind of give me a Doja Cat meets Ariana Grande type of vibe. And I'm not just saying that because you did a "Thank U, Next" cover on your website. So, who are your biggest musical inspirations and why? Gabriella: I love Amy Winehouse, Demi Lovato, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha, Lady Gaga, and Ariana Grande. With Demi Lovato, I love how honest she is about her story and I'm very open about my mental health and what I go through every day. With Julia Michaels, I love her songwriting, I love how she plays piano and she's her own producer...I'm starting to learn how to do all these things. I just love the strong female empowerment and vocal range of all of these women. Q: Speaking of Ariana Grande, you did a mashup of "Thank U, Next" and "Break Up With Your Girlfriend", out of any Ariana Grande songs that you could've picked, why those two for the mashup? Gabriella: Right around then “Thank U, Next” just started becoming bigger and it was a different sound for Ariana. But, I loved those two songs and they were the two from the album that were just stuck in my head. I felt like they were the same notes and we could do something really cool with them. And SPCMN just came in and did his thing with the song. He’s so talented. You can give him and song and he’ll remix it while still keeping the integrity of the original. Q: I get super girl power vibes from you and your music. It showcases what you stand for and it’s super important right now because we celebrated women’s equality day a few months ago, the elections are happening, and women are encouraging other women to use their power in any way. How are you using your platform to make an impact? Gabriella: Touching on voting, I’m actually registering to vote for the first time ever. I’m excited and I think this year is very important with what’s going on; COVID, Black Lives Matter, Women Equality, LGBTQ+… there are so many matters that are super important to me and I’m very vocal about all of those. I went to a Black Lives Matter protest and it’s important to realize that they need the voice right now.
I have this Gossip With Gabbie on Instagram Live and we talked a lot about these important conversations to have and how everyone feels towards it. I’ve done a lot more of speaking my mind and I think it’s so important during these times to do so.
Q: There are some people who - whether they’re artists, influencers, or just have an influence on social media - sometimes they don’t like to touch on subjects like this because they don’t want to lose followers or that their beliefs don’t align with the majority of people who make their living for them. What are your thoughts on this? Gabriella: I think it’s hard being an independent artist and not having this big team or presence, it’s a little easier to stand in the background and stay neutral so you don’t hurt your fans or ruin opportunities. I get that, but it’s selfish in a sense because you might look back and wish you would’ve said something. For me, being bullied from middle school throughout high school, the people who are the worst aren’t the bullies, but the bystanders. They stand by and just let this stuff happen and I’ve seen many people taking this stance.
I mean you have to take care of things you feel comfortable with. I’d never forced someone to speak on a certain matter. But right now action is required, so not speaking on it is even worse than sitting there saying “I’m neutral”.
Q: I agree with a lot of that! Now on a lighter note, for your single “Babygirl”, how recent was that drop? Gabriella: I actually released it on my 21st birthday, which was back in February…to think of the beginning of this year feels like a lifetime ago. But it was kind of the end of being a baby girl. And I named it “Babygirl” because I think when you are female, especially growing up in this society, there’s a lot of pressure. If you dress this way you’re a ’slut’ or a ‘prude’…it’s like can I just dress the way I want to dress.
For me, I’m comfortable in sweats and mini skirts. No makeup and a ton of makeup. And I think it’s so funny how men get to sit there and judge. So when I wrote this song I just heard “Thank U, Next” and I wanted that type of vibe but I wanted it to be about empowering girls. I thought about all the experiences I went through dealing with gender roles and expectations of women.
I was so done with the double standard of men can walk around and do this and women would get punished or judged.
Q: Have you made a music video for "Babygirl" or is there one in the works? Gabriella: Yes, I have it out on my IGTV. Due to everything with COVID, I had to figure it out and I got this awesome cartoonist to combine all these videos of strong women from tv shows, movies, music videos, etc., to make one amazing music video. It's literally my favorite.
Q: What other upcoming projects do you have that we should know about? Gabriella: I recently released "Bad Love", which came out in September. I've been holding on to it for a year and a half. I also have an official and acoustic music video out now. The song is about relationships. The gist is just because you have these relationships doesn't always mean it's a healthy one. So, when I originally wrote it, it was about a relationship of mine that wasn't healthy, but I still loved that person. It also really shows my vocals compared to "Babygirl" which was more on the fun side.
Q: Final question that we love to ask all our guests: what does the word 'uproar' mean to you?
Gabriella: 'Roar' makes me think of Katy Perry's song where you just want to scream and get attention from everybody and I think being an underground artist, it's hard to be seen as so many musicians are in the same boat as me. So, for me, I think it's just being yourself and becoming comfortable in who you are.
Make sure to watch the video above for the full interview. You can find Gabriella Stella's music on all streaming platforms. Special thanks to: @Gabriellaastella