You might know her from her breakout global hit ‘I love you 3000’, a catchy song that the world could not stop humming to, but today, rising Indonesian-American singer, songwriter and producer, Stephanie Poetri shares her new single ‘Selfish’ in her forthcoming EP AM:PM, proving that she’s more than just a one-hit wonder.
AM:PM explores Stephanie’s light-hearted daydreams and solemn midnight queries in the form of a musical project. The flow of the tracklist represents the duality between the emotions that can arise during the morning where most of us feel energized and hopeful versus the evening where our feelings will be sombre and melancholy.
To complement the song that speaks about the battle one holds on their own emotions, a vibrant fluorescent music video was also released. This is where JUICE had the amazing opportunity to speak with the rising global pop star about her brand new experience of releasing a music video during a pandemic, her 2021 resolutions and even her thoughts on K-pop.
Here’s our conversation with the talented artiste…
First things first, how have you been with the whole pandemic and has it taken a toll on your music?
*Nervous laughter* It could have been better. If it weren’t for the pandemic, I would be back home in Indonesia right now with my mom, making some music. What I would really love is some good Asian weather right now actually, I’m not good with the cold… You would know how I feel!
Definitely! I’m a hot weather stan too, gotta have my Malaysian heat. Anyways, coming back to the question of the whole pandemic, did you have any difficulties recording this forthcoming EP of yours, AM: PM?
At first, I thought it was going to be really hard. Like for the music video, we had to make sure we followed restrictions and I definitely was one of those people that made sure that everyone was wearing a mask and took a test too!
However, the recording was a breeze and we realized that even before the pandemic, the studio only had the essential people in it which was me, the engineer and vocal director. This arrangement of people in the studio has been like this even before the pandemic so I’ve gradually gotten used to the fact that I don’t need a lot of people in the studio and in this case to lessen the spread, so it’s chill!
I get what you mean, on top of that I guess this must be a whole new experience for you with the restrictions that need to be followed and wearing a mask at all times right?
Yes, it was, but here’s the thing I have been wearing masks on the daily since I was 16 cause I get really bad sinuses, so I’ve been wearing masks since a long time ago. So every time when I post a picture and wear a mask, people would think that I’m in quarantine when that picture was from 3 years ago.
So I’m quite used to it and have even found the right mask for me. Did you find the right mask for you?
Yes, I have. I’m actually using the UNIQLO Airism mask right now because I have bad sinuses too and I can’t stand the little hairs in normal masks because it itches my nose! But other than that, I listened to your new single ‘Selfish’ and found it very catchy and relatable, not just to me but to everyone else that hears it too! So I just have to know, was this song personal to you when you were writing it?
I just felt that it was something that I went through and what my friends went through when you like someone and you feel jealous but you don’t have the right to be jealous. However, the production was what kind of won me over the most, I really liked the chorus.
At first, the song even had two versions, which was an electronic version and acoustic version but we ended up going for the acoustic version because I liked the guitar part better. But all in all, it was fun and it really fit well with my voice because I don’t have too high of a voice, so this really sprinkled in the high notes.
Yeah, I get you, which leaves us to the music video, could you explain what was the idea behind it?
So the music video, basically I gave a bunch of references for the makeup, colours and lights because I’m more of a visual person. So I made a huge mood board that had Euphoria-inspired stuff and I really like those colours. So when I listened to ‘Selfish’, those were the colours I heard. Neon lights of purple, pink and a tinge of blue.
Wow honestly, since you mentioned it, I can see it now and how the whole music video was very Euphoria inspired! That’s so interesting! Anyways, it’s no secret that your mother is a famous Indonesian pop diva, Titi DJ. She was amazing back in her day with a few top hits too. As her daughter, how does it feel to follow in your mother’s footsteps of being an artist? Do you get tips from her too?
It feels incredible because she has 4 kids and at one point none of us were interested in music, and I guess it feels nice to continue her legacy and put all the knowledge that she has taught us into good use. But yeah, she gives a lot of good advice, and it’s mostly in terms of the industry.
She doesn’t really give too many opinions on music itself like creativity wise, but just industry-wise like things that can’t really be searched and found on Youtube but through hearing from people experiences. So, she does talk a lot about what it’s like to be a female singer in this industry and how it all works out.
Wow, you must be really lucky for your mom to be your mentor since you could just reach out to her anytime! But okay, talking about lucky, let’s just backtrack for a moment and talk about your breakthrough hit ‘I love you 3000’. I absolutely loved the song, it was super catchy and cute and I would just like to know, how was your experience working and collaborating with the one and only Jackson Wang?
Overall, Jackson was really cool. He was really humble and nice and not just to me but to everyone on set. Personally, it was just nice to see someone, that’s been here after all those years in the industry, be that amazing. It was also crazy to see him singing all the lyrics that I wrote. We stan!
Yes, indeed we do, Are you a K-pop fan yourself?
Yes, I am. I love whoever is coming back in the K-pop industry but I do love me some girl groups like Everglow and their song ‘La di da’. So if you’ve noticed, there’s a new retro wave theme coming into the K-pop scene, and I really love what they did in their song. But yeah, I still love and listen to TWICE and Blackpink. I even attended their concert in Indonesia so it was fun!
I get what you mean… I grew up listening to the pioneers of K-pop like Big Bang and 2NE1, so I’m glad you’re a K-pop fan too! Moving on, speaking of collaborations, who would you see yourself collaborating with in the future? Anyone in Malaysia perhaps?
You know, I love me some Yuna. So please hit me up, girl! I found her through Crush and I know she worked with Usher and other bigger stars but yeah if she’d like to collab with a South-East Asian girl, I’m ready for it!
Ok, but besides Yuna, are there any other Malaysian artists that you’d like to collaborate with?
Yes! But here’s the thing I don’t know if these people that I want to collaborate with are Malaysian and it happens so often! But yes, I would love too! Do you have any recommendations?
Yes, I do! Have you heard of Alextbh?
Oh my gosh, Alextbh is Malaysian? You see this is what I mean. I know them, but I just didn’t know that they are from Malaysia! I’m definitely putting that on my list!
Alright! So 2021 is literally right around the corner, do you have any resolutions for next year?
I think I would want to have a better schedule and put out more songs that are not necessarily meant for singles but just instrumentals for people to use for free but I would have to ask if I could do that legally first!
That’s so nice but okay speaking into the future, what will be next for you after you’ve recorded this EP? Are there any plans for an album or tour?
I think after the EP comes out, I’m not sure if I’m ready for an album but I’m gonna put out some new singles. In fact, I have some new bunch of songs ready that I would love for people to hear, it’s only a matter of when!
I see, however, if you were available to have a tour after this whole pandemic dies down, would you come to Malaysia?
Of course, I would! We are so close to each other, I wouldn’t even need a plane, I could even use a boat but yes definitely I would come over and perform there. I can’t wait!
As of now, the highly anticipated album is scheduled to be released in the new year, but until then listen to her new song ‘Selfish’ on Spotify here: