STACEY Channels Old Hollywood in ‘Trouble Is’ Video: PopCrush Premiere
As I wait for STACEY outside a local Los Angeles coffee shop, she texts me saying she’s en route and wearing a Stevie Nicks-ish gown. When she arrives, I recognize her instantly as the long, cream lace flows behind her. Her eyes light up and she smiles, revealing a mouth full of pearly whites. Her electric energy radiates as she sits down, and she begins to discuss her love for L.A. immediately.
“There’s this unique, creative energy here,” she says. “People feed off each other. In my experience, people have been really open.”
The Toronto resident has spent the last few weeks in La La Land and is already trying to plan her next trip back. Fascinated with Old Hollywood, STACEY loves L.A.’s glamorous history—and it shows in her music.
From her style to her sound, it’s clear the 27-year-old artist is an old soul. Stemming from a love of piano, the singer-songwriter has spent the last few years honing in on her voice and recently released her beautiful sophomore EP, First Move, which shows a lusher, fuller side to her contemporary yet vintage sound.
Today, we’re excited to premiere the Gatsby-inspired video for “Trouble Is.” Watch the clip and learn more about STACEY, below.
What made you decide to film the “Trouble Is” video in black and white?
Whenever I closed my eyes and listened to “Trouble Is,” I began to remember the actual scenario that inspired the song in black and white. And so that bled into every step of conception for the video. It felt right.
The style is on par with your signature classic look. What was the inspiration for the visuals?
Once I had determined the video would be black and white, I used that as a starting point and ran with it. Having it evolve with a film noir aesthetic was a logical next step, especially being a lover of Old Hollywood fashion, hair and makeup. I took a lot of inspiration from old films and a sprinkle of Gatsby. I love getting dressed up and thought it’d be fun to create my own fancy party with some drama. In terms of wardrobe, the men came in their own clothing but about 99% of the women in the video are actually wearing pieces from my personal closet.
You helped direct this video. Is film something you're interested in?
Yeah! I don’t have a background in film at all, but I’m really hands on when it comes to the imagery that surrounds my music, so understanding how to put a music video together was something I’ve had to learn over the last few years. I’ve really come to love it. I think a lot about how creating a song is like a multidimensional puzzle; music videos & film are like another kind of puzzle! I love puzzles.
You recently released your sophomore EP, First Move, which has a fuller sound than your self-titled EP. What made you decide to go that direction on this album?
I think that I’ve always been sort of caught between absolutely loving piano ballads and loving pop songs. I’ve also just wanted to grow the product a little more. It’s a harder ceiling to crack as a woman on piano — you’re almost always given the opener’s spot — and I wanted to build these songs up to the potential I thought they had, and also hopefully move up the bill. There’s still so much piano in it though. I have a hard time letting go of it, and I don’t know why I feel like I should let go of it.
I guess I just had this idea that music is more electronic and hip-hop now more than ever. I just wanted to find a balance between those things and move in a bit of a different direction. I was really loving the Lana del Rey records and the Tame Impala records and the Tobias Jesso Jr. record. I felt like I had a clear idea of what I wanted the production to be.
The five songs on the EP are pretty brooding, emotional ballads. Did the inspiration come from personal experience?
Yeah, it always does. It’s hard for me to fake it. The irony is I’m a private person, and I don’t know how to express a lot of those feelings. This is the only place where they come out, which ends up being broadcasted to the world. All the songs that come through are about specific people, specific occurrences that I work through. I find it really hard to date. I find it really emotionally exhausting, so whenever I try to dip my toe in I get a few songs out of it.
Your sound is an interesting juxtaposition of classic and contemporary. What would you say are your largest influences?
I think that description is really indicative of my listening trajectory. I grew up listening to classical, my mom had Diana Krall on, and then ‘90s radio, and I was an emo kid for awhile. And I didn’t grow up in a musical family — my dad and two brothers are engineers and my mom is a doctor, so I’m the rogue arts child. They never had records; they didn’t listen to Carole King or Bob Dylan or Fleetwood Mac. I actually found that later on, in my late teens, early twenties. I felt like I was making up for lost time — there was this whole world that I was unaware of as a musician, and that was horrifying!
I really gravitate now to ‘50s, ‘60s, ’70s music. I love Al Green. Carole King is a huge influence. I don’t know if it comes through or not, but I just love her songwriting. Stevie Nicks is super witchy and dark and melancholic and heartfelt. For this EP, Tame Impala, Lana del Rey and Tobias Jesso Jr. inspired me, but the funny thing is, their through line is this vintage/contemporary juxtaposition, so I think it kind of makes sense I ended up on that side of things.
Where would you like to see yourself a year from now?
I want to do it all. I want to do festivals; I want to tour; I want to have another record out; I want to write with big artists; I want to be on cool projects. I just want to be in it 100%. I worked a full-time job for the last five years, and that’s how I’ve also been able to do all this independently so far. I just quit my job. It got really busy around the release of my EP. I was trying to do it all, and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I want to give music the focus I want to give it — that’s what I want to do.