Claudia Stephenson is a junior studying family science and human development at Montclair State University. Stephenson’s love for music inspired her to write her own songs and is now in the process of writing her own album. Stephenson spoke with The Montclarion staff writer, Gabriella Dragone, about how she got started and what to expect from her next album.
Q. How did you become interested in music?
A. I have always been interested in music since a young age. I started in middle school with mostly instruments like the flute, guitar and piano, but then eventually I started my own music when I got to high school.
Q. What’s the writing or recording process like?
A. It depends. Sometimes I’ll write at home, like I’ll play random feeds that I find online or I will make a session with one of my friends, who records most of our music. Then we’ll probably kind of wing it while he’s making a beat and we’ll freestyle most of the stuff.
Q. How do you feel while writing a song compared to recording and listening to the finished product?
A. I like recording more. Writing is cool, but when I’m recording, I can write stuff while I’m there too. I’ll hear it and then be like “I could add this,” and it sounds so much better and more fun. It’s very therapeutic, I feel, so I like recording a lot more.
Q. Do you hope to get a career in music and do you have a backup plan?
A. It is a goal. I hope that it does work out, but if it doesn’t then yes, my backup plan is either teaching or psychology and hopefully getting my Ph.D.
Q. What would you teach?
A. Math for middle school, specifically sixth grade.
Q. How many songs or albums have you released?
A. I only have three songs that are technically out, they’re on SoundCloud, but I don’t really count them. I don’t count anything I drop on SoundCloud. I am working on a project, and I don’t have a release date yet, but its going to be an album that I’ll put on all platforms.
Q. What can we expect from this album?
A. For it to be amazing of course! It will be very different, definitely not something you hear all the time. A mix of genres that don’t all sound the same, some of them are very different and some of them are similar. It’s going to be “space” themed, so most of the titles are going to be titled in correlation to space and the Earth. I have not picked the name yet, but I’m still thinking about it.
Q. What genre of music is your favorite and why?
A. I like jazz and I like rhythm and blues. I don’t have a specific favorite because I listen to a lot of different music. But I do like most R&B and electronic music, it just sounds so cool.
Q. So, you don’t have a release date for the album?
A. I was aiming for like January, wintertime. I might have to move it, but that’s the goal: wintertime.
Q. Do you have a stage name?
A. My stage name is Storm.
Q. What made you choose that name?
A. It used to be “Cloud,” but I did a song with another artist who put it on all platforms and didn’t give me credit for it. It was a whole ordeal in which I felt like I had to restart, so I changed my name completely to something I felt was more powerful.
Q. How do you get inspired to write a song?
A. Most of the time I’m sad, heartbroken, stressed or depressed and I’ll use that as my outlet to let it all out, and that’s kind of like my therapy. Sometimes I write love songs, but it really depends. I usually focus on a lot of heartbreaking things. I haven’t really written about other experiences. There is one song I have that’s coming out on the album that focuses on sexual harassment and rape, but other than that that’s it.
Q. What kind of advice do you have for people who want to go into music?
A. To do it, just don’t stop. Keep going if it doesn’t happen. If it doesn’t happen, you don’t have to stop pursuing music.
Stephenson’s album will be available on all music streaming platforms, such as iTunes and Spotify, after release.