The Netherlands-based, Italian-raised, multi- lingual musician trying out RnB for size ... and refusing to fit in a box


Marco Sardi

Not everything is as it seems.

That seems to be the message the universe has for us, at present.

A reality TV show host can become the President of The United States. A previously unknown, unrecognised virus can sweep the globe leading to a worldwide pandemic. Young people raised in conservative communities, brought up on classical music and traditional values are highly likely to shun ‘the system’ and opt for a more liberal lifestyle - just as soon as they can escape.

Musician and artist, STEMIN, is certainly of the latter category - although this is likely to be the only category he actually ticks. Raised in rural Naples by German and Swiss parents, he was brought up to understand multiple cultures as well as learning to speak different five languages. Growing up in Italy proved tough. He felt like an outsider and never really seemed to fit into the pre-determined parameters set out by society, religion and the closed mindset of many of those around him. He dreamed of the day he would be able to reveal to loved ones his true identity; that he was in fact bi-sexual, but religious and societal Italian traditions would have it that he should marry young and settle down. It was during this period of his life that he discovered jazz, soul and RnB music and began to relate to some aspects of the struggles of identity that these musicians expressed through their music. He began to relate to the idea of being unable to be truly accepted for who you are.

There was only one thing to do: confront things heads on, or escape. After a difficult divorce from his wife, STEMIN moved on to Australia, Germany and Switzerland. During his period of being on the move, he found the energy to release his debut album ‘Love Through My Eyes’, which on reflection was clearly a subliminal nod towards his true story still needing to be told. Eventually settling in the Netherlands to begin a Masters qualification in music, he elaborates; “finding a more openminded and liberal sense of ‘home’ allowed me to begin my life again. Having the time and space to sculpt my story into the lyrics of my second album ‘#TellYourHeart’ and really understand my journey has been such an important process to me.” The album, which is set to be released in September has a contemporary RnB feel, both in the song-writing and production style (in part directed by the renowned Australian, electronic music producer, Nick Thayer) - and will feature a number of pre-release singles.

The lead single, ‘Closer, describes a story of meeting someone new, the butterflies one feels and the uncertainty of whether both people are equally attracted to one another, all wrapped up in a seemingly modern take on jazz-meets-RnB, clearly showing STEMIN’s influences in this field, including Anderson Paak and Kanye West. STEMIN states, “my hope is that ‘Closer’ becomes one in a series of musical messages to people. It’s easy to become trapped in life, but there is always a way out. I am a living example of this! I wish for my journey to empower others. Life is not about being told you are one thing and not another, or being put in a box. You can be many things and to many people - and I hope my experiences allows others to realise the same, whether now, or in time.”


Musician and artist STEMIN is a soul-RnB vocalist, composer, and pianist. He was born in Switzerland, to a Swiss father and a German mother but was raised in Italy.

Source Marco Sardi

June 16, 2020 6:15am ET by Marco Sardi  

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