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A Dirty Dozen with STAY OVER – August 2020

| 6 August 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Stay Over has released his new single “IDKATL,” out now on Bananabeat Records. Listen to the track which brims with angsty rock choruses and electric guitar riffs while drawing from Stay Over’s own vulnerabilities to assert that uncertainty and self-doubt is a normal part of what it means to be human. “IDKATL” was produced by Robbie Winn and GRAMMY-nominated artist and producer Cisco Adler. Drawing inspiration from a diverse array of influences such as Kid Cudi, Death Cab for Cutie, and even Shakespeare, Stay Over places human connection at the forefront of his art and uses it to explore deeply personal themes of love, loss, happiness, grief, and his own struggles with mental health to encourage people to connect, empower them to speak about their issues, and help them realize they aren’t so alone.” We get Stay Over to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about “IDKATL.”  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

“IDKATL” is about me trying to figure out what the fuck is going on in life. Half the time I don’t even know what’s going on. Over the past few years, I’ve gone through a lotta changes and once I rly started doing the self-work I’ve been avoiding forever, a lot has come to light. I stopped drinking and smoking completely because I thought I was becoming dependent on it. I was running from myself. Running from my own problems. I wanted a change and so I made one. I wasn’t quite sure how to be socially anymore because whenever I felt awkward or out of place before, I would just smoke, or drink and it would help. Now it was just me. Hyper aware of my every move. Overthinking everything. I couldn’t even be myself because I didn’t know who the fuck I was. I didn’t know the real version of me because I was hiding from myself for years. I moved to LA and didn’t have many friends or any family here. I was trying to rediscover who I was before I got lost. That’s what this song is about.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I was born and raised in Philly. It’s a super musical city and has a deep musical history. Philly has soul. If I wasn’t from there, I don’t know if I ever would’ve gotten into music the way I did. I grew up on rap. At first it was mainstream shit like 50 Cent and Eminem and then I did some history and got into A Tribe Called Quest and Jurassic 5. In middle school I started getting into poetry. Inspired by my Language Arts class where we learned about Shakespeare. I fell in love with rhyming and iambic pentameter. I liked words. I liked metaphors. I liked imagery. It was my thing. I started writing raps with my best friend Quincy. His older cousins had a rap group and we wanted to be just like them. Once I found that writing and rhyming words came easy to me it was game over. I became obsessed. It was all I cared about doing. I would write in class, after class, when I got home, I would write girls poems, I would write my family raps for their birthday etc. It was what I loved to do. From there I started playing piano and drums a little bit. I drummed in a band when I was like 14 in New York for a summer. They needed someone and I was good enough to fill the spot for the time being. I could express myself through music. Through words. Through drums.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I remember my first week of high school I went to FYE and bought Kanye’s Graduation album the Friday it came out. That album especially and Kanye as an artist shaped my life, to be honest. He inspired me. To chase a dream. To go after what I wanted. To be myself. Unapologetically. I became the kid in my school who rapped. At the same time my older sister had this boyfriend named Bryce that had cool taste in music. Shit I never heard about before. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Death Cab For Cutie, The Killers. He put a bunch of music on my computer one day and after that it was all I would listen to in my iPod when I took the bus to school. I always give credit to Bryce and my sister for opening my eyes to more than just rap music. Years later who knew I would want to do a Collab album with Benjamin Gibbard and Kanye West lol.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Benjamin Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie and Postal Service), Kanye West, The Killers (Hot Fuss specifically), Drake, and Lil Wayne.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Benjamin Gibbard and Kanye. They’re my favorite and I probably wouldn’t be making music if it wasn’t for them.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe, or you disagreed with?

Postal Service meets Kanye. (I feel like i’m going to mention both of those names in every interview forever lol). People don’t rly compare my shit to anything else. At least not yet.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I don’t have a band. It’s just me in my room cutting vocals. And I don’t drink. To be honest I don’t have many friends either.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I used to get starstruck a lot more when I was younger. But I saw Blake Griffin the other day on the beach and had a conversation with his family. That was cool.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part about being a musician is the platform it’s given me to have a positive impact on people’s lives. I get the chance to try and do some good in this world while I’m here. I’ve been responding to Instagram DM’s every day for years to kids asking for advice, just wanting to vent, showing love, telling me how much the music I’ve released has helped their lives. That’s the more rewarding part about everything. Feeling like I matter. Feeling like I can change someone’s day. 1 person at a time.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I have narcissistic tendencies so I never rly get tired of answering question about myself. I always wished interviewers asked me about my favorite types of cereals growing up. I used to be obsessed with cereal. Waffle Crisp was one of my faves. Super rare. Goat cereal. Look it up if you’ve never heard of it 🙂

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Yeah. I would’ve tried harder to keep certain relationships strong with certain people that love and care about me. I pushed a lot of people in my life away over the years for a lot of reasons. Mostly because I was selfish and self-centered and always felt like people didn’t have my best interest at heart. I had to go through it on my own, but I wish I had certain people with me during my toughest times. But sometimes you have to deal with your own shit and not turn back.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Anything involving Kanye. I’ve had dreams about meeting Kanye and telling him how much him and his music has helped me. to be in a session and see where his mind was at during the process of 808 & Heartbreak would be a dream come true. that album was a risk for him musically at the time. it was the album he put out following Graduation, which had “hits” on it and was probably what people were expecting from him at the time. to then put out an entire project full of him predominantly singing with heavy autotune was not something people expected. during the creation of the album Kanye and all his producers / collaborators wore suits to all their sessions. he creates a whole world and energy for each project. it’s inspiring.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

I miss not having to carry a face mask with me everywhere I go.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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