As we get closer to the end of January…already? I’m looking forward to this week’s, three day creatives celebration, Kaleidoscope Houston. If you haven’t already, check out my feature on designer Steve Guthrie, who will be presenting his collection on the “Jet Set” themed night of the event. Today’s creative feature is on, singer Stella Marie Manalo who is set to perform at Kaleidoscope Houston’s “Imaginarium” night. This feature is near and dear to my heart as Stella is one of my closest friends here in Houston and an immensely talented singer. I wanted to interview Stella and get to know her not as a bestie, not as a mommy but as an artist and find out where she draws her inspiration from and what jazzes her up for a performance.
When did you start sing?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been singing. However, I started singing in public around 12 years of age when my mom started her own bible study group. I sang and accompanied myself on the piano for the praise and worship portion of the evening. Still do it now all these years later.
I know you like the Rock genre, What is it about Rock that you like so much?
I just love the energy with rock music. I love the fact that you can get so moved with the music to where you start head banging. When I was younger and even to this day, rock has always been the genre I listen to when I need to release some steam or pump up my energy.
What is your all time favorite song to sing?
My all time favorite song to sing has got to be the first song I ever performed with a Houston rock band called Sect of Fate; Bring Me To Life by Evanescence.
Do you have a favorite song you like to sing to your kids?
I used to sing the typical nursery lullabies to them but now I find they enjoy it more when I blast music for us to jam out to (and to help drain their energy lol). Aside from my own favorites, I play my son, Blaze’s, favorite song from Big Hero 6 called Immortal by Fall Out Boy. He sets that on repeat and head bangs to it, it’s so cute!
Do you prefer to sing alone or with a band?
While I don’t mind singing alone, I would much rather prefer to sing with a band. There is an energy that radiates between everyone on the stage that fuels an even greater and energetic performance. It’s kind of like asking, would you rather go to a party alone or with a group of your closest friends?
Have you ever considered auditioning for The Voice, American Idol, etc?
Yeah! I’ve thought about auditioning for The Voice years ago but only now built the confidence to go for it. So after working for The Voice during the Houston Open Call auditions, I found myself even more determined to audition. I had the chance to greet so many people that day from all ages, shapes, sizes, and colors; it was so inspiring! I thought, “If these people had the courage, I should too!”
Is there a Stella Marie original song you have written that we don’t know about?
Not yet. But lately, I’ve been writing my feelings down in a little notebook I have in addition to jotting down piano chords that I play around with here and there. Hopefully in the near future, I’ll have my first Stella Marie original song!
What inspires you to sing?
Honestly, as cliche as it sounds, what inspires me to sing is life, my family, my friends, my experiences. I find that there’s a song for almost every emotion I feel, even if the lyrics don’t match my mood, the music usually does. Singing has always been therapeutic for me and I know I can always turn to it to make me feel better.
How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe my personal style as feminine, sexy, edgy, and comfortable.
You know I have to ask, what’s your favorite item in your closet right now?
My favorite item in my closet right now would have to be my red stilettos. They’re my favorite color (red obviously), they’re fierce/sexy and go with almost every outfit I have. I can style them with a sleek black dress or pair it simply with jeans and a t-shirt. They’re so versatile and I love that they add a pop of color to everything. Like, BAM, I’m here!
I just want to thank Stella for taking the time to answer some questions and for a quick photo shoot on a busy Saturday morning. I’m so proud of Stella for taking a chance, getting out there and sharing with the world her amazing voice. I highly recommend everyone head over to Stella’s YouTube page and check out her musical stylings. I’m beyond excited for Stella’s Kaleidoscope Houston performance this Friday, January 29th and will be there front row, center stage with the squad cheering her on! If you’re in the Houston area and want to come check out Stella’s performance click here to grab your ticket before it’s sold out!
A HUGE THANK YOU to Stella, you’re gonna kill it on Friday!
Keeping it Confident – Patty