Editor’s Note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
To produce his new single, “Black Heart,” singer-songwriter Stealth teamed up with soul band Dap-Kings. Stealth’s unique style combines the blues with alternative rock to form moody and striking songs. Armed with his deep and raspy voice and his passion for performing live shows, the UK native is a force to be reckoned with.
Stealth has found success readily: “Truth Is,” a song from his EP, Chorus, has been ranked beside artists like Billie Eilish, Broods, Childish Gambino and Logic, and before signing to Ultra Music, he was nominated for three Unsigned Music Awards.
I sat down with the man behind Stealth to learn more about “Black Heart” and his upcoming projects.
Ariel Zedric: Tell me about the inspiration for your newest single, “Black Heart”!
Stealth: I was having a bit of a tough time creatively and wasn’t really writing music I wanted to write and chasing what I thought others wanted me to do. Then I just got sick of it and wanted to do something real old school. Ironically it was the song that everyone wanted me to write. Sometimes you just have to get out of your own way.
How is “Black Heart” different from your previous tracks? How is it similar?
It’s different because of what the Dap Kings brought to the table. They just have this real funk and soul that oozes through the record, and it really took it to another level. “Black Heart” is similar to my other tracks because it’s me singing it!
What was it like working with Dap-Kings?
Truly one of the best experiences of my life. They are just incredible musicians and such chill guys!
Walk me through your writing process. Where do you find inspiration?
Here, there and everywhere. It can sometimes come from films and movies or books. A lot of the time from real life. One thing I’ve learned is to always have something to write ideas down as they come at the weirdest times. Then when in the studio, it’s just, however, the idea flows best. Sometimes I start with the chords or a riff. Sometimes I have a whole section lyrically and no music. It’s a really fluid, changing process for me.
What’s your favorite part about performing live shows?
Getting a live response to the music. Sure it’s great seeing streaming figures grow, which indicates that people are enjoying the music, but actually seeing their faces as you perform is other-worldly.
Explain the personal and professional struggles you’ve encountered in the music industry thus far. How have they molded you?
The hardest thing I’ve learned is there is no separation between personal and professional. As an artist, you share yourself with the world, and when you are rejected, it’s very difficult not to take that personally. What has helped me through, especially in the last few years, is to not care about what people in the industry think. Keep doing what you want as long as it makes you happy. And if someone gets it then great, if they don’t, who cares? The world keeps turning.
Have you ever doubted your choice to pursue music? If so, what’s kept you going?
Every day. I’d probably say a bit of fear of failure keeps me going but also chasing the wins. When you have a bit of success it’s very hard not to want that again.
Tell me about a moment in your career that has left you extremely proud.
Probably recording with the Dap-Kings, considering some of the people who have graced that vocal booth with them.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you want fans to know about?
My next single “Bury Me” will be coming out very soon, and it’s a song I’m very excited about. Also, I have my show on the 21st of May at Hoxton Bar and Grill in Shoreditch London.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
I actually don’t think I have one. I would say I take inspiration from loads of different people from lots of different areas in my life. I really can’t bring it down to just one person. Life throws different things at me so I look up to different people with different experiences for guidance depending on the situation.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists in the field? How has your success story panned out?
Just hang on in there. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s taken me longer than I like to admit to get to where I am. And I still have a mountain to climb.