A couple of weeks ago, Stephanie Cheape released her debut EP ‘OK Without You’ to the world, and I’ve been fully obsessed with it ever since. Stephanie’s EP consists of three tracks, ‘OK Without You‘, ‘Up On My Luck‘ and ‘Here I Am‘ – I caught up with her – virtually – to find out a bit more about the making of them.
‘OK Without You’ was released on Friday, how long was your ep in the making?
The EP took around 2 years to come together fully… the songs are a mix of different productions and working with different people. But when we got to the middle of the road and seen the music we were creating, it just felt right.
How did you pick which three tracks would make the cut?
It was by no means an easy decision, but the songs all flowed with the story I wanted to tell. Its a bout moving from a place of weakness and feeling like life has chewed you up, to then finding your voice and the calm in your storm – then the final track is level 10 female empowerment. And thats pretty much the journey I had and wanted to share. Ok without you was co written & produced with Lewis Gardiner, and we knew exactly what we wanted to say in song. Up on my Luck I wrote in the studio with Garry from the band, we were working on it and it felt like a step toward being in a stronger mind and thats why its bang in the middle of the EP. And Here I Am – was the first co-write I ever did. I wrote the song with Sam McTrusty & Ross McNae as a demo. It was very experimental but great to work with the boys and they were able to bring the front woman out in me. So I decided that song belonged very much on the EP to set the tone of what to expect in future from women in music.
Tell me about your writing process – do you lock yourself away and think ‘okay, writing a song right now,’ or do you just wait until it hits you?
Well it can come anytime to be honest… They were all very different settings for each song, but the hook for up on my luck came whilst I was on a lunch run to Macdonald’s. We’d been writing all day in the studio and we hit a wall. I was driving back, when the hook “I’m coming up on my luck” hit me and I pulled over mid chicken nugget to voice memo it. I’ve saved it on my phone as a special reminder that behind every good song is a good snack.
But mainly I lock myself away with snacks. sweets are vital.
Why did you pick OK Without You to be the title track of the ep?
It was the statement that summed up my journey over the last few years and not something we often say… but there is light at the end of everything difficult.
You were off on a writing camp with Be Charlotte and a load of other female musicians last week; how did that come about?
I got an email from BeCharlotte, we’ve met a few times over the years on festival camps and just industry events… she reached out and invited me along. Charlottes someone I have a lot of respect for, she’s very hard working and created this full camp on her own. It was probably one the best things I’ve done in my music career.
If you could release a track with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
I would love to write with Ryan Tedder from One Republic. Huge fan of his writing and vision!
Who are your main influences?
I’ve had so many over the years, its constantly changes from song to song… But i honestly try not to allow my sound to be influenced by any other artists. I never write to sound a certain way, I just write what I feel and see how that sounds. So my answer is I influence me.
How would you describe your music to someone who hadn’t listened before?
If dark pop & chill pop had a baby it’d be my sound.
What’s next for you?
Hopefully survive covid 19. IF so, a delayed summer of festivals, releasing the 2nd part of my EP in May, I’ve been writing constantly and writing for songs which would suit some other artists so i’m exploring that too. When the world heals, I hope I can tour and dance with as many people possible in a non social distancing format.