‘I could say I hate having my heart broken but without the heartbreak, I wouldn’t have the music’: Stacey Dineen on her debut single
Originally rising to prominence as a plus-size model and body positivity advocate, Stacey Dineen has now crossed over into the music world with her debut single, “Ghost of You”, dropping just yesterday.
World-wise to the delicate nature of love and loss, singer Stacey Dineen has made her peace with both, resigning herself to the fact that without one, she probably wouldn’t have anything to write about. “I could say I hate having my heart broken but without the heartbreak, I wouldn’t have the music,” she told me sagely.
Just after releasing her debut track, “Ghost of You”, Stacey confirms that “this is a breakup song, pure and simple”… and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, its timing couldn’t have been more apt. The throes of heartache are all-too-familiar territory and the sincerity of Dineen’s words cut right to the heart of it.
Here’s what she has to say on the topic.
Vulnerability is beautiful. When it comes to writing my music I believe that being vulnerable is the most beautiful way to express yourself. Turning your hurt into something good is always a positive feeling. It feels more genuine to me to write about past experiences because I’m sharing a piece of me – not just a song with lyrics but a song with a story that’s personal to me. Heartbreak is something we all go through many times throughout our life so it’s always relatable and making my music relatable is a big priority to me. I think it’s refreshing to put it out into the world, when I listen to a breakup song I can connect with the emotion and it helps me, that’s what I want my music to do for others.
Songwriting comes naturally to me. I’ve been writing poems for as long as I can remember and songs too, so I already knew how to rhyme words and come up with endless melodies. Typically, the way a song is born can vary. Either I find a beat online from producers that I like and I write to it, or I start randomly singing around my house while taking voice notes. When I find an idea I’m excited about I’ll write the song in about 30 minutes to two hours. I’ll take it to the studio a week later if I’m still excited about it. I could write three to four songs per week, but out of those, I might like none! I only record what I feel is my best work.
I want my music to get stuck in your head. The melody and the structure are important to me when it comes to songwriting. I want my choruses and pre-choruses to be catchy, I want them to get stuck in your head while also having them rhyme and paint a visual picture.
My personal music style is pure pop. Some of my music has a hint of acoustic pop but the majority is pop – some of it upbeat, some emotional – but they all share the same structure in terms of having a story, rhyming or being built on a catchy melody.
When people listen to my music I want them to feel safe and as though they know me through my music. I want to be the kind of artist that people can relate to. I’m personally inspired by artists such as Mimi Webb and Adele… they create beautiful music. Their vocal performance in every song is so emotional and you can tell that they’re passionate about what they do. They write about their own struggles. Adele wrote her latest album while going through a divorce but she’s thriving now and that gave me hope when I was going through my own breakup. Mimi Webb’s vocals are chillingly beautiful. She writes her music in such a unique way and her melodies are the best I’ve heard from any artist. My favourite thing about Adele and Mimi Webb though is their vulnerability. They are unapologetically themselves and I love that.
No matter what, things can get better. I would like to believe that everything happens for a reason but there are too many bad things in the world for me to believe in that. I don’t think that we can control what happens to us. If we get broken up with, or if we get divorced, or if we feel sad, those are things that we can’t change in an instant. We have no control over the decisions other people make. But you have the strength to decide how you deal with things. Time goes on, the sun will continue to rise and you are in control of what you chose to do.
Body positivity is something I hold close to my heart. I’ve always been a bigger girl and I’ve always struggled to lose weight because of a hormone issue that I only discovered last year. I think being kind to people of all sizes is just the right thing to do. At the end of the day, comments about other people’s weight will never help. If anything, it will just do more damage. Everyone is unique in their own way and should love who they are! We are all human beings trying our best to survive and we should all feel equally as beautiful.
Your body and appearance change as you age, but a kind heart will always remain. That’s what matters. I didn’t go through a good time in primary school. I didn’t have many friends, I was mostly a loner who moved from group to group all the time. I think that’s why I struggle so much with confidence in my music, it’s the only part of my life I haven’t shared and it’s also my biggest passion. But everything that’s happened has made me the person I am today, and I’m proud of her.
Confidence to me is being yourself. Not apologising for being yourself. Confidence is about showing your vulnerability, your weaknesses, your emotions… being completely you and being proud of that.
Thinking about my music goals for the next year is so exciting! I have two more songs coming out in March and April and I’m hoping to release an EP after the summer. I also want to start performing on stage as that’s one of my biggest fears. I have horrible stage fright and shake when I sing in front of people so I want to get more comfortable with that. My main goal is to keep releasing music.
Just do it; that’s my advice to anyone thinking of pursuing a career in music. If you want to chase a dream in music, do it. Life is too short to say “I wish I had tried this”. Give it a go. Enjoy the process and enjoy the music.
My favourite album has to be This Can’t Be It by Nic D. He’s a new artist I came across – I guess he’s in the rap genre but with a twist. His songs make me so happy and they’re all summer hits. They’re so catchy and his voice is exceptional. Most importantly a lot of his songs cover real emotions and struggles. If I’m in a slump or I feel unhappy, my favourite thing to do is go outside with headphones on and just listen to music. Go for a walk or go to a friend and just listen to music. There is a song out there for every mood and emotion, and music helps me with every aspect of my life.
Music is the greatest gift.