Stevie Parker has an exciting week ahead: a debut album, and Dork’s stage at The Great Escape.
For any artist, releasing an album is a significant event. For 24-year-old Bristolian Stevie Parker, her debut ‘The Cure’ is the culmination of a decade of honing her talent and finding the confidence to push herself out there. “It feels like the point of no return,” she explains, trying to process the great leap from promising talent to genuine album-releasing big deal. “It’s exciting as it’s all guns blazing: this is who I am.”
While in some ways it signals a new beginning, in many ways the release of ‘The Cure’ is an ending. The final beautiful reflection on a period of drastic change and emotional upheaval. “It really captures a long period in my life and a lot of different experiences,” says Stevie.
Despite Stevie’s reluctance to put herself centre stage as a naturally private and introverted person, her rich musical talent and the reaction she received towards her songs encouraged her to make that big step, “I felt a heavy responsibility in a sense that I should do something with this otherwise it would be a waste.”
The album that Stevie has masterfully created is a record that highlights all the deep emotion and desires in her music. “My real passion is honesty and rawness,” she explains. That honesty manifests itself in a record that takes the form both of an emotional gut punch and a tender caress. “It’s a heartbreak record really,” reveals Stevie. “It’s like all the different stages of life: heartbreaks and unrequited feelings. It’s outgrowing someone and all the different pitfalls and hurdles you encounter when you’re traversing the landscape of teenage relationships and beyond.”
Rather than revel in misery though, Stevie wants a message of hope to shine through. “I did intend to have that glimmer of hope,” she begins. “It goes on a journey of self-discovery. In going through those experiences and the losses and heartbreaks, the one thing you can take from it is the sense of self-worth. I want to convey that. These things can be really shit, but ultimately, they can give you so much.”
The experiences and feelings that have coloured Stevie’s life and made the music on the album have encouraged her to stand up for what she feels is right and promote a message of inclusivity and openness. Something that’s borne out by the responses she’s received from people touched by her music and her attitude: “People have said to me that my stuff helps them through all sorts of different things. I’m just starting out and don’t claim to have any amount of fans, but people have bothered to reach out to me, and people do have an emotional response to my songs. I like to think that’s because they’re honest and relate to experiences that we all share.”
That honesty extends to Stevie’s whole musical and social ethos. “I like to promote the idea of let’s all be who we are and dress how we dress,” she says. “Human Interaction and sharing is something that as a society we struggle with. I find that music is a way to bridge that gulf a little bit. As well as talking about the gamut of human emotions the album is a frank love letter to honesty and realness.” There’s nothing more real than facing your fears and shattering them, and that’s what Stevie has done. “This is my way of being bold,” she says confidently.
The response Stevie has had to her songs and her work this early in her career has encouraged her that it’s now even more important to make her voice heard. “Music is essentially just a vehicle,” she says. “It’s a universal language that can speak to any amount of people at once about any number of things. I’m really keen to find ways that I can use my voice literally, and in bigger terms to do some actual good.”
Taken from the June issue of Dork, out now. Stevie Parker’s debut album ‘The Cure’ is out 19th May. She plays the Dork stage at The Prince Albert during The Great Escape on the same day.