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stella soleil

You may or may not recognize her name, but you'd recognize her song... Stella Soleil is the girl behind the hit from left field, Kiss Kiss. There's no other way to describe Stella than cool. Talk to her and you'll feel like you've known her forever. She's an honest and open soul. Learn more about Gwen Stefani's long lost twin...

Lindzi.com: I realize Soleil is not your actual last name. Where did it come from?

Stella Soleil: I have another project called Sister Soleil, which is more of my hard core rock outfit. I've been around for six years as Sister Soleil. When I did this album, it was so different from my Sister Soleil albums that I couldn't call it that. I wanted my fans to know it was still me, but a different project. So, I took Soleil as my last name. I came up with the whole name all together because no one can pronounce or remember my real last name.

Lindzi.com: The album's called Dirty Little Secret. So, what is your dirty little secret?

Stella Soleil: There's like ten of them on that album and I'm not going to share. {laughs} If you listen to the lyrics, you can hear it all. All of the songs came out of my journals.

Lindzi.com: If you were to go through an old journal from when you were in high school, what would an entry say?

Stella Soleil: I was reading some journals from back in 1979. I was like eight. The weird thing is that a lot of the things that I was worried about or had fears of are the same issues I have as an adult. I was a ballet dance. It was very competitive. I was constantly questioning myself. There was a lot of self doubt -- even as a kid. These are issues I've had ever since I could practically walk.

Lindzi.com: It's that type of industry too. So discouraging. How do you get through those discouraging times?

Stella Soleil: I turn to the real people in my life. I realize there is a definitive difference between people in the industry and real people. I get away from it as much as possible. I know a lot of people like to hang out where it's at. I'm so far removed from the industry whenever I get a moment to be.

Lindzi.com: Because networking is such a large part of your success as an artist, do you think that's hurt your career at all?

Stella Soleil: I'm very social. I'm just not looking for it. In the long run, it's probably better for my career. I think I'll have longevity because I'm not insane and I haven't made enemies. It's nice. There's this great quote by Cary Grant. He retired really early in his career and a person asked him, "You're practically in your prime. Why would you leave the industry now?" And he says, "Isn't that the best time to leave? When people still think you're charming?" It's the same kinda thing.

 Lindzi.com: Tell me about your alter ego, "Sarah Kaye."

Stella Soleil: She was this person that I invented because I couldn't get my foot in the door. I had no connections. It was just a person with a dream kinda thing. I realized that after getting an industry source book, which doesn't make a difference if you don't actually know anybody in the book. What I realized is that there's two ways of getting your foot in the door as a novice... you either have a record deal, which is a catch 22, or you have a manager or attorney who doesn't want much to do with you unless you have a record deal or pending record deal. The thing I discovered was, "What do they check their source book to see if it's a legitimate record label?" I called the people in the book and claimed I was the A&R director from Catharsis Records based out of Chicago. I told them I had this great artist they had to check out.

Lindzi.com: And, obviously, it worked?

Stella Soleil: A lot of the labels I loved growing up contacted me. I remember talking to them on the phone. I'd be up in the middle of the night calling England. It'd be four o'clock in the morning my time and they'd ask what time it was. I was like, "Oh yea! We get an early start." {laughs} I'd have to answer the phone in my apartment, "Catharsis Records," just in case it was someone from a label calling. My parents were like, "What is this Catharsis Records?" {more laughter} It was a total scam, but it worked! Eventually, we caught the attention of the big labels and I wound up choosing Universal.

Lindzi.com: What was it like working on Kiss Kiss?

Stella Soleil: It's a cover. I was in London and had heard it in a dance club. It was in Turkish. I thought it was the craziest thing I'd ever heard. I thought it would be so cool to do it in English, just as a curve ball on the record. It's so odd ball. The label flipped when they heard it. I couldn't believe it... I was just kidding! It was supposed to be like a Bijork's Oh, So Quite.

Lindzi.com: What celebrity would you like to Kiss, Kiss?

Stella Soleil: {laughs} I'm not saying. That's incriminating. There's no one except my boyfriend!

Lindzi.com: I would describe your album as being sassy. What do you think?

Stella Soleil: Absolutely. I'm not the sappy love song type. I have a hard core background. Nine Inch Nails were my super heroes. I was sent to London to do a cross over record... something pop radio might embrace. I remember the head of international at Universal Music telling me that if I wanted to write a great song, I'd have to write about love or sex. I was like, "You've got to be kidding me! I don't write about any of these things!" I don't take these things seriously so I made the album comical.

Lindzi.com: Why do you think that is? I'm so sick of only hearing love songs on the radio. We feel other emotions, you know.

Stella Soleil: Every person is on a quest to find their other half. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, our mission in life is to find the one. Everybody wants that. It's a safe bet that if you write about it, they're going to connect. If you write about abuse, which was some of the stuff on my last album, that's a limited audience. People want to be entertained. They don't want to hear about that kind of violence. Everybody wants love and everybody wants sex!

Lindzi.com: Let's talk about your trip to London. You've said that you learned so much about yourself through it. What sorts of things did you learn?

Stella Soleil: Ooh, lots. The thing is that I was living in solitude. I had never been alone before. I was always afraid to be by myself. I couldn't figure out why. I had to force myself to figure out why I was so scared to be on my own. I've never not had a boyfriend and I've had a lot of co-dependency issues. I worked through a lot of that. Also, from looking at journals, I learned that I was much more of a creative force than I thought that I was capable of. Artists have such fragile egos to begin with. We're all just hurt puppies. Any time somebody doesn't like our work it's devastating. It's something I had to learn to detach myself from. I started practicing Yoga. It's like my bible. It's great. There are poses for energy. I do it before I go on stage.

Lindzi.com: We're all only human. What makes you insecure?

Stella Soleil: I have tons. I'm extra human. The biggest problem I'm trying to work out is that I'm trying to please everybody. Whenever I get criticized, it's so hard to take. I still find myself doing the high school thing... {pouts} "Why don't they like me?" {laughs} We just did a show. The crowd was going crazy. They loved it, but there was this one guy in the front who was drunk and being stupid. He was flicking me off and telling me I sucked. I couldn't focus. I was so shaken up by it. I got off stage and totally did the girly thing. I locked myself in the bathroom and balled. On stage, I handled it pretty well. The best way to get people back is to take the microphone and scream the lyrics into their faces. It's amazing how, when you single people out, they cower. This guy turned sideways. He couldn't even look at me. Never the less, it still gets to you.

Lindzi.com: What drives you insane?

Stella Soleil: So many things drive me insane. The object is to try and not let things drive me insane. You do have to be somewhat insane to endure this kind of insanity. My friends tell me I am not cut out for this industry because it is so rough. The best that somebody could say to me is "no" because then I work and work until they say yes. I get obsessive when people tell me either "no" and that I "can't." Anything that I've accomplished is because somebody originally told me I couldn't. I need a different motivation. Spite isn't very healthy.

Lindzi.com: What haven't you been asked that you'd like to answer?

Stella Soleil: I think a lot of people want to ask me if I'm done with Sister Soleil and I want to say no. That new record was done before this album was finished. I'm letting this solo record run it's course and then we'll do another Sister Soleil record.

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