STF (aka Stefan Poole) is one of our new favorites here at Musical Notes Global.
Born to an American entrepreneur father and an Italian fashion designer mother, STF grew up as a dual Italian-American citizen and was raised between Tucson, Arizona and Milan, Italy.
Having spent time as a contestant on the Italian talent show Amici di Maria De Filippi, holding a role as a musician on FOX’s hit series Glee, and opening for major acts like Jojo, Brian McKnight, Anderson.Paak, STF is now releasing his own addicting pop music filled with honest lyrics, catchy hooks, and swoon-worthy vocals.
The Los Angeles-based singer an songwriter recently talked to Musical Notes Global about his sparkling Duddy Brown-produced debut single “Lookalike,” growing up bilingual, and more. Check out the full interview below!
MNGBlog: How has growing up bilingual influenced your songwriting?
STF: I don’t think the actual fact of speaking 2 languages my whole life really affected the writing, but rather the clash of 2 cultures is what has had the biggest impact on my music. I got my dose of contemporary music history from my American father and learned to play music in the US. However, it’s the cheerful and carefree love for dance music that Italians have that really influenced me growing up. When I’d be in the States, my guy friends were too “tough” or “reserved” to wanna go dancing for the sake of dancing. Whereas in Italy, every summer growing up we’d be hitting the “Discos” to dance to House music all night. The whole EDM wave in America seems just really late to me because I was experiencing those kind of DJ driven dance parties when I was a teenager in Europe haha.”
MNGBlog: Did you grow up listening to any Italian artists? If so, how have they influenced your work and who are some of your favorites right now (if you listen to any?)
STF: Yes my mom always had Italian music playing in the house (mostly Mina, Giorgia, Bocelli and Zucchero). I love Italian pop artists. My favorites are Jovanotti, Nek, Raf, Eros (Ramazzotti), Negramaro, Tiziano Ferro, Giorgia, and some of the classics like Gino Paoli, Claudio Baglioni, Peppino Di Capri, Zucchero and Vasco Rossi. Honestly, I’m mostly influenced by American music, but Italian music helped me understand the importance and power of strong melodies and deep lyrics. The groove and funk however all came from American artists like MJ, Stevie Wonder and Prince.
MNGBlog: It’s so cool to hear that you were on the Italian talent show Amici! What was the experience like for you and what was the most important thing you learned there?
STF: Amici was a crazy experience filled with both good and bad. The instant fame was very weird.. how it just came and went like that. But the actual experience of performing for the whole country on camera, albeit nerve racking was vital and necessary for me. I learned many things... like how you can’t take criticism personally. You have to internalize what someone tells you and see if you can use it to become better, not upset or angry. I also learned that timing is everything. Unfortunately, at the time of my maximum exposure on Amici, I didn’t have any music ready to release which was a fatal mistake. If I did, who knows... maybe I would have a career right now as an Italian artist haha.”
MNGBlog: How did your new single “Lookalike” develop and what does it mean to you? What do you hope fans take away from it?
STF: “Lookalike” came about after a serious relationship I had and my ex went and got a new boyfriend that was basically my “sosia” haha. She even told me she didn’t love him, but just needed affection which was insane... I actually felt so bad for the other guy. It was just such a crazy experience that I had to write a song about it, but it sat on the shelf for years until now.
The main message I hope fans take away from it is that you never know what you’ve got til it’s gone. And if you do end up breaking up with someone, give yourself the proper amount of time to get over them and reflect on what you really want... Don’t just go running into relationship after relationship simply cause you don’t like being alone. That’s not fair to the other person who basically becomes your victim, and everybody involved suffers.”
Listen to “Lookalike” below.