Pop artist Stephanie June’s 'Cry Baby Cry' is a breath of fresh air we desperately needed
07 June 2021
With her new single and music video for “Cry Baby Cry,” NYC singer Stephanie June delivers the summer pop anthem we’ve all been waiting for. Filmed this month at the annual “Dance Walk” in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, her new video captures New York in this singular moment in time as it experiences a rebirth. It’s about a moment of catharsis, about taking a break from seeking answers, and giving yourself the thing you want most. And we are living for it!
"When I sing for people and I see the emotion wash over them, it's pretty much the best feeling in the world," June explains, adding that her most recent work draws even more from her surroundings and what she experiences in Manhattan. "New Yorkers are so layered, so dynamic - not necessarily what you see is what you get - and I want my songs to reflect that. So the listener is really more of a participant in the music than anything. And when it resonates with them, I feel their truth is being reflected back to them. It's what other artists have done for me, and it's time to pay it back.”
June admits she leapt into the music industry before she looked -- and is maybe all the better for it. “I had this idea of 'Go before you're ready. Don't try to box yourself in,'" she explains. June did wait for a bit, albeit working in theater, where she was able to exercise her vocal chops and stage skills. But for the past few years she's dedicated herself to music, crafting songs in her apartment and building a body of work that she's sharing one tune at a time, making sure every expression is fresh and of the moment.
And what we've heard so far -- the folky "They Say New York is Dead" and the polished, pop-leaning new single "Cry Baby Cry" -- draws from June's own soul and experiences but finds universal sentiments that resonate with any listener.
"These two songs poured out in a day and a half, like one complete idea and feeling," June recalls. "They come from a moment of radical acceptance -- instead of judging and analyzing and asking myself 'Why?' In the human condition we're all pretty much the same across the board. I would say we have a lot of the same needs to connect, needs to feel loved and understood. And I think when you hear a song that tells you that you're not alone in feeling that way, it's powerful.
"That's how I want to affect people."
Music affected June early on, thanks to her Persian immigrant parents. “Music feels like air to me, I need it,” June told American Songwriter today. I had tape recorders lying around the house in every room, and I was just addicted to it," recalls June, who cites influences such as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Lauryn Hill and Donny Hathaway's version of Leon Russell's "A Song For You."
The pandemic shutdown allowed June to focus even more on her writing, and she plans to follow "They Say New York is Dead" and "Cry Baby Cry" with an EP that will draw from her stockpile of songs. The direction is diverse, she promises, incorporating a variety of styles and sonic flavors.
"I'd like to continue experimenting,” June adds. “At the end of the day this is just about connecting with people. Ultimately, I want my music to embolden people to say the hard thing, be vulnerable, and take the road less traveled."