mirrored person

Interview with Singer Songwriter Spellling

Hi! Where does your stage name SPELLLING come from?

SPELLLING is a name that speaks to the power of words. I believe that words are truly magical. Seeing this tweet by Erykah Badu that said “Write down what you want and watch it happen, Spelling is a spell” inspired the idea. I added another L to make it a unique word for my project. 

How did you get into music? How old were you?

Spelling: I have always been into writing songs. In my childhood bedroom in Sacramento I still have old cassette tapes that have songs I recorded on them with my portable tape recorder when I was about 6 or 7. I made my neighborhood kid friends be in a band with me (I was a lot more bossy as a kid than I am now). I would write lyrics, instruct the other kids how to do the harmonies, and we made little albums on tape. We also made choreography and would have shows on our driveway in the neighborhood. It was a full production! After all this time I can still remember how a lot of those songs sounded.

How would you describe your music style?

Spelling: I draw a lot of inspiration from soul music which is very romantic and dreamy at its core. I also mix elements of pop, r&b, rock, electronica…almost any genre! I’m still working on creating my own special title to describe my music style. A lot of people find it hard to pin down my music style, including me! I like that it is a bit of a mystery and that it combines so many forms of music that I love. 

What kind of music did you listen to growing up?

Spelling: I am very thankful that both of my parents exposed me to really excellent music growing up. Some of my mother’s favorite music to play was Barry White, Mary J Blige, Erykah Badu, Madonna, and Janet Jackson. My Father has a very eclectic taste and interest in music. He would always dig through the music section at thrift stores and flea markets to find album covers he thought looked cool and sometimes he would find really awesome obscure stuff and get obsessed with certain songs. He also played a lot of classic popular artists like The Beatles, Bob Marley, Kraftwerk, and Michael Jackson. I definitely inherited my Dads taste for the eclectic and love of music across any genre. When I was a child I was really into soundtrack music. The soundtrack to the movie the Labyrinth with David Bowie was/is my absolute favorite.

What have been some of the challenges you have faced?

Spelling: I have always had a very strong sense of melody making and lyric writing but I never had any musical training and I am still a beginner at most of the instruments I use in the recording studio. A lot of times it takes a very long time for me to make a demo or record certain elements of my music because although I can imagine it very precisely in my head, I don’t have all the skills to make it or tell someone what I am imagining. I’ve been working really hard over the last year to be able to build up my skills up as an instrumentalist playing with guitar, synth and keys. One of my goals is to be able to fluently play an acoustic guitar within the next couple of years!

Where is your favorite place to perform and why?

Spelling: I love to play in non-traditional places or to be off of the stage and on the ground with the audience. I like being able to connect with the audience at eye level. My favorite place I’ve played so far is in the Sutro Bath Caves in San Francisco. It was incredible to hear the waves crashing against the walls of the cave and hear how the sound blended with the environment. Another really interesting and spooky place I performed was in a Mortuary in Oakland!

What advice would you give to girls who are trying to get into music?

Spelling: Focus on your strengths and build your musical sound around it! Also sometimes focus on your flaws. By that I mean to try looking at your flaws as your strengths! Also never be afraid to make mistakes and ask for help. 

Do you have any secret talents?

Spelling: I’m really good at juggling a soccer ball and playing hacky sack!

What do you like to do with your friends?

Spelling: We love any excuse to get together and laugh, be it a movie night, game night or picnic at the Lake. 

If you could say something to your 13-year-old self, what would it be?

Spelling: Care less about what others think about you! Focus on being true to yourself! 

What is your favorite food?

Spelling: I looooove seafood! Oysters are my favorite treat

Favorite trend right now?  

Spelling: Mini backpacks! Just got a bright orange one with lots of pockets to keep tiny things in. 

What are 5 things you can’t live without?

  • Music 🙂
  • My dog Cooper
  • My dream journal
  • Sushi
  • My synths
Out now!