My Setup!

Hi friends! I occasionally get questions about my microphone and equipment and I wanted to just put all the info in a centralized place so you can GET MY EXACT SETUP. Or you can just make fun of my equipment choices. Or you can judge me for how much money I've spent on music. Or you can just read it like a normal person. Gosh, why am I always so negative. (answer: too much internet).

Anyway. BEHOLD...


AKG Perception P120 Studio Microphone, Sliver

So in most of my videos going back pretty far, I was using the AKG Perception 120.

This was my first "nice" microphone (after using a Logitech "skype mic" and my computer microphone, for a long time) so the jump in sound quality was pretty incredible for me. The mic sounds very bright and is so sensitive and for the price it's a great deal (I believe it was under $100 at the time). It picks up a lot of sibilance but it's clear and crisp and a great, great mic for someone getting into audio recording and not willing to drop a bajillion dollars immediately.


AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphone

Once I had a full-time job and a bit more "expendable" income I decided to upgrade to the $300-400 range microphones. I picked the AKG C214 which is the lower end model of the classic and much revered AKG C414 mic. AND IT WAS A GREAT LIFE DECISION. Kind of.

It sounds crisp and clear but still really warm and bright. It can overemphasize the low end but a lot of that can be fixed through proper mic technique and mixing and it's worth it for the depth and warmth this mic provides. I'm really really happy with it. The other mic in this price range I seriously considered was the Shure SM7B, but some reviews I saw said it sounded best on loud soprano voices and I consider myself to be a quiet alto singer so it seemed like it might not be the best fit. I'm really happy with my mic for now and I've been recording on it a ton and it continues to impress me.


Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 - USB Audio Interface



My interface is amazing and very well known and most of my research pointed me to it from the get-go. The Focusrite Scarlett comes in several models, but I have often used it to record up to four separate instrumentalists simultaneously and it does a fantastic job. If you're in the market for something cheaper, my former interface was the Presonus Audiobox which is less than $100 and works like a charm, especially if you record only one or two instruments at a time.


Taylor GS MINI



This guitar is my baby. Remember how I said I had some expendable income after working full time? This was my first grown-up Tax Return Guitar. I still won't leave this puppy in a car if the AC is off on a warm day, since this guitar is my actual child. I was so proud of myself for buying this, I can't even lie. It cost like $700!!?? Do I think I'm Bill Gates or something now? Geeze, Stass! But I love it all the more for how stupid expensive this was for me

(Note: anyone who invests in $1-3k guitars might be feeling a little judged right now, so I just want to say, if I had $3k laying around I would also buy fancy guitars with it, I just literally don't have a high enough credit limit).

If you're a smaller person and want a guitar that's loud, comfortable, clean and bright sounding with a ton of warmth and depth. Not to mention something beautiful and FROM TAYLOR (the best guitar maker in the universe), then I would go and play on one of these. I can take this guitar everywhere, the neck is comfortable to play on, the action is perfect, and it's acoustic-electric so it's easy to record or play live with it. DID I MENTION I LOVE MY GUITAR A LOT?


Fender Classic Series 50s Stratocaster Electric Guitar


I don't really know what I could say about a Fender Strat that hasn't already been said by a million people before me. This guitar is great. It's beautiful. It's bright-ass red. I love it. I don't change the strings on it enough. 10/10 would recommend. 


Dragonpad Pop Filter



Get a pop filter. Doesn't have to be mine. Honestly, a hanger wire and panty-hose will do the trick. But don't ruin your recording because you said, "please" or "peace" or "people" too forcefully. Ain't worth it.


Nordic Essentials Capo

After I did this cover where I used AN ACTUAL HAIRBRUSH as a capo, I decided to invest in some new ones:

I love these capos. They're bright colored so they're hard(er) to lose and they sound very clear and they distribute pressure very evenly. 

And look how color coordinated it was in my StraightJacket video:

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 2.36.14 PM.png


Samson MK-10 Microphone Boom Stand

Mic stands should above all else be cheap but not so cheap that the reviews are terrible. There's nothing worse than performing and watching your mic slowly fall over because the stand is garbage and your hands are full of guitar so you try to casually squat along with the mic until you look like you have a spinal injury by the end of the song.


AmazonBasics XLR Male to Female Microphone Cable - 6 Feet

I have had decent success with Amazon basic mics. I'm still not clear on how much noise carries through these in recordings, I think it's mostly reserved for the electrical cables, but that is an area of my audio engineering knowledge that is lacking. But these ones have worked well for me so far.


Logic Pro X



DAW's are one of those things where either (a) you think yours is the best because you've tried the other ones and its an educated opinion or (b) you think yours is the best because you're familiar with it. In my case, it's both. I love Logic and I've tried FL Studio, Audacity, and Garageband but none of it's actual competitors (Ableton, Protools) but I still think its great - ESPECIALLY if you're a garageband convert because it's designed to resemble the interface of Garagaband so the learning curve will be a teeny bit less steep. If I could do it all over again, and my computer had more than 1GB of free hard drive space, I'd do free trials for Pro-tools, and Abelton before committing to Logic but if you have to go the Logic route I think you can learn to love it.

That's my spiel for now. I'll try to update this list if I get any new equipment. Hope this was helpful to some of you. Comment any feedback or suggestions for equipment you've liked. 



Sunburnt Songstress

Hi friends! Just wanted to say hello. Here is me in front of a flag looking sunburnt af and extremely cheesy.


I pre-uploaded my last four videos because I was going to be traveling a bit and needed a break from my computer -- but the Issues Loop Cover marked 12 weeks straight of covers! (shia labeouf slow claps)

And to be honest, that was plenty for me. It was enjoyable and a good challenge to try to make so much content so quickly. I felt proud of the fact that I was able to put out high quality stuff during that time and my Dua Lipa cover is actually doing pretty well so far in terms of views and we'll see how the others perform as well.

However I'm doing away with my strict schedule in favor of more a organic upload schedule, because my current main focus is writing originals for another EP or LP (we'll see how it goes) and trying to find a new job slash move countries/cities/houses.

As some of you may know, I've been living with family abroad for the past 7 months and have spent through every penny I saved up (practically) and I am ready to face real life again (maybe). So life is busy, songs are being written by my brain but not by my hands.

Really appreciate those of you that still reach out to me about the EP and my other covers, I know you are probably doing it only in passing but it really means a lot to me and I wish I had more time to respond to everyone and get to know you all better.

Much love. Thanks for sticking with me. xx


New Videos and other updates

Hello friends! 

Hope all is well! I'm embarking on a new self-challenge of trying to post a video a week (currently I'm posting on Fridays). I want to push myself to try and improve, and I felt like not having a schedule was giving me too much wiggle room.  I also think it's dumb to have a tool as powerful as Youtube and not use it consistently. I'm going from (maybe) 1 new video every three months to one video a week (eek).

So far, keeping up with regular videos has been time consuming and challenging, but I honestly feel like it's forcing me to be creative in a way I haven't in a while.

I still really want to work on my original music, and I've been writing a lot of songs that I think I want to release. That's a story for another day though. In the meantime I want to be sure that I'm working on my performance and my recording abilities and trying to be sure I'm making progress. Who better to hold me accountable than the faceless mob of the internet and Stassi listeners!

In other news, I am still living in Athens and having a fuckin' blast. I'm lucky enough to have some family here and my grandma's letting me stay with her in exchange for helping her around the house and being great company. (right grandma?)

It's given me the opportunity to learn Greek (still not fluent but I'm semi-conversational now), spend time with my dad's side of the family, and work on my music and my lil brain.

The phrase "working on my music" has taken on a completely new meaning for me the past few months. I read Loren Weisman's book "An Artists Guide to the Music Business" and it's completely reframed my ideas about what being a musician entails and what I should be focusing on. (This is not an ad, I honestly just liked the book.) For me, one of the biggest take-aways from the book was how wrong-headed it is for a musician to think, "I just want a label and a manager to do all the business and marketing for me so I can just focus on the music". According to Weisman, what you give up in exchange for this freedom from any 'business work' is ownership of your music and a huge percentage of any money that gets made (which for the average musician is not a lot). He argues that if you can be a strong performer and learn how to handle as much of the logistics and business as possible, you can maintain more ownership of your work AND negotiate better contracts with labels if down the line you want to work with one.

I personally have some soul searching to do before I'd feel comfortable getting involved with a label, but for me this book was eye-opening and extremely motivating. It debunked a lot of stupid misconceptions I didn't realized I'd believed about musicians, and helped me start to picture a game plan for myself for actually making music into a career. 

I don't know how interesting it is for me to talk about some of the specific things I'm trying to do and how they're working for me so far, but if you have any questions I just figured out I can enable comments on my posts (I'm dumb), so ask away!

-Stassi xx





Supernatural - A little backstory

This track is a testament to the power of the internet.

I assume a few of you might be wondering how I went from making my home-recorded videos and songs to collaborating on a fancy future-bass EDM track with APEK.

The short version of the story is that it all started on Soundcloud. 

Last October, Max (MAXR - the other co-producer of the song) hit me up on Soundcloud and asked me if I wanted to do vocals on the then instrumental-only track that would eventually be Supernatural. (Full disclosure, I get a few messages like this every so often and if they send me a sample I'll almost always listen to it, but I don't always vibe with the sound of the tracks for my specific voice, so I don't end up working with everybody that contacts me.)

At that point I didn't know he had plans to do anything with the song other than put it out on his personal Soundcloud.

The first time I heard it, I immediately loved the song. Even without the vocals, it's an extremely uplifting track and captures a really wonderful exuberant feeling and I was instantly humming melodies along with it while listening to it in my car. I then started talking to Max about what he had in mind for vocals. I tried a few things and ended up with the Supernatural lyrics and I recorded them on my home-recording setup and sent them over. Max said he dug it and was excited to release it.

This is all via email so far.

Cut to a bit later and he tells me he's contacting labels about the song (which sounded scary and legit to me, but I didn't question it). At this point Enhanced Music picked up the song and that's when Max put me in contact with Josh (APEK) to actually record the vocals in a studio. From what I understand Max and Josh also met via Soundcloud and they'd been working together for a while and made this track together (more internet magic).

I drove down to LA from Santa Barbara, meeting Josh and Matthew (the engineer, also talented producer) for the first time the same day we recorded the song. The studio was in what looked like an apartment building in downtown (I know very little about LA, sorry).

I'd never actually been to a real studio to record before so I felt a little out of my depth. Josh had just been touring internationally and had recently released the song 'Traces' which was racking up thousands of plays, but much to my relief he was genuine, enthusiastic, and completely non-condescending. Matthew was super passionate about his work and interesting to talk to, and they both made me feel very welcome and relaxed.  (I know it sounds a bit cliche to say all this, but I was expecting to feel really small after working with people who'd accomplished so much). In reality it was actually really motivating and inspiring to be around people who are so passionate about what they're doing.

Actually standing in the vocal booth was pretty scary. Supernatural isn't a terribly hard song to sing, but I was too nervous to warm up in front of everyone (stupid, I know) so the first take of it was a little pitchy and my confidence wavered. But even just singing through it once warmed me up and I started to get into my zone. I think all the years of me going through the painful routine of setting up all my equipment and video cameras, doing my makeup and hair, trying to control my stupid face, hitting record, singing on key, playing guitar -- all at once, over and over again, all the while  praying for that one 'good enough' take to actually post, makes just standing there and singing feel pretty easy. Working with Josh and Matthew, we got the lead vocals, harmonies, doubles, and some extra stuff recorded in a few hours.

The best part of the experience was the conversation we had as we worked. Josh and Matthew were so interesting and insightful about the experiences they've had working with labels and their experiences with working as full-time musicians. It was cool to see how they'd learned how to navigate the business side of the industry so they could enjoy the creative part. It seems pretty exhausting trying to balance all the people who want a piece of everything that gets made along with the labels, the social media, and the promotion of everything. We celebrated at the end of the session by listening to the unmixed final version of the song. Needless to say I was stoked.

All of this happened in December. At the time I figured, the label wants the song, we recorded the song, they'll mix it, master it, put it out in a week or two.

Turns out, that is not how anything works in real life. The reality is that labels are concurrently managing a huge number of releases at any given time and they meticulously schedule out which tracks come out when so they can adequately promote each track individually. It's a whole system of things happening and alas Supernatural didn't get released until almost six months later, June 10th. 

Now the song has only been out three days, but as of writing this it already has over 70,000 plays on Soundcloud and over 40,000 views on youtube. I can't take credit for much of that, because Josh has a huge following that he's grown after releasing several extremely successful songs (with millions of listens each on Spotify) and organically growing his fanbase through consistently releasing high quality music and making a genuine effort in connecting with his listeners individually (just look at the comment section of things he puts out and you'll see he responds to most messages and comments he receives). But whenever I see a comment complimenting the vocals, it feels really amazing and so far this experience has been incredibly cool. I know a few of my friends and listeners were probably surprised at this song and the production quality, and it's exciting for me to be able to try something new and different.

So that's the story of how I got involved with Supernatural -- thanks to the internet.

Oh did I mention they made a music video of the song? I had no idea what it was going to look like until I saw it but I really hope people think I'm the girl in the video because she's SO f*cking pretty (lol).

Cheers! xoxo


P.S. Thanks so much for all the support on the track so far! If you want to support me and APEK be sure to follow us on Spotify so you'll be the first to hear the new music! Links below:

Stassi on Spotify

APEK on Spotify


 I wrote out the lyrics and a quick song descriptions for the EP! Read below:








Purchase the EP:

Follow me on Spotify (it really helps support my music) :

Hope you've been enjoying the EP! I can't thank you enough for listening to my music and all the feedback you've all given me. At the end of the day music (to me) is about the listener, and there is nothing I love more than hearing that something I made was a part of your day. Thank you for the opportunity to monopolize a few moments of your precious time with my words and melodies. Lots of new types of songs coming in the future, I can't wait to share it all with you.

A Year Ago (Lyrics)


A year ago I met a girl, she taught me how to sing
we sang about the ending world, we sang about the free
I wonder where she is today, and though now I'm far away
A year has passed and still I wonder if that girl is safe
A year ago I met a man who said we'd lost our minds
he spoke about a better place where there was much more time
I wonder where he is today, I wonder if he's find
a year has passed and still that day is burned into my mind
A year ago I met a boy who taught me about my heart
that even in the darkest time a fire can be start
I wonder where he is today I hope he knows that I
think about him every time I drive alone at night
A year ago I met a girl who taught me how to sing
we sang about the ending world, we sang about the free
I wonder where she is today, and though now I'm far away
A year has passed and still I wonder if that girl is safe
A year ago I left the world, I didn't feel a thing
and now I drift alone up here and no one hears me sing
but know I know about the end and all there is to say
the best day of my life took place a year ago today



This song almost didn't make it on the EP because I was embarrassed by its simplicity originally, but I came around to think of it as a sort of folk-y meditative ballad, which I feel like it's repetitiveness suits pretty well. The song is about the end of the world (or of your personal world), and about the propensity to always look backward and see how things were actually great at the time, even though you took them for granted while they happened. Songwriting for me often ends up being me basically sitting around thinking about dying and then trying to process it in these sad little songs. I think the one benefit of trying to process your own mortality is that it makes you very grateful for the relationships you have with people and helps you remember not to take them for granted.

Easy (Lyrics)


There ain't nothing keeping us together but the weather
when it rains we find a tree shade, in the moonlight or a starred night
I forgive you for forgetting me in the daylight

There ain't nothing keeping us in this bed but a movie
One where I'm the one you think you need the most
But in time, I think you'll find, you're heart just may divide
in a brushstroke, soon your love grows
Maybe we're just lazy, maybe we're scared
maybe oh maybe we're in love 
Only when it's easy do you love me
Only in the dark do I shine bright
Only it when its easy then you hold me
I keep trying to tell myself that it's alright
But it ain't easy being summer in the night
There ain't nothing left between us to discover
but we talk and talk to get the mood just right
The self I am for you feels like a cover
but I can't let it go and keep you in my sight
Maybe we're just lazy, maybe we're scared
maybe oh maybe we're in love 
You played me, I played you right back, babe
ain't nothing here to save
Forgive you is all that's left to do
ain't nothing here to save
I'll leave and take my blame


Easy is about holding onto a relationship long after it's over because it feels easier than ending it. It's about feeling neglected while neglecting someone else and knowing it's bad for everyone, but letting inertia decide your fate instead of doing something about it. It's one of the first songs I ever wrote (and actually saved and continued playing, rather than throwing it out).

I like how it's sort of a peppy song about something that was actually a really sad subject matter for me. It was also the last song I finished on the EP. I was still re-recording the vocals on the last day before my deadline. To be honest I don't completely love every part of how the mixing of the track came out but I promised myself I would try to include it on the EP. I might do a completely live version of it someday and re-publish it.

A Fool (Lyrics)



It took me a few years
To notice something wasn’t right
Only certain people ever got to see the light
Why won’t I fight?
Speak soft and slowly
Don’t let them see the things you want
Only certain people ever get to see your show
why won’t I fight?
Please don’t make a fool out of me
Please don’t make a fool out of me
It’s been a while, I’m out for the count
hands and knees, I’ll feel my way out
So please don’t make a fool out of me
A fool out of me
Glory don’t suit us
But we will find the highest hill
Scream out what they don’t realize
What if we stay
and no one was in our way
Please don’t make a fool out of me
Please don’t make a fool out of me
It’s been a while, I’m out for the count
hands and knees, I’ll feel my way out
So please don’t make a fool out of me
A fool out of me

About A Fool:

The song is sort of about the moment after you 'ship' an idea out to the world and you're just thinking about how horribly it could all turn out and praying things wont be the worst case scenario. It's about being vulnerable (or being scared about being vulnerable). It's a very gentle song compared to the rest of the EP, somewhere between melancholy and hopeful. It's my favorite song to play on my acoustic guitar from the EP. 

Foreign Town (Lyrics)


I packed a bag to go, gave up the things I owned
had a flash of regret, but the moment passed
and I was already gone
I forgot my own name, I lost that bag on a train
I almost cried, but realized it was time to go
it was time to move on
Lost my mind in a foreign town, staked my tent in a brand new ground
Don't know the way, already lost but we'll figure it out
Here we are, top of the world
I love how your lashes curl
Far away from what I know, but that's just the way it goes
I made a friend named Jane, she showed me her favorite place
The city lights and all the life, it took my breath away
I watched it till I saw the sun
Don't wanna fall asleep, Don't wanna stay awake
I think I'm finding out what this means to me
Don't wanna go home, Don't wanna stay away
I think I'm finding out what this means to me



Well, I moved to Greece two weeks ago (although to be clear, I wrote this song before I moved to Greece, but) it was basically how I imagined it would feel to pick up and move your life to a new place. I've traveled a bit and I assume like many of you, I noticed how much traveling makes you question the kind of person you are. When the familiarity of a routine falls away, sometimes things you thought you know about yourself seem more fluid and fictional than you realized. New situations can sometimes lead to bad experiences, but the eventual outcome is usually net positive.

I liked how the production on this song came out on the EP, although I've heard that some people really didn't understand what I was saying the chorus -- so hopefully this helps! :)


 [Dental hygiene is no joke, kids.]

[Dental hygiene is no joke, kids.]

[Incoming mini-rant]

Being honest and genuine is really uncomfortable on social media. The bar has been set really fucking high. The people you look at first when you're starting are always those with the most talent, the most likability, the most resources. I hope I'm not the only person who tries to take a photo or video of myself and feels like cringing when I compare myself to established entertainers. I figure if you're reading my blog it's because you're curious about me, I wanted to talk about the whole 'Stassi' image thing...

There's a formula people seem to follow when they're trying to become successful. You post upcoming events, photos, teasers, articles. Always make it seem like you're on the rise, always be positive, always act like you have a lot of fans. If you're a girl especially, post a lot of photos of yourself so people know you're attractive. 

I guess I want to preface everything that comes next with this: I'm not going to try and maintain some consistent brand or image for my music. I'm going to keep trying new shit and I think statistically that means some of it might not be good. Also statistically some of it will be good.  I'm not going to keep my opinions to myself if I feel like sharing, just so I seem more mysterious and innocuous. Yes I'm a musician, but I'm also just a boring old regular person who has no idea what I'm doing. I want to share the learning process with you. 

I try not to take down old content too often because I want to show that I'm growing as I learn new things and I don't want someone to see my newest video and think that's how I've always sang or played or produced. That probably comes at the expense of maintaining the illusion that my current musical abilities originated from birth but, honestly, anyone believes that about me or other people is misguided. It's all practice, refining, and time. For everyone.

To those of you who get where I'm coming from, all I'm saying is I don't want any success with music if I can't feel like myself while doing it. And I don't want to be one of those entertainers that makes people feel bad about themselves. I don't want people to think I'm special. I want them to like and respect my music and to try and leave me out of it.

My only advice from doing this so far is to try not to be embarrassed by yourself. Be shameless. Remember that none of it matters. I promise to try and do the same.

[End Rant]




Wasted Youth (Lyrics)

This is part of a series of posts about all the songs on the EP "A YEAR AGO". Listen free (or name your price) on Bandcamp or buy on Itunes.

Can't afford to leave, Can't afford my rent
Looking for reprieve but this place wont relent
Tied my arms in knots, Should I tell my boss?
I think I'm gonna die here unless I
Hit the road, hit the gas
bring some cash, get out fast
I think I've lost my mind
Went outside, almost cried
If this is life why am I
Why am I still here?
Wasted youth 
Counting pennies, buying things
we don't even want or need
Wasted time
and I'm getting sick of it
I tried to keep a job
Remember to call mom
she tells me I'm doing something right
But now I'm not so sure
I'm sick and found a cure
Getting out before it goes
Take a pill red or blue, you come too, something new
Something borrowed too
Give it up, out of luck, leave the stuff in the truck
I just wanna feel your love

Wasted youth 

Counting pennies, buying things

we don't even want or need

Wasted time

and I'm getting sick of it


As I re-listen to this song, I feel like its pretty self explanatory and transparent. It was written in a mindset of frustration, and is one of my favorites from the EP just because it was more heavily produced and I'm a sucker for any sort of percussion and it also (sadly) is just very true to my life. I hate the cycle of earning money to pay to live close enough to drive to work everyday, for a job that feels like you're only doing it for the paycheck. Stability is for people with a lot to lose, but when you're young I believe regret is the only thing to be scared of. Also my dad got a huge kick out of the 'red/blue pill Matrix reference', which further cements this as one of my favorite songs I've written so far. Hi Dad.