Stephanie Poetri Breaks Down the Tracks on Her Debut AM:PM EP
Indonesian singer-songwriter Stephanie Poetri is a talent who should be on everyone's radars.
We first fell in love with her music with the Marvel-inspired "I Love You 3000," and since then, her prowess in both the vocal and writing departments has only grown. Last week, she released her stunning debut EP AM:PM, and we got the chance to ask Stephanie all about what the songs mean to her, and how they came to be.
Stephanie Poetri: I was definitely inspired by how sleepy I was while writing it because I had to wake up early for Zoom sessions with my producers who are literally on the other side of the world! I wanted to write a song that made me feel as sleepy and dreamy as I was feeling. The lyrics were definitely inspired by how I was feeling at the start of quarantine and going through such a repetitive day to day cycle that I was not used to. I wanted to
write something people can relate to and make them feel like it's not just them who are going through it.
We started finding guitar chords that gave me that dreamy feeling and when we got to it I started putting in the words that came to mind. I really like the line "I've had too much of daydreaming, but I stay dreaming" and it's basically saying how I am thinking about being able to go back to life before quarantine, but no matter what, I will keep it as a thought as I definitely believe in staying home no matter how hard it is for me.
SP: We wanted to make a more upbeat type of song that could relate daydreaming but have it be more energetic to show the transition to waking up. I wanted a song that could show a little bit of a positive view of daily life in quarantine by relating it back to how, at the end of the day, I'm okay with staying inside because I have so many amazing people that I can talk to online and interact with and just kind of saying how it's not where but
more who you're with and how they make you feel!
I really liked the term IRL and wanted to put it into a song and so
we tried to figure out how to incorporate that in the song. I also wanted a song that showed my mindset throughout quarantine, which was that it didn't matter where I was as long as I was with the people I loved.
I really like the pre-choruses in the song as I was dropping all the cities I wanted to visit once we are all able to travel. It was super fun figuring out references and places and it was awesome having people tell me how cool it was that their city was mentioned.
SP: "3PM" has the same ukulele and sleepy tone as "Daydreaming" but it has a more upbeat energy, but way more chill than "IRL." This song included some lofi alternative sounds to create a melancholic vibe throughout the song as it talked about my daily life during the pandemic in a more honest and like less metaphorical way. The chorus literally says "it's 3pm, I'm still asleep," so it's basically a song telling you guys what my life is like on a day-to-day basis during these times, and hopefully people who listen might have some things that they can relate to as well.
For "3PM," both the melody and lyrics came at the same time as I was just listening to ukulele samples and this one prompted me to sing the line "it's 3pm I'm still asleep" and I ended up just writing all the things I did during quarantine in a very literal way.
I really like the verses I made and I thought it was a little funny how literal everything was! An example would be:
"It's always just 18 degrees
The AC might break and I drink too much tea
Wish I had a boyfriend
I guess it's just me"
SP: "Selfish" came to me as an unfinished demo, and I ended up doing a Zoom call with the writers and producers to finish the song together. The song is about feeling jealous when you're not sure if you have the right to be because you aren't actually dating them, but you guys are close.
I wanted the song to be chill but sassy! We ended up making the song sound more acoustic in the end to keep it my style.
I really like the phrase "I don't want to want you as bad as I want you, but I know that you want me to." I thought it was so interesting to hear these words come together and sounding a little like wordplay.
SP: "Paranoia" is the main single of the EP and it is definitely my favorite song of mine right now! I wanted to write a song about how I was feeling, which was that everything was going too well and I was waiting for something bad to happen, hence the name "Paranoia." I felt like this is something I've always dealt with and I wanted to write something that could show people with the same mindset as me that they are not alone.
The music and lyrics came at the same time in the studio with my producers and I remember it was such a fun day. I had to yell for the pre-choruses as it was super high and I was so tired as it was 2 am but I had such a fun time writing it that I didn't want to stop.
I really like how in the chorus I wrote hours, minutes and second to show the counting down of time to something bad happening but in a very subtle way, I wrote:
"'Cause my mind is going tick-tock, tick-tock
Spending hours in my head
Been a minute since I left my bed
Mind is going
I might need a second chance
So that you could understand
Why my mind is going"
If you're obsessed with all things AM:PM, click HERE to go more in-depth with Stephanie on her song "Selfish."