Hailing from Denver comes STéLOUSE- the eclectic producer with rock n' roll roots that has taken the "future bass" movement by storm. Real name Ross Ryan, STéLOUSE is a breath of fresh air in a market filled with oversaturated, recycled sounds. Constantly striving to set himself apart from everyone else, this OG Rock N' Roll, tatted, man-bun wearing, hilarious vegan is effortlessly one of the coolest cats around- and he's one of the realest, no BS producers in the game.
A SoundCloud favorite with streams ranging from over 100K to over 1.5 million, STéLOUSE's versatile sound is infectious. From his flip of Doja Cat's "So High" to his latest vocal heavy single "Bones", Ross constantly proves time and time again why he is a tastemaker. Fun fact: he also happens to have a knack for turning all of his fellow producer friends like EKALI and CRYWOLF into memes- so essentially, no one is safe:
I'm sure you get asked this one a lot but just to kick things off, how did you get your name?
I think I was just really high one day *laughs*. I was doing another project at the time and made all this music that didn't really fit the project. It was driving me crazy because I really wanted to put it out- so I was putting it up on the internet and was trying to think of a name that was clever. I thought that [STéLOUSE] was clever. But then when it started doing well, I was like "maybe I should've thought of a better name".
How do you properly pronounce it? Because I thought it was pronounced "Stay-Loose" but I've heard otherwise.
"Stay-Loose". I've heard so many people be like "Stay-Lowse"- but people from countries outside the U.S always get it right but everyone who lives here doesn't get it at all.
The U.S. is incompetent what can I say *laughs*. Going into your musical background, I know you played in a rock band- so what made you transition from rock into electronic/what's the biggest difference for you? They're two totally different worlds.
I just wanted to do something that I could do on my own, and that was producing on a computer. I'm not a drummer- I can't go into a studio and get on a drum kit and record an album that way. But I can make drums on a computer and play instruments on top of that. Bands are hard- it's a volatile situation because it's with 3 or 4 other people and everyone's got their own opinions.
Do you prefer being in a band or being to yourself?
I like making music with other people, and I play with a band live so I hire performers to play my songs with me. I think it's just all the bullshit in a band that I don't miss but everything else is great. Everyone has an ego a bit, and there's battles over roles. I think functional bands are usually just 1 or 2 people.
So you do both live and DJ sets too?
I try not to do the DJ sets anymore. I like DJing but it doesn't feel authentic to me as an artist. I try to take the band situation out to festivals and headlining shows, and I have a broken down version of a live act as well that isn't including the full band.
You're playing a live set today- anything you got prepared or are looking forward to putting out in particular?
Yeah, I'm gonna play some old stuff and some new stuff. Some remixes I made too and some other shit.
Going off of new stuff, you gonna play "Bones"?
Yeah yeah, we'll play that! I take a female singer on tour, her name is Strae, so she sings that one live.
You're pretty versatile in terms of your sound and "Bones" was more on the vocal heavy side of things. What was the inspiration behind this one specifically?
I like songs that have vocals and I like songs that don't have vocals. I guess a lot of it had to do with making the crossover to more of a commercial market. Some of it is being on a major label- they want you to do some songs that would do well on the radio or Spotify. But that's not gonna stop me from releasing instrumentals and production heavy music as well.
Crossing the two worlds is cool, I think for a lot of people when they hear a vocal, it's easier for them to connect with the track. Maybe the song can have a little bit of a longer shelf life when there's a vocal element behind it and a "story". I think songs are timeless, songwriting is timeless- with production, people will always be coming out with new sounds and blowing peoples minds and that's never gonna stop. But yeah, songwriting is timeless.
Any songwriters in particular you'd wanna work with?
It's all pretty far stretched but yeah- I'd like to work with that alt-pop, emo punk indie world. Like the track with Tilian from Dance Gavin Dance so I'd really like to do a track with someone else from that same rock/electronic crossover. The singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's would be great too- the singer from CHVRCHES, Lauren, too. I feel like we have a very common female or male vocal tone and a lot of it is very hip-hop geared and although that stuff is cool, I'd like to get back to my roots.
Are you finding yourself experimenting with any new sounds that are a bit off the spectrum considering your roots?
I'm always messing with new sounds. I think I just make a lot of new sounds, get an idea for a sound, create them and then just exhaust them to the poin where they're not inspiring anymore. Then it takes me a couple of months to create a new palette- it's like making paint and mixing colors. It's a process.
Potential album in the works?
I have an album that's basically done- I just put one out so it would be crazy to do another one. i don't think the label wants me to put out another one, I think we're just gonna do singles for a while. But when the time presents itself, I'll be ready to go with that.
Something that caught my eye was your mini-doc "Behind The Music". It was tight! What made you wanna make it?
i don't think I'm interesting. I'm me, I'm around myself all the time- so I feel like outside of music, I'm just this dude that sits in a dark studio all day and goes and plays shows. I don't think I'm interesting but I guess people follow artists or anyone on social media because they think they're interesting. So I just had the idea that i feel like a lot of the story wasn't being told and coming from producing more obscure electronic music and taking live acts on the road, a lot of people don't get that what I do is play shit live with a group of musicians.
I wanted people to understand and see who I am behind these sounds on the internet. The documentary is done pretty well, probably better than the recent single I put out so it made me think "maybe I should just do a bunch of documentaries and I'll talk about releasing and working on music but not actually ever do it". Like 10 years will go by and everyone will be like "he's put out nothing, EVER. But man, he's working on so much music" *laughs*.
It's a good marketing strategy!
Yeah, then people will actually start coming out to shows. Something that would be next level would be to never put content on the internet and only have to see things live. We experience things on our phones and laptops and on screens so at what point do we go back the other direction and get re-involved in a community outside the internet?
Right on- so outside of music, any other hobbies?
Trying to! I'm going out and doing things as well. Here I am barking about people being glued to a computer screen which is basically what I do all day anyways. I live in Colorado so during the winter season I snowboard. Travel with friends too, we do scuba diving trips.
So I saw this on the way here and just had to ask you. You know those "Tag Yourself" memes on Twitter?
I am a meme master.
So then you definitely will like this- which one would you say you are out of all of these?
Oh god. *hesistates* Well I mean, man. If you threw a yokle on top of an omaelt and threw some papes on it, that is definitely me. The yokle is me most of the time and the omaelt "addicted to caffeine and always under immense stress" like yup.
Sounds about right. I feel like everyone in the music industry is an omaelt *laughs*