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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Stef Lang Is In A New York State Of Mind
Thursday, November 06, 2014

When Canadian pop artist, and singer-songwriter, Stef Lang moved to NYC last year it mirrored the way many great musicians had made the move before her. “I had my guitar on my back, two suitcases, and a backpack,” she remembers, “that’s all I could carry.”

Lang also carried with her quite the resume, which included over half a dozen releases, and numerous television placements in her native Canada. That said, from day one she knew moving to NYC would wipe a lot of that slate clean, and create, in her words, “A fresh start,” but it was a fresh start she was excited to take on.

“It’s always been about music, first and foremost,” Lang says of her move to NYC, “but I also love the city, and I love the culture, and just the whole vibe here. I started working with a lot of different writers here, so as soon as opportunities started to happen I was like OK, this is a good move for me.”

Of course, no move to NYC is complete without having to deal with an evil landlord, and Lang managed to make that happen with her very first apartment, which was in Brooklyn. “I knew I wasn’t going to be picky about my first place,” she explains, “so I just picked one of the first places that I could find. It was awesome. It was in my budget, I had other roommates who were super cool, and we ended up getting along really well, but the landlord was crazy.”

Lang describes some of the landlord-tenant issues, saying, “She was running the place completely illegally, so she was tampering with all of our stuff, and screwing with our mail, and she threw out some of our things.”

Making her exit as quickly as possibly, Lang didn’t take long to find another place to live. For many, the act of bouncing from place to place in a new city, and a new country, would be maddening, but for Lang it was inspiring, as she notes that for her, comfort can be the enemy of creativity.

“I try not to let myself get too comfortable ever,” she explains, “because that will keep me in the same space. I kinda make it a habit not to be comfortable so that I can keep moving forward.”

Moving forward is a prevalent theme on Lang’s latest EP, RUBIX. The album’s final track, “Run Run Run,” is about a family drama that occurred when Lang was leaving for NYC, and the lead single, “Indestructible,” deals with when she was about to break up with her boyfriend. “I wanted to believe that we were indestructible,” she says of the relationship, “but clearly we weren’t.”


Although the relationship ended, Lang still enjoys performing the song, saying, “I try and think of the feeling that I wanted to have when I was writing it, and that’s still a very real, honest thing to want to portray, so even though it didn’t turn out that way, it doesn’t mean that moment didn’t exist.”

While much of the content of RUBIX tackles Lang’s desire to move forward, the EP’s title is representative of the artist in a different way. “In the past I’ve kind of been sort of, I guess judged for being too all over the place genre-wise,” she explains, “I have all these different sides creatively, and all of a sudden I just had this idea, I was like oh, a Rubik’s Cube. A Rubik’s Cube has all these different colors, and it’s a puzzle that people try and solve, so I was like what a great concept to name one of my projects after a Rubik’s Cube.”

Solving a Rubik’s Cube might actually be easier than solving how to be a successful working artist in NYC, but Lang is managing to do the latter. She’s currently putting together a band, and debuted two members of that band at a recent show at Rockwood Music Hall. She’s also planning on recording an acoustic EP, and touring her native Canada, before the end of the year, and putting together another album in the spring of 2015.

She may have arrived with little more than a few suitcases, and a guitar on her back, but in the span of just one year Stef Lang has made New York City her home.

At the rate she’s going it won’t be long before the rest of the country embraces her, as well.


Interview originally ran on Arena.com.

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