With almost three decades in the music industry, Grammy-nominated lead singer, producer, and songwriter Stokley shows no signs of slowing down as his new single SHE captures the #1 spot on both the Billboard and Mediabase UAC charts. SHE, written and produced by Stokley and co-written by Carvin Haggins, has been a breath of fresh air on the airwaves when all people, especially our women of color, need encouragement. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Cleveland, SiriusXM and Music Choice have been among the few markets and platforms that continue to support the single driving it to the top. The single is accompanied by a very sexy video that was directed by Josh Sikemma and continues to celebrate women as well as gives a new sensual view of Stokley that many fans have never experienced before. Stokley spent some of his creative time sharing with us a bit about his successful journey.
Congrats on "She" Reaching #1. What was your inspiration behind the song?
The song is about loving all sides of a woman, good and bad. Even when we don’t like some of the ugly parts, within reason it’s necessary because that’s what it means to love a whole human.
How important is it for men of color to uplift our women? Do you feel it's our responsibility?
I believe we all have to understand why we are the way we are. Where people of color come from, what we’ve been through. There are reasons why we all need a little extra care, patience and understanding. Having said that, I think it goes both ways. We have to uplift our women and it’s helpful for women to uplift men of color.
How does it feel to still have music that remains relevant throughout generations?
It feels every bit of natural. I think music should have no boundaries, no time, no age, no color (except sounds) and no genre. It’s here to uplift and inspire and any other feelings that may come about when listening.
How have you managed to stay consistent throughout your career?
By staying connected to the fans through trying to be consistent with records. Maybe even more through live performances. We have a conversation that’s personal when we are all in the same room. No matter how big the crowd, it somehow still feels intimate.
What have you discovered about yourself being a solo artist? A member of a group?
With a group, I realized that I can somewhat mimic other energy in the room as it pertains to music. In other words, I can tap into the spirit of how someone writes music, what their sensibilities are. As a soloist, it’s just been about tapping more into all the facets of myself that were already there. The spiritual, the playful and silly, lots of reflection at this point since I’ve been in the game so long.
What is one thing fans don't know about you?
There are still many fans that don’t know I played drums/percussion in church but didn’t sing.
What advice that you have received would you share with an aspiring artist?
Dig into what came before, into yourself. Remain open, be a vessel for many things to speak through you. Pay attention to technology, and business around you. Really, really grind out your skillset so you are ready for things outside of what you know and/or are used to. The sky won’t even be a limit.
“I want to thank all of the fans for all the energy, loyalty, and love,” states Stokley. “This is just a precursor of what’s to come. You all are my relentless #1s.
SHE is Stokley’s first career #1 and third top-five chart-topping single since he launched his solo career .“SHE” is the lead single off of Stokley’s forthcoming sophomore album Sankofa due out this summer.
For more information on the new single and tour dates, log onto www.istokley.com.