Michele Stas is a singer/songwriter who currently resides in a quiet town in the mountains of upstate Pennsylvania. She found her love for music at a very young age, performing alongside her father — a professional saxophone player. She wrote, recorded, and self-released her own record entitled, “All or Nothing” in 2010 with her own savings. Since then, Michele has performed with different groups, the latest being her current band, “Upstate.”
Michele’s main instrument is the piano/keyboards, but she also loves playing the drums. Between gigs, she helps her family run a restaurant tucked inside a 160 year old general store. Her parents bought the location over 16 years ago after moving out of Philadelphia to the “middle of nowhere.”
It has been rough trying to get her music out to the masses living in such a remote area with no opportunity to get her foot in the door. Alas, Michele is a big believer in “if it’s meant to be, it will be.” She has had the opportunity to live in Europe, performing for large crowds, and really taking every opportunity that comes her way. Michele believes that no matter what happens in life, she can rest easy knowing she tried her best and lives without regret.
WHAT DOES BEING A MUSICIAN MEAN TO YOU?
MS: Being a musician means being able to release all the emotions and creativity bottled up sometimes due to societal pressures of being or acting “normal.” Music allows me to express myself in my truest form and, in turn, that comes back to me while on stage through the response of the crowd. It is a real trip when people interpret my lyrics and tell me how much a certain one of my songs means to them personally. I write because I feel if I do not get the words on paper, they will haunt me like a ghost. A lot of people spend their money on the latest technology, toys, cars, etc. I spend mine on traveling and going to shows. For whatever reason, listening to all kinds of music, as well as performing, has become therapeutic to my soul.
WHAT ELSE ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT IT LIFE?
MS: Aside from the music world, I am passionate about trying to save the planet. Whether it be fighting for human rights, animal rights, or protesting against the fossil fuel industry, I feel that we live on the only planet habitable to human kind and protecting it is our rent to live here.
“In this crazy world, through these crazy times, I will continue to believe in the future of my dreams. That one day we will all wake up and realize that money, fame and fortune do not mean a thing. Love is the only answer and I hope that music helps to guide us there.”
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
MS: My biggest inspiration in my life has to be my parents. They have both come from very tough backgrounds and have turned their hardships into something beautiful. They have made it their goal in life to provide my sisters and I with the wisdom and work ethic to strive for something bigger. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, and for that I am grateful. After all, I love the stories where the women save themselves. I was brought up to be independent and to rely on myself for what I really wanted. Because of my parents, I know what it is to work hard for what you want in life. They give me strength and positive reinforcement every step of my journey, and they encourage me to be who I am without apology.