We recently ran across the music of a local artist with such a unique sound, we wanted to share it with you.

Her name is Stella Hennen.

Stella is an independent local artist with a voice as smooth as butter. We recently heard her song 'Dancing In The Rain,' and thought it was lovely. It's a melding of acoustic music with beautiful harmonies and her stellar voice is front and center.

Stella is originally from St. Cloud. She moved to Cold Spring when she was very young, and then left for two years, attending school in Golden Valley for her Junior and Senior of high school.

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She has since graduated and is in a GAP year. You can listen to Stella's song "Dancing In The Rain" below.

Stella Hennen - Topic/YouTube


I asked Stella a few questions about her life and her music.

How long have you been writing music?

I’ve been writing music for as long as I can remember! I always look back at my old diaries from when I was around 8 and find the funniest attempts at songs. The writing was so fun for me as a kid; for a moment, I wanted to be an author but soon realized I couldn’t focus on one solid thing for more than one page, so I stuck to writing songs.

How old are you now?

I turned 18 in May!

Do you write music, or just lyrics, or both?

I write both, I’m not classically trained or anything so I cannot read music by any means, but I can hear things sometimes! so I just play notes that sound right to me and hope I can remember it by the time I finish the song.

Do you play an instrument?

Yes! I’m self-taught in guitar, ukulele, and piano! I had lessons when I was pretty young for piano and guitar, but I quit for a few years and forgot just about everything I was taught.

When did your love of music begin?

I've been in love with music for as long as I can remember. My parents had great music taste, so the radio was a constant presence in our house, even before I could talk. By the age of four, you'd find me belting out old Taylor Swift songs, using a spoon as my makeshift microphone. Once I was old enough to use the computer or occasionally sneak onto my mom's phone, I spent hours watching music videos, captivated. It was then that I knew I wanted to be like them someday. Of course, I also harbored dreams of being a fairy mermaid princess, but I figured I'd take it one step at a time.

You have a very unique sounding voice. Have you auditioned for Reality TV shows?

Thank you! I have never auditioned for any TV shows, but I’ve been told I should. I get in my head about those things and get very nervous before performing in front of big groups. Although, when you’re in the moment it feels amazing, so maybe one day!

Do you want to be an artist, or do you prefer to have others record your music?

I want to be my own artist, but I don’t mind the idea of others recording my music if they think it could work for them!

Photo credit Stella Hennan
Photo credit Stella Hennan


Where does your inspiration come from?

It really varies from song to song; I'm inspired by several things and people in my life. Primarily, I'm inspired by witnessing people's reactions to my music. When I can bring out any emotional response, whether it's a slight smile or a tap of the foot, and when I'm able to evoke memories or introduce them to a new song, it reignites my passion. It shows me how powerful music can be in touching people's lives.

Additionally, I draw inspiration from my parents and grandparents, who are truly amazing individuals who have supported me every step of the way. Seeing their happiness motivates me tremendously, and I could never thank them enough for their unwavering support. They're my best friends!

Furthermore, I find inspiration in hard-working musicians everywhere. Taylor Swift is my go-to example, being my first concert and a talented, successful woman who supports other women. I’m also inspired by local musicians who have shown me immense support throughout my journey. Individuals like Mike McClelland and Doug Millaway, both incredibly talented musicians, have been instrumental in helping me navigate the music world. I'm grateful for their guidance, kindness, and the laughter they've brought into my life. We had our own little band named "Cholula" before COVID-19, and those were my first live gigs. They are where I began and the reason I'm out doing gigs today!

Do you have an album? How many songs have you written?

I have two singles out currently, Dancing in the Rain, and on March 9th I just released a new single called “Hangover.” I’m hoping to make a full album by 2025.

I have many songs I’ve written, I would say at least 100. Only a few recorded and produced though, the rest you can hear at my gigs until they’re out too!

Has anyone ever discouraged you from playing or singing?

I’m very lucky to have an amazing and loving support system behind me when it comes to music. Without my family and friends, I’d never be where I am today, chasing my dreams! Sadly of course you do run into those people who tell you that it will “never happen” or that you’re “not good enough,” and in middle school, I would get a lot of that. As a 13-year-old, you take a lot of what people say in and it really never leaves you, but at a certain point instead of it being a pity party for yourself, it turns into motivation! There will always be those people in your life trying to bring you down, but it helps you to find the people you truly want in your life and who will support you and love you for who you are.

Photo credit Stella Hennan
Photo credit Doug Jenkins

Do you have a process that works for you when writing?

It always happens in weird little spurts! I’ll be going about my day as usual and will randomly think of a rhyming phrase that I think would sound good in a song. I put it down in my notes app on my phone and come back to it later that day when I’m by my instruments. I’ll start playing random notes until I find a chord progression that I like, and after I do, I can write an entire song in less than 20 minutes. Afterward, if I’m still in the music mood, I’ll go to my other songs and tweak some lyrics if I don’t like them. Sometimes I’ll write three songs in one hour; sometimes I’ll write three songs in one week.

Do you have a website or social media presence if someone wants to purchase your material or keep up with your career?

I mainly use my Instagram @Stella_Hennen for more updates on my releases or Stella Hennen on Facebook for my local performances.

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