“I think people can tell, I can tell that I’m more honest and happier to talk about my own experiences,” Stephanie Poetri tells NextShark over a Zoom call.
The 22-year-old Indonesian singer-songwriter might be best known for her “Avengers: Endgame”-inspired hit song “I Love You 3000,” but she has more than 3,000 ways to express love within her discography and life.
Following the March release of her EP “oh to be in love,” Poetri returns with “Breakfast in Bed,” an infectiously sweet hymn that has all the softness of the sheets and bed the song’s lyrics mention.
Songwriting is a personal recipe
“Going into sessions now, I explicitly say, I only write love songs, and in that sense, it just means I don’t write sad songs,” Poetri shares. “So ‘Breakfast in Bed’ was that. What are the lovely songs I could write? It’s about that, the feeling of home that you get when you’re just in bed with your significant other in the morning and you’re like, ‘We could go out or just have breakfast.’”
While working on “Breakfast in Bed,” American rapper and songwriter Gnash, born Garrett Charles Nash, was initially around to help Poetri with songwriting. However, Poetri asked if he would be interested in jumping in on the second verse. He eventually waxed poetic about spending time with a significant other playing “Mario Kart” and watching “The Office,” the latter being something Poetri has never seen.
“A lot of it is personal with the verse that I wrote, how I feel and experienced things,” Poetri says. “Then with Garrett’s verse, it was things I don’t like much, but he likes. We’re trying our best to make it as specific to our own situation.”
“I think, as a listener myself, I like when something is so specific that it’s almost like a little look into their own personal lives that usually we don’t get to show,” she adds.
Love languages on and offstage
A look into something personal: Poetri took an online love language test two days ago, and quality time is her top love language. “The other is between gift giving and words of affirmation, one of those two,” she shares.
“Either way, I think quality time is the most important for me to have,” she adds. “To receive and to give. Weirdly enough, I feel like I’m an extrovert. That doesn’t mean I want to hang out all the time, but if I’m in a room with somebody else doing my own thing, that’s kind of the ideal situation.”
Her extraversion has proved helpful to her when she performs for large and loud crowds at festivals such as 88rising’s Head in the Clouds. And a key factor that helps her perform acoustic, diaphanous tunes is her band.
“What’s great is having a band because I think with those acoustic songs, something that makes it feel special is the fact that you can hear the live instrument. It just makes it feel more intimate as well because you can hear every single strum and how our relationship is onstage” Poetri says.
“I always tend to go for more intimate situations as well. I love when I talk to the crowd. It gets a little bit harder during festivals, because I’m like, ‘How are you feeling?’ and you just hear a bunch of people yelling back… definitely a different vibe than I think what I’m the most comfortable with, which is when I can see every single face and hear most people’s answers.”
Hometown, K-pop and the perfect breakfast
From the comfort of her bed in Los Angeles, where she moved to from Jakarta around two years ago, Poetri will come full circle as she gears up for Head in the Clouds in Jakarta and Manila this December.
“I’m very excited to be doing Head in the Clouds Indonesia and Manila. I think Head in the Clouds has so much potential that I can’t wait for it to happen everywhere in the world. I’m really glad that they’re going to Jakarta, which is my hometown. I know that a lot of the artists at 88rising grew up in Jakarta so I think it’s the perfect place to start,” Poetri says.
Some of the other artists joining the upcoming festivals’ lineups are NIKI, Rich Brian, BIBI, Milli, Joji and GOT7 member and soloist Jackson Wang, who Poetri collaborated with for a rendition of “I Love You 3000.”
When asked if she wants to collaborate with more K-pop artists, Poetri said she would “love to write a K-pop song” and is “relating to girl groups as of late.” She listed NewJeans, IVE, Girls’ Generation and (G)I-DLE as her current favorites.
“I really like ‘Forever One’ by Girls’ Generation. I think that that was kind of weirdly emotional, even though I got into K-pop quite late. I wasn’t necessarily there when they were starting off, but it was super cool to see. I can’t wait to hear (G)I-DLE’s ‘Nxde’ too,” Poetri shares.
As for her go-to “Breakfast in Bed” meal?
“Pancakes, but maybe not [with] any syrups and stuff [that could spill]… In general, my favorite is a good waffle, a good French toast. I also like pastry, I like a good croissant.”