There used to be a radio station in L.A. that dubbed itself “The Quiet Storm”, playing hypnotic-and-melodic songs by artists like Brenda Russell and Regina Belle. If that format still exists, Stephanie Michelle’s song “Waves” would fit right in.

It’s elegant and unforgettable.

Michelle is a Detroit songwriter who sings her own compositions, but isn’t aspiring to be an artist. That’s a shame, because her vocals on “Waves” are truly hypnotic. And she’s versatile, too. She recently covered European singer Nyv’s “Per Favore”, hitting all the trills in Italian just perfectly. Plus Stephanie’s latest single “DWM” features swooping synths and enticing dance beats that reveal another side to her songwriting.

I urge you to listen to Stephanie’s “Waves” and let it lure you offshore, right into the heart of a quiet storm.

“Waves” is an absolutely perfect song. I wouldn’t change one note. Did you play piano and synth on the track in addition to singing it…and was it a solo write or a co-write?

Thank you! I appreciate that. Honestly, I didn’t intend to release it. I write songs hoping others will record them, but “Waves” was so personal to me that I felt I had to be the one. The thought of someone else singing it (first) just didn’t feel right. It is indeed a solo write, as are all of my songs so far. Yes, I did play piano and synth. In fact, I produced and mixed the entire track in my basement studio.

Your musical influences include Pink and Adele, but ”Waves” reminded me of the hypnotic-and-melodic work of the great George Michael and Toni Braxton. Do you ever listen to ”old school” artists like that?

Wow! That is one of the nicest compliments I’ve received on this song. I absolutely love George Michael—brilliant songwriter, beautiful voice—and Toni Braxton, her voice is pure gold! I grew up surrounded by music; I was singing along with Barbra Streisand when I was 9. I write mainly pop, but I listen to everything, from old school R&B to Christian to rock to country.

“Per Favore” is a very beautiful (and unusual) song. Did you study Italian in school? What led you to record the song?

Thank you! It is a very beautiful song. And I say that not to brag, but because it’s a cover written by the super talented Nyv. I discovered it while watching the limited series “From Scratch” on Netflix actually. It was played under a lovely scene and I immediately fell in love with it. I told myself I had to release it. Fun fact: I do not speak Italian. But I did study 2-1/2 years of Spanish, so maybe that helped. I spent a day learning the song, almost giving up because it was quite challenging trying to sing in a foreign language while conveying the emotion of the lyrics. I had read the English translation (quite the declaration of love), but still didn’t know what I was singing as I was singing if that makes sense. I couldn’t let it go, though, and I’m so glad I didn’t. To this day, it’s the only Italian I know—other than food. Another fun fact, I posted a clip of me singing it on Instagram and Nyv actually liked it. That made my day. If nothing else, this song is an example of how I like to push myself to do the hard stuff. It’s one of the things I love most about writing. It’s hard, but the results are worth it.

Your song ”Let Go” reminds me of ”Place You’ve Never Heard Of” by the artist Rainsford (the stage name of Rainey Qualley, daughter of actress Andie MacDowell). Have you ever tried pitching ”Let Go” for sync placements in TV and movies?

Ooh, I just listened to it. I love it! The world of sync is a bit of a mystery to me and I haven’t had the time to figure out how to navigate it, so I’ve never tried pitching “Let Go.” I’m planning on re-recording the vocals soon, though, so maybe I’ll consider that. I wrote it a couple years ago, inspired by Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” but I think it’s still very timely.

Will you be releasing more singles or an EP this year?

It’s funny you ask that because I have no interest in being a recording artist, but I can’t stop releasing music. I released “Let Go” because it was one of my goals. I’m not really good at social media, so I don’t have a fan base, but I continue to drop singles every few months. So the short answer is yes, I plan on releasing a compilation EP because an EP was also a goal. No date set yet. I’m taking all of my songs, re-recording some vocals, and adding two more bonus songs. I just finished production on a Linkin Park cover last week (not saying which one) and I have another hypnotic-and-melodic (to borrow your words) song I wrote and produced.