Stella Jang Plays the “Villain” in Her Album “STELLA I”
Stella Jang’s album, STELLA I, is complete with a set of self-composed songs that reflect on her many experiences of identity and growing up throughout her twenties. “Villain” is the title track (doubled with “Reality Blue”), and by far the most popular on the list.
Jang has always been known to be a clever writer, finding ways to talk about heavy experiences and interesting scenarios that are relatable to anyone. The song, “Villain”, in particular, talks about stereotypes and their tendencies to separate people into good or bad, hero or villain. She continues to play with this dichotomy by calling herself a villain and questioning those who think she could never be. Cause what is a villain supposed to look like?
It’s written in my album notes like this. Whether you want it or not, humans inevitably seem to be living with heroes and villains. I wanted to give the main character a villain at least once, who is relatively neglected.
~ Stella Jang
“So many shades of gray” is a particular line that makes reference to the perception of black versus white, good versus bad. The artist is honest about being somewhere in-between and even more so about the parts that are usually concealed from others.
In the music video, Stella Jang engages in a variety of “crimes”, attempting to poison dessert or plotting an assassination. There is a sense of juxtaposition— something that seems so harmless is actually quite dangerous, like a slice of cake with a questionable filling. Of course, this is very much a visual representation of what the singer is trying to share: you should never judge a person by their look. Similarly, Jang wears both black and white throughout the video, evoking images of an innocent angel at times but a devious devil at others.
Overall, the visual composition and color of the music video are whimsical and light-hearted, adding another layer of meaning to the song’s message of perceptions and prejudices. It shouldn’t be that serious. People will always land somewhere in the gray, without being completely one thing or another. So why try so hard to define others?
Since then, Stella Jang has consistently released music— several singles and an EP. Jang continues to put into words the feelings and experiences listeners are sometimes unable to express. Follow Stella Jang on Instagram, and check out her music on Spotify and YouTube.