My Firsts: Stef Chura | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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My Firsts: Stef Chura

Big Lips and Broken Hearts

Aug 02, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

My Firsts is our email interview series where we ask musicians to tell us about their first life experiences, be it early childhood ones (first word, first concert, etc.) or their first tastes of being a musician (first band, first tour, etc.). For this My Firsts we talk to Stef Chura.

Chura is originally from Alpena, Michigan, but her musical career launched in Detroit, where she moved to in 2012. The acclaim behind her 2017-released debut album, Messes (released by Urinal Cake), led to her being picked up by Omaha’s Saddle Creek, who released her sophomore album, Midnight, in June. Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo produced the album and his vocals are all over one of its singles, “Sweet Sweet Midnight.” “This album has a depth to it and a particular sound because of Will,” Chura said in a press release announcing the album.

Thematically on Midnight Chura said she’s “usually dealing with the context of what I can’t say or haven’t said. A kind of spiritual bondage that I would say most people, probably a lot of female bodied ones, put themselves through.”

Read on as Chura talks about her first best friend, ending up in the hospital, falling in love, her first kiss, getting her heart broken, and her earliest celebrity crushes.

First word?

DADA. My mom was pissed.

First best friend?

Dana, we met at the Lutheran elementary school we both attended in Alpena, MI. We are both left-handed. I remember one of us choosing to be left-handed though so we could both be the same. I’m still not really sure if it was me or her. Probably me. We also aggressively cheated on math together, which turned out to be a shame because I’m still very bad at it outside of cashier math.

First pet?

Roxy the dog and Cooie the cat are my earliest pet memories. When I was around 11 we got two black cats that I remember being old enough to name, Bageera and Binx. The first pets that were “mine” were two cockatiels named Echo and Apollo.

First broken bone?

Actually haven’t done that yet…

First time you had to go to the hospital?

When I was 16 I went into anaphylactic shock after getting stung by some wasps. I was with a high school boyfriend and we went to go smoke weed on a “Natural Beauty Road” which is scenic and rather far out of the way when I look down and realize that my ankle is the size of a grapefruit. I tried to keep it cool but eventually said, “Hey, I can’t see anything” Everything I looked at turned high contrast and white and my whole body turned fire engine red.

First time you fell in love?

With my fiancé Johnny Ill.

First person you kissed?

This guy Zack that I went to boarding school with for four months when I was 14 and a freshman and we smooched. I remember it was somewhat traumatizing because he had really big lips and it was really loud. There was a slapping sound and it reminded me of when a dog is lapping up water but there isn’t that much water left.

First time your heart was broken?

My high school boyfriend snuck into my house when I was 15. I thought he was being sweet but he came over to tell me he cheated on me at my neighbor’s house.

First movie you saw in the movie theater?

Damn, I don’t exactly have a memory of this. I wonder what it was. When I was 16 I worked at one of the movie theaters in town so I have a lot of movie memories. **edit** I just asked my mom about this and she said Fern Gully.

First TV show you were obsessed with?

I really liked Daria and downloaded it all. We would watch Malcolm in the Middle when I was a kid and I had a HUGE crush on Frankie Muniz.

First record your parents played for you?

My dad has a great vinyl collection and I remember listening to Devo, Lene Lovich, Jim Carroll Band, and Patti Smith at a really young age. I have early memories of listening to The Clash and Bowie. I have a really early memory of listening to The Clash’s Give ‘Em Enough Rope. And The Buzzcocks’ Singles Going Steady.

First album you bought?

No Doubt’s Return of Saturn when it came out. I bought it from Walmart in Alpena.

First favorite band?

I loved this Christian ska band called The Supertones when I was in elementary school. There was this song I used to listen to at night at the end of the album Supertones Strike Back and I would cry and be like “I just love God soooo much.” I also had a crazy knack for learning song lyrics and memorized most of the lyrics to Lisa Loeb’s Tails and Counting Crow’s August and Everything After.

First favorite song?

“Stay” by Lisa Loeb or “Round Here” by Counting Crows.

First musician you had a crush on?

I don’t know if this counts but the first time I ever felt sexual in any way was watching that movie Queen of the Damned that had Aaliyah in it. Stuart Townsend plays a vampire and has a concert scene where I think the actual music is Korn.

First actor or actress you had a crush on?

Frankie Muniz and Seth Green.

First concert you went to?

Technically Skillet this Christian rock band I saw in sixth grade at Alpena Community College.

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