With a name full of mystery, ST.ARY leaves no stone unturned except one, is it “Saint Ary” or “Starry?” Otherwise, the singer-songwriter has spent the last year defying the status quos of the music industry. With an inspiring story and a powerful message, the star has just begun to shine. While studying Music Business at New York University, the Iranian-American artist has independently launched her own career. Moreover, she did it all in the middle of a pandemic.


Write from Home

For ST.ARY, being settled and socially isolated led to Hot Mess, her debut EP. She shared with EnVi, “The pandemic hit and I produced that entire EP in like a month, which was crazy because I didn’t have that time when I was back at school. I feel like all the inspiration was piling up and I was able to do that. It’s just rewarding that in that really hard time, I was able to create something so personal to me and put it out. That EP itself got me through a pretty hard time like feelings that were kind of boiling up when I was at school. So then, being able to come home, sit down, really get it together, get it out in my music helped me get closure, honestly.” 

In need of that creative outlet, ST.ARY took the initiative to craft that EP entirely on her own. She revealed, “It was in my soul and I had to get it out. I didn’t want anybody’s help really with it. It was just a ‘for me’ type thing.” 

While others may have grabbed the sourdough starter or remote, ST.ARY was drawn to the studio those nights. However, she had already been creating music since childhood. At just eight years old, she wrote her very first song.

“I still have the piece of paper I wrote it on. It’s somewhere in my stuff. I always knew I was going to do something in music and eventually release my own music as I became older,” she said. “I started really taking songwriting seriously when I was 13 and started producing when I was 17. Then when I turned 18, I had made a song start to finish, ‘2 AM,’ really with no plan or anything. I was like, ‘I’m going to release this. Why not?’ I just haven’t looked back since.”

Finding Middle Ground for Middle Easterners

In that process, she has experimented with various sounds, but her unique vision has remained the same. As a young West Asian woman, she has had a lot of precedents to face and the perspective to break them. 

The music industry tends to be dominated by men as found by reports by the University of Southern California Annenberg’s School for Communication and Journalism. At the same time, stigmas against Middle Easterners and Muslims have been perpetuated by political unrest over the years. Consequently, immigrant families tend to try to hold on to what they can from their motherlands including traditional values. With these barriers in the way, it takes a strong woman to get through them. ST.ARY finds inspiration from these women, especially Sevdaliza and Snoh Aalegra, and hopes she can be that source for others as well.

“I don’t think I still have fully found where I belong in the music community, but hopefully, I want to be an artist that other women like myself can look up to, especially Middle Eastern women,” she shared. “That’s kind of the space I’m trying to make with my music hopefully… because I know there are so many Persian girls out there who are definitely into music and are making music. There’s got to be.” 


Empowered Women Empower Other Gender Minorities

Down to the detail, creating space for others in the industry has been one of her major goals. She has made it her goal to collaborate with other women and non-binary people for her visuals.

“For the cover art, shooting it, music videos—if I do decide to do one sometime soon—that’s a promise I made to myself because I feel like the arts in general, is very male-dominated, especially the music industry,” she said. “I wanted to make it so that I would only work with women producers, but I literally could not find too many, especially at school which really sucks. So, I was like ‘how can I still make a part of my art only be directed towards and a space for people like me?’”

This sense of character shows throughout her music. In the title track of her latest release “She’s no ST.ARY,” lyrics about self-worth are carried by a serene melody. “The Ick” follows with a playful vibe highlighting her spunk, just in case you missed it the first time. 

“People do describe me as a strong woman or a hard-headed woman and not always in a really good way, but I don’t know; I don’t really care,” she said. “My music is for me. If I don’t show you outwardly that I’m a strong woman like face-to-face us talking for example, then I’m going to show it in my music.” 

Though this charm captivates listeners, it also allows ST.ARY to explore another side of herself. She explained, “sometimes I feel like my music is my higher self almost if I wasn’t acting the way I wish I had in a situation. For example, a lot of my music is about love and relationships I’ve had. Sometimes when I’m writing and reflecting on those situations, I write about how I wish I had acted and wish I had been like the woman that I want to be. Sometimes I use those songs for myself as affirmations that I can be that woman.” 

As ST.ARY continues to explore that side of herself, her sound follows suit. While creating new music, she discovered her true style, reminiscent of her song “Lucky,” her personal favorite. For anticipating fans, she teased, “I feel I found my sound, and it’s definitely a lot darker, moodier. I’m pretty synesthetic so for the colors of my music, I would say red and black and a little bit of gold and silver. As opposed to, I feel like my music now, the colors are very bright pink and blues and pastels sometimes. It’s definitely a darker sound.” 

Wherever this creative path takes her, one thing remains certain; ST.ARY is exemplary of the next generation of women changing the music industry. She has her sights set on a better future and the determination to make it happen. 

You can follow ST.ARY on Instagram and listen to her latest releases on Spotify

Be sure to check out Vedo, another talented artist on the rise!