SD: Tell us a little bit about your music.
Sister Stone: Everything I have experienced for the past 10 years has led up to this release. Every part of my life so far, farming, living close to the land, relationships, living in community, learning traditional native ceremonial ways, plant medicines, the earth-itself, and my own dark night of the soul moments have given me the insight and passion for the way I create music.
I’m honored to present this hip-hop and soul styled EP inspired by the late ‘90s classic vibe.
SD: The name Sister Stone, where does it come from?
Sister Stone: I've always searched for a name that was cool and unique and then I'm like you know what, Gladstone (my last name,) is pretty awesome and I couldn't really get away from it. I feel like Sister Stone is kind of relatable and down to earth. I feel like I'm kind of a rock and a grounding force for a lot of people.
Sister Stone: This is my debut EP, Reciprocal Relations. I rearranged my whole life around this EP for the past year so I'm really excited to share it with the world.
Sister Stone: A lot of my life's work and journey have been maintained and balanced in all sorts of ways, all centered around how we are in relationships with everything. Relationships with ourselves, our bodies, our earth, our communities, and creating exchanges with all of that to feel reciprocal, what you are getting from that is what you are giving back to it. A lot of the songs on the EP are specific things I have learned and journeys I have gone through.
SD: What was your intention or message with this EP?
Sister Stone: Charles Eisenstein said,
“we didn’t earn any of the things that really keep us alive or that make life good. We didn’t earn air, we didn’t earn being born, we didn’t earn a planet that could provide food.”
We were born with water and earth given to us, so I try to live my life giving thanks to the earth, and offerings to people. This music is another way to say thank you for my life here. Secondly, I have always been on the other side of this and managing events, doing the interviews, and I now want to be the artist and have fun and play.
SD: How has it been managing your time now that you have this newly discovered passion?
Sister Stone: It has taken precedence in my life for sure, I have had to reschedule plans and things that I run because this is totally consuming me.
SD: Can you describe yourself in three words?
Sister Stone: Sweet, funky, revenant.
SD: What are a few struggles you've overcome during the process?
Sister Stone: Being new to this, there were a lot of personal things I had to overcome in the studio with the lingo and I really had to let go and be ok with being a beginner. A huge one was the fact that I was geographically unstable, living in San Diego to specifically finish my EP, bouncing around from sublet to sublet. In January I had booked the entire month to record the EP. I dedicated this month to finishing it, but I got really sick and was in bed with a fever for the entire month. That was the biggest challenge, living and paying in San Diego with one goal in mind and it being postponed due to something out of my control.
SD: What are your days looking like with quarantine?
Sister Stone: It's difficult to think about what life was like before. My days have been pretty nomadic for a long time but they are very routined now. I had a live show on Unify that was incredible which opened my eyes to do more live virtual performances.
SD: What is one of your daily practices?
Sister Stone: Every morning before I drink any water I talk and pray to the water. I say “thank you for my life” and give some of the water back to the earth and then drink some. Overall I do whatever I need to feel okay, which often looks like me dancing and walking in nature, tending to plants, and journaling.
SD: What is your mission in life?
Sister Stone: I used to try and run away from my life’s purpose and hang with the cool kids in school, and tried so hard to be someone I wasn't. One day I woke up and had a revelation and asked myself, “what is the purpose of life?” The only thing I knew at that point was that I feel good in nature and I feel like I have a purpose with nature. My mission is to support us in remembering that we are innately interwoven with the web of life, and everything is about relationships.