Extra Sunny: Stellina clears up all the misconceptions about casual sex
We all have sex for different reasons at different points in our lives
Stellina wants to clear up all the misconceptions you have about casual sex. This month the Toronto artist (formerly known as Jetset Justine) debuted with her “Extra Sunny” sex anthem.
“Extra Sunny” was produced by Stellina’s friend and producer L-SPEX. It’s an experimental R&B song about casual sex from an empowered female perspective. It’s a sensual sunlit anthem that provides a rousing backdrop for the morning after. There’s no place for a walk of shame on here because casual sex between two consenting adults is nothing to be ashamed of.
6 things you need to know about “Extra Sunny”
It’s Stellina’s power anthem
It’s okay to catch feelings
Slut shaming needs to stop
Casual sex gets better as you get older
The oven mitts in the cover photo are a family heirloom
The title was inspired by Tropicana oranges
“It’s kind of like a power anthem for me about being a woman in charge of her sexuality. It’s my favourite song from my upcoming EP for many reasons. I love the lyricism of it, I love the idea of being “extra sunny” (aka: always happy) and the melody haunts me.”
“Did I ever have a fuck buddy? Of course. Did I catch feelings? Sometimes. But not always. What’s the big deal? We all have sex for different reasons at different points in our lives.”
“I hated that guys used to call me a slut just because I slept with someone outside the parameters of a traditional relationship. I was surrounded by very misogynistic men during university and they slut-shamed my friends and I. It’s quite sad. They used to have drinking games about which girl gave who head.”
“In my late 20s I found other guys to be way more receptive to the friends with benefits arrangement in a healthy way that made me feel okay about my sexuality.”
“The mitts were a last minute addition that my aunt had brought on set randomly. They were given to her by my grandmother when she got married. Now I’m frying eggs with them half-naked.”
“I wanted something that had to do with being like a Tropicana orange. Luc (L-SPEX) was like “How about Extra Sunny?” It was perfect. Luc is great at coming up with cute catch phrases.”
What does a successful casual sexual encounter look like?
“Communication. I need to know everything upfront. And consent. You need to have that conversation. Wait for a woman to tell you what she wants – thank you. Respect if she says no and if one person feels they want more they should say it. I had that conversation once when I accidentally caught feelings and he was so great about it. He didn’t avoid me. We had a chat like adults and we are still friends (sans benefits) to this day.”
Tell me about the specific encounter or encounters that inspired you to write this song.
I don’t want to give too many details but there was someone who I had lots of fun times with here in Toronto over many years who definitely inspired me to write this song. I just wanted to channel lots of feelings about various aspects of casual sex. Sometimes it had to do with something specific like kissing goodbye at Honest Ed’s and other times it was just inspired by a general statement like “boys like you a dime a dozen”.
How did you end up working with L-SPEX for this? I know he has been key to your decision to pursue music.
L-SPEX came into my life around the time that I was dealing with lots of the fears I had surrounding my decision not to pursue a career in music. We met because he wanted to show me some t-shirts he was working on after I randomly opened an email he sent me (which I hardly did at the time because I was such a stuck up blogger bitch). I was opening up to the universe more and more, working on meditation and radically changing my point of view. During our meeting he mentioned that he made beats and I casually mentioned how I was thinking about music more and more and all the fears I’d working on. And he was like “J you should just do it! If you feel that strongly about music! Don’t let anyone stop you!” Those were amazing words to hear and they stuck with me. He later sent me a beat and the rest is history. It was all very serendipitous.
Walk me through the creation process for this song.
L-SPEX was camped out at my apartment for a few weeks. We were in my spare room cramped on the floor and Luc started making a beat. I have a special place in my heart for reggae and dancehall music and I think it will continue to figure into my sound since I love it so much. So I loved the beat that Luc was working on and I went to my dad’s Yamaha DX7 synthesizer and started writing chords and a melody for the song. I showed it to Luc and we tweaked what worked and what didn’t. Then it was about lyrics and that took some time. Then we just started recording it in the spare room – still cramped but loving life. L-SPEX’s production is awesome because he was able to use my voice as an instrument in the last part of the song. And I have to thank Gord Richards at Oak Recording Studio for helping me to get the adlibs for my verse. We recorded portions of the song there as well but we mainly used the vocals from the sessions in my spare bedroom. There was just something more vulnerable about them.
The story behind the cover art
“The photo was inspired by the line “But baby boy on Sunday morning, I get my eggs like extra runny”! When we set up our shoot for the album art we knew to include the sunny side up eggs. The set was a 1960s pool cabana in Etobicoke. I wanted a vintage feel and Vyvian To’s art direction helped set up this shot. Dustin Aalders styled the shoot and he put together the outfit of a yellow bathing suit with the oven mitts. Mauricio Calero shot the entire campaign. We literally got these shots in one take each. It’s pure vibes.”