Brooklyn-based Singer/songwriter Gabrielle Sterbenz can trace her passion for music back to her teen years, during which she exhibited a rare talent as a soloist in her high school’s gospel choir. Fine-tuning her craft for the majority of her lifetime, she has since gone on to perform in ten countries on four continents, has opened for rock band Wheatus on three international tours (while also serving as one of the band’s backing vocalists), and has performed with them at venues like Wembley Arena. In recent years Sterbenz has appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers as a backing vocalist for Lorde, on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as a backing vocalist for Robbie Dupree (Steal Away), and on The Tonight Show. She’s also featured on Nerdcore Hiphop artist MC Frontalot’s records Solved and Question Bedtime. Her self-titled debut album, produced by Wheatus frontman Brendan B Brown, was released in 2015.
In 2017 Sterbenz participated in the Silver Sound Showdown at Brooklyn Bowl and won a budget for a music video. Collaborating with Fletcher Wolfe, a cinematographer based in Brooklyn, NY, the two artists created a stunning and cinematically haunting video for the track “The Laundress,” off of Sterbenz’ debut album. Wolfe’s previous music videos, which she also shot and directed, have premiered on Noisey and Stereogum, and have won at the Coney Island, Silver Sound Showdown, and Salute Your Shorts festivals. She won Best Cinematography at the 2016 Glendale International Film Festival for “Sugar!” a feature film she shot, starring Tony Award winner Alice Ripley. “BROOKLYN/ALASKA,” a feature documentary she shot, was voted IndieWire’s Project of the Month, and Canon asked her to speak about it in the Shooting Documentaries Panel on their NAB stage.
Both the song and the accompanying video for “The Laundress” are about a relationship in transition. Song and image come together to examine the roles we fall into when we are in a couple, how those roles obscure our sense of self, and the things that go unsaid between us. The video explores this through the real-life transition of Brooklyn-based trans rapper Uncle Meg, and his fiancé Clara, allowing the audience to connect to the song’s universal themes of change, partnership, and identity. Using split-screens and double exposures, the video straddles multiple spaces simultaneously, giving the viewer an intimate window into the couple’s struggle.