Producer Stephen Tells a Tale of Right Person, Wrong Time Love With Lindsey Cook on 'Stay': Exclusive

Skyler Greene

Many artists are moved to create visceral testaments to their truest loves. Sculptors carve statues out of marble to honor muses. Painters blend rainbows of oils into the likeness of their obsessions. Musicians build harmonies and rhythms to share their elation with the ears of others.

Stephen, a producer with no use for a last name, found himself as much smitten with a fellow musician named Lindsey Cook while recovering from a myriad of diseases and bouts of depression in his parents' Virginia home. He'd moved to Los Angeles a bright-eyed optimist, but a few years in its mean streets left him cold and distraught. Cook, with her poise, beauty and talent, broke down his walls and nursed him back to health -- but he couldn't stay. Why would he stay when LA was still out there?

So, he did the next best thing. He wrote a killer song for her.

"I met Lindsey in a coffee shop," Stephen says in an emailed statement. "We kinda fell in love at first sight. We went out that night and spent almost every day after that together ... We both knew that once I was better, I would have to go back to LA. The temporariness made it that much more special."

"Stay" is a brilliantly vulnerable song built around soft, electric guitar and colorful electronic flourishes with a funky hook built from one perfect rhythmic note. Stephen's lyrics are direct and non-metaphoric. It's the true story of the short-lived love that lasts forever in its three-and-a-half minutes, and much like in reality, the whole thing centers around Cook's own special contribution. 

"We were in her kitchen one morning and she just kept saying 'All I wanna do is stay,'" Stephen remembers. "I was like, 'can I record you saying that?' That night, she came over, and I built the whole song around that. Lindsey is featured on it, and no matter how far apart we are, everything we experienced together is always with me."

Shout out that special someone in your life who was right person, wrong time. Dedicate "Stay" to them when it comes out on Monstercat Friday, Feb. 9. Smash the pre-save link, and listen to it in full below, exclusively on Billboard Dance