Skip to content

Unless you live in a rural barn – or, worse, don’t have TikTok – you’ll know horsegiirL (also known as Stella Stallion). The whimsical musician, who claims to have been a popular country star in the animal kingdom until she was discovered by one “Whitney Horseton”, first came to mainstream attention thanks to the success of ‘My Barn My Rules’. The collab with producer MCR-T originally dropped in January 2023, but months later the track would go on to become a popular sound on the clock app – in no small part thanks to Stallion’s infectiously deadpan, auto-tuned bray of “long mane, big hoof, shiny coat, what’s new?”.

Since then, Stallion has played a raucous Boiler Room, where she dropped Khia’s raunchy ‘My Neck, My Back (Lick It)’ into the mix, threw a sold-out (antihistamine not included) Hayfever rave at London’s The Cause and headed stateside to take to the booth for Art Basel Miami Beach. As well as being a popular gigging DJ – attracting twinks and sesh heads alike, thanks to her eclectic mix of ’00s club off-cuts and trance-inspired beats  – she’s continued to drop surreal singles that revel in her tongue-in-cheek lore, from the boy-meets-horse premise of track ‘F0rbiidden l0ve$tory’ to the chilly vocals of Christmas track ‘wish ✮⋆˙’.

It’s suitably festive when Stallion comes into the GAY TIMES orbit for the first time, and she’s busy gearing up for the release of said Xmas tune. Shooting on location in Berlin, it’s hard not to feel the holiday spirit: the pavements are stacked with mounds of uncharacteristically pure, white snow as tourists clutch plastic goblets of gluhwein from the many, many Christmas markets littered across the city. The air is sharp and the cold is pinching but despite all this, and the fact the streets are more slippery than the Winter Wonderland ice rink, it hasn’t stopped Stallion from strutting – or, rather, walking, trotting, loping and galloping – onto the Neukölln set of her very first cover shoot, in the human world at least.

When I arrive, several hours late due to a delayed flight and a struggle to find the front door, Stallion is energised. With NTS playing softly in the background, she’s roaming the set in a pair of hoove-appropriate Margiela Tabis and getting ready to crack open the bottle of sekt which has been brought in alongside the lunch order. She’s come a long way from ‘Sunshine Farms’ – her purported hometown – but she’s in her element.

You’d think that being a centauress would preclude Stallion from being in front of the camera; after all, horses are notorious for startling at noises, lights, and, probably, a photographer’s orders. But the style-savvy horse is in her element, modelling through a series of alter egos: from a suited-and-booted werkhorse to a Marie Antoinette-esque show pony, wearing a towering white bouffant upon her head. Afterall, the girl loves fashion, as evidenced by an off-duty wardrobe which includes MISBHV, KNWLS x Jean Paul Gaultier and AVAVAV, alongside true-thousands thrift finds.

A couple of days later, after the scorch of the photographer’s flash has dissipated from the back of our retinas, Stallion and I reunite in the well-heeled halls of Berlin Soho House. Unfortunately, the twin forces of inclement weather and horsegiirL’s busy recording schedule have prevented us from pursuing the original plan – a tour of the German capital’s various horse statues followed by a lap of Berghain to say hi to the city’s resident pony boys. No matter, we find a secluded spot in the building’s basement where I can blatantly disregard the members club’s “no recording” rule and get into it.

(And, okay, yes, we’re going to keep up the conceit that Stallion is, in fact, a horse-human entity. Before the shoot, I was obliged to sign an NDNeigh that would prohibit me from revealing the star’s real identity. As if I even knew, the mask stays on.)

"If a horse can make it, anyone can"

Hey Stella! Your mane looks fab, btw – but before we get sidetracked talking about fashion, what have you been working on? 

I’ve just released my new Christmas single, ‘wish ✮⋆˙’!

Let’s talk ‘wish ✮⋆˙’. What made you want to release a Christmas single? I didn’t know that horses celebrate Christmas. 

I wrote the song because I always had such an admiration for reindeers. I think they’re kind of like the horses of the forest and they’re Santa’s helpers. It’s an ode to reindeers and my dreams of being a good horse and being helpful to spread Santa’s joy in the world. Interestingly, when you write a Christmas song, you have to write it in summer. One day, I think it was in August, I woke up and I just had this feeling like “today is the day that I’m getting into the Christmas spirit”. I went to the studio and I called up my friends from BAUGRUPPE90, who I work with a lot, and I told them; “Even if you are not feeling it, and it’s 36 degrees outside, we are making a Christmas song.”

In terms of 2024, what are your plans?

World domination. It’s time for a horse to take on the role and show humanity some more of the animal spirit. I’m so excited mainly about sharing new music and maybe even working on an album. It’s great to just have this chance now to work with so many amazing musicians and that’s mainly what I want next year. There’s also lots of touring and Hayfever dates coming up…

Let’s take it back a few trots. How exactly did you get into music as a young foal? I don’t imagine there were many music teachers on the farm.

Nature is full of music. There was always this thing inside of me, ever since I was little, that just drew me to sound, listening to it but also creating it. From as far back as I can remember, all I was doing was humming melodies or trying to decipher a melody I heard and then pick it apart.

Nowadays, how would you describe your sound?

I would say it’s very euphoric and uplifting without… I don’t know how to explain this. You know how there are these songs that are obviously meant to make you happy, like they’re just so in-your-face positive that it’s almost annoying. It’s kind of like, I don’t like this and now I’m angry. I do think my music is very happy but it doesn’t tend to make me angry. Maybe that’s because it’s paired with being so fast and having quite heavy instrumentation, I like the contrast.

Horse and girl, happy and heavy, it’s all about duality… So, what’s the crowd like at your shows? Has it changed since you found TikTok fame?

Most of the people that come to my shows are extremely colourful. Mainly, I would say that they’re very young and there’s so much positivity. They definitely come from different subcultures: club kids, super geeky kids, there are the ones who are into fashion, the ones that have just turned 18 and are going out for the first time. There’s loads of queer kids but increasingly with the TikTok virality there are more, I would say, mainstream and straight kids. Thankfully, I haven’t noticed that it’s tipped and become not a safe space anymore. I definitely think it’s a very tolerant and open space.

How do you think TikTok has impacted nightlife more broadly? Has it contributed to the boom in high BPM genres that have had a post-lockdown resurgence?

I don’t think we can attribute that just to TikTok. I think, in general, everything is faster and attention spans are shorter. That’s led to genres that were already created 20 years ago becoming super popular again, because it’s not like hardcore and Frenchcore only exist now. I guess it was always this kind of subculture thing and now it’s really connecting with the times. I think TikTok definitely changed some dances and the way people move in clubs. So far, I’ve only really played one particular party where it felt like, wow, okay, everyone here is probably a TikTok raver – someone that only got in contact with rave and the culture through the app, and thinks that there’s a specific way you have to dress and dance to call yourself a raver.

"A major part of my success is that a huge amount of my fans are queer"

What type of raver is horsegiirL?

It’s very important that I can just dance as freely as possible, that I like the music and I don’t feel self conscious. I’m definitely someone that just loves to frolic around by myself. I get super, super sweaty and normally when I’m tired, I just go home and don’t always want to go to ten afters.

Behind the decks, what do you hope to contribute to the nightlife scene?

With every set that I play and every club that I enter, I leave my ego outside and I cater to the crowd. I want to create a space where everyone feels like they can dance how they want to dance, jump around and just be who they want to be. Maybe that’s my contribution to the electronic scene, to remind people that it’s not that serious. It’s really about the vibes, that’s literally why we’re going out – it’s to connect, to dance, to have a good time and to feel alive.

What makes you feel most alive? 

Carrots, sugar cubes and the smell of freshly cut grass in the summer, because we all know that’s going to turn into hay.

I like that you’re a foodie. 

Food has such a double meaning, right? It keeps us alive and makes us feel alive.

Have you noticed any copy cats, copy horses or copy humans trying to imitate your vibe?

I don’t think you can ever imitate someone’s vibe, you can attempt to imitate my vibe but don’t do it! Try and find your own vibe, it has more longevity. What I have seen, which is very amazing and hilarious, was lots of farmies – my fans – dressing up as me for Halloween. So many farmies sent me pictures of them dressed as me, some with glittery headphones, like I’m about to play a DJ set.

Obviously, GAY TIMES is a queer magazine. What’s your relationship to your queer fans like? 

I definitely think a major part of my success is that a huge amount of my fans are queer. I recently rewatched Sex in the City. Lots of it hasn’t aged well but there’s this amazing thing that Samantha says; “First come the gays, then come the girls, then comes the industry.” I think a lot of gay and queer people know a bit earlier than the mainstream what will be trending.

True. Would you say you are a horsey icon to the girls, gays and theys?

I don’t think you can claim to be an icon, if people want to see that in me, then that’s very kind.

Do you feel like, as a horse in the music industry, your story could inspire others?

I think I can show people to be unapologetic and not change who they are. To be a horse and to take on the human world, it’s a kind of transcendence, of not being the one form you were born into and being free of what society feels like you should do. If a horse can make it, anyone can.

Lastly, what exactly are your barn rules?

It’s difficult because I feel like my barn rules always change depending on the situation. But… number one: farmies are kind to each other. Number two: be yourself. Number three: make up your own rules. Actually, maybe that’s the only rule – make up your own rules! As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.

horsegiirL’s latest single ‘wish ✮⋆˙’ is out now on all streaming platforms.

This interview is taken from the January 2024 issue of GAY TIMES. Head to Apple News + for more exclusive features and interviews from the issue.