Stella Ruze emerged out of Manayunk (Philadelphia) back in 2014. Bandleader, Brendan Johnson, was a regular musician of the dive bar music scene. He eventually connected with co-vocalist, Katie Burke, through a mutual friend. Soon after, the duo was introduced to keyboardist Mason Wallack and trumpet player, Alex Styer. They took on the name “Stella Ruze” as a way to embody Johnson’s underlying song themes of love lost/love found while paying homage to Styer’s New Orleans horn style, Burke’s vocal harmonies, and melodic piano hooks from Wallack.