Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Interview with Stacey Jackson – A Music Making Mummy

Stacey is a 41 year old mother of four who, after the birth of her children decided to follow her passion for music and release an album.

Her first single, ‘I Hear A Symphony’, went to number 9 in the club charts sandwiched between Kylie and Lady Gaga. Stacey is also an ambassador for leading charity Music for Youth and gave talented young musicians across the country an opportunity to be on her album, proceeds from the album went to the charity and Stacey has raised over £18000. In November she will present this cheque to the charity at the Royal Albert Hall

I recently got the chance to interview her and this is what she had to say

When did your passion for music first begin?     

I have vivid memories of me sitting in my dad’s car when I was three year old singing along to Diana Ross and the Supremes. I knew all the lyrics!
What made you decide to go into the music industry?
I was always singing in bands – when I was 15, I was the lead singer an original hard rock group in Montreal called Cold Front but after university, I moved to New York and had a career in television PR for a while. I missed singing so much that I ended up joining a club called Off Wall Street jam which was a venue comprised of various rehearsal studios that catered to career people who were also talented musicians.  So I formed a Motown band called Fuzzy Dice and I was the lead singer.  With Fuzzy Dice, we got to play around at swish bars and clubs in New York.

How do you balance children and work?

That’s the ultimate question! There was a point in my life where I would get up to teach an aerobics class at the Peninsula Hotel in New York for 7am, get into the offices at Lifetime Television by 9am, run down to Tribecca to jam with Fuzzy Dice by 7pm, have a late dinner with my husband by 9.30pm and perform in the same night at a club at midnight. But obviously once I started having children… something had to give! The move to London came at a great time, I had a four year old and a one year old and I had already left my full time job in TV to raise them so I jumped right into the mummy thing when I got here. Joined the PTA, became the soccer mum, made lots of long-lasting mummy-friends. I ultimately had two more kids but I did feel that a big part of me was missing.  So I found myself a great vocal coach and started playing small gigs in London until I met Rich Cardwell (MD for James Morrison and Annie Lennox to name a few) and Marc Arciero who produced my first album.

What do your children think of your music?

Every day is a juggling act for me – four kids in different schools all with different interests but I try very hard to make sure that I spend quality time with each one of them and go to their football and rugby games, their plays and even do some school runs (obviously I can’t be in four places at a time!) But it’s also about balance and I think my kids respect the fact that I am doing something that I love so much. A happy Stacey is a happy mummy and they understand that. They are very involved and have a say about all that I do. For example, if they have an issue about something I’m wearing at a show or in my video, trust me…. I hear about it!

How would you describe your music?

My debut album, “Upside Down” is made up of Motown classics revamped and rearranged a la hard rock so I was blown away when various DJs like Future Freakz took my songs and remixed them into dance tracks. The remixes went crazy in the clubs with my first single “Band of Gold” peaking at number 17 in the Music Week Club charts and my follow-up “I Hear a Symphony” breaking the top ten and sitting between Lady Gaga and the Scissor Sisters at number nine! From that I was asked to go on the Dance Nation Tour (me and a couple male dancers in tow) to do live PA’s around the country. Then, I started getting calls from producers telling me my vocals were bang-on suited for that commercial pop/clubby genre and so my original single “I Am a Woman” coming out this month is more pop/dance.

What is favourite track from your album?

The profits from “Upside Down” were going to the charity Music for Youth and I had 30 or so talented young musicians (choir, strings, bassists, guitarists etc…) come in from all over the UK to perform on the album and sprinkled them around various tracks. So pretty much all of my tracks are special to me. But if I had to choose, it would be my two singles, “Band of Gold” and “I Hear a Symphony.”

Who inspires you?

I love so many different kinds of music and I’m influenced by various genres. As a kid I loved Motown, as a teen I loved hard rock as an adult I love pretty much everything –  pop/dance/hip hop Probably because that’s what my own kids are listening to so it’s around me . Plus I think that artists who can pull from all their influences and create something fresh and different really inspire me. I love the Black Eyed Peas, Lincoln Park and I think Lady Gaga is an amazing artist.

What was the first album you bought?

The single Pop Muzik by M in 1979! I was 10!

Who would most like to collaborate with?

I’m working on my original material at the moment and I’d like to collaborate with a great rapper. I’m loving Tinie Tempah at the moment.

What’s your favourite song?

I’m loving Written in the Stars (Tinie Tempah) and Eminem’s track with Rihanna Love the Way you Lie.  (You can tell the direction I’m going in with my current project!)

Stacey’s latest single “I am a woman” is out to download now!


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