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Stacey Jackson

10th March 2024

Interview: Lizzie Cooper

Stacey Jackson is back to talk about her latest single 'Closer To My Dreams', juggling her career as a Mum of four and she tells us the next project she's working on for her book 'How A Gangsta Rapper Made Me a Better Mom'.

Your 2024 is off to a busy start, kicked off with the release of your latest single “Closer To My Dreams”. What was the creative process behind it?

It was my first time working with Michael Stockwell and we instantly hit it off! We were talking about my show “Stacey Jackson in the 80s” and how crazy it is that I remember that era so vividly and how it influenced a lot of my writing even today. Plus, how the sounds of the 80s have been so on trend now, and for a while! So, we decided to write a song about what it was like back then and now that I’ve gotten older, how it is to get closer and closer to that dream I had when I was a kid. 

“Closer To My Dreams” is an 80s-esque pop hit - you’ve mentioned before that you have a love for all things 80s. What are your favourite artists from that era? 

I started off as a real 80s rocker, so Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Motley Crue — that sort of thing. But I started teaching fitness and aerobics classes in the mid-to-late 80s and spent so much time in the gyms that I ultimately got really into synth pop and later, dance music.  So, I guess I’ve been inspired by a lot of musical movements during that era.

How does “Closer To My Dreams” differ from your previous singles? 

I think it’s rhythmically slower, slightly more deliberate, I guess. But the messages for the most part are quite similar to a lot of my records in terms of ‘it’s never too late to live your dream’. 

Lyrically, “Closer To My Dreams” inspires your listeners to never give up on their dreams and reflects fondly on the life events that impacted the early stages of your career. Can you give me an example of these experiences and what you learnt from it? 

That your parents are usually right! Hahaha… but seriously I remember being locked in the garage with my co-writer of my first ever band, Coldfront and the rest of the guys saying… “you can’t come out until you’ve written the lyrics!” We were quite serious for kids that age and we just sat there and wrote and wrote. When you want something so badly, you’re not afraid to put in the work, I guess. 

As a mother-of-four, do you think it’s important to shine light on the struggles that come with balancing family with a career? 

100 percent! I think every parent struggles with balance. But it really takes a village sometimes. Asking for support, forming important friendships, being able to rely on each other as a network of parents is sooooo key to getting through it. Sometimes just venting to someone else about the challenges helps clear your mind. 

Your debut book “How A Gangsta Rapper Made Me A Better Mom” is loosely based on these obstacles, following the life of mum-turned-superstar Star Roberts as she navigates the music industry and juggles responsibilities. Do you think this novel will resonate with mothers facing similar choices? 

Gosh, I hope so. Star has a lot of support around her. Her mom flies in often, her besties are around her, she has a team (which she also must manage, by the way) but like I said, for her, she is soooo driven and so determined to do what she loves so much and especially as a single mom, she really must rely on a support network. 

I hope people will read it and realise that a solid group of people around to support you and be your cheering section along the way is so important. And being able to trust people is also so important. (But I don’t want to give any spoilers away, so we won’t go into trust issues!)

In my real life, I try to surround myself with positive, supportive, and uplifting friends. I would never want to be around anyone whose mission is to take you down. 

You collaborated with Snoop Dogg on the hit “Live It Up” “in 2011 and rebooted it in 2021. How did this influence “How A Gangsta Rapper Made Me A Better Mom”?

Well… I guess it’s in the title! But in all seriousness, I think it was the validation that “I’ve got this”, that I am truly living my dream of being a singer and songwriter and doing what I love to do. And if I couldn’t live my dream of being an artist, then something would truly be missing from me and I wouldn’t be a whole “Stacey”. I couldn’t be a great mommy, wife, sister, friend etc… if I wasn’t a happy “Stacey” I guess. 

You’ve teased a full soundtrack for “How A Gangsta Rapper Made Me A Better Mom” - what can we expect from this upcoming music? 

Yes, it’s a real culminative project, haha!  Fictionalizing the characters was a blast, I really was able to give them all some more drama, humility, and humour. But as a musician, I was also able to visualize each of these characters with their own genre of music. So, the soundtrack is quite eclectic. I’m narrating the audio book version and the musical soundtrack will be integrated into the audio. But for those who have already purchased the physicals paperback or even the e-book, they will get the soundtrack when it releases via QR code at the back of the book. I’m really excited about that.  

What else do you have in store for 2024?

Jeez… I start my tour in May - in fact I am opening for an 80s band, China Crisis! So I’m super excited about that and I start rehearsals in April with my choreographer and the dancers.  I will be on skids all summer, I guess. Thank God my kid’s A-levels aren’t until next year! 

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