My Musical Biography.

JACQUI STEPHENS
(SINGER/LYRICIST)
“I was not brought up in a musical family and the only way I got to sing was by putting my nose to the grindstone, work very hard and teach myself about an industry I knew nothing about, which meant, of course, that I made mistakes along the way and had to learn from them”.

Born on the 5th March, Jacqui grew up in a small town called Rochdale in Lancashire. Yes, the same small town as the famous, Lisa Stansfield, whom may I add, attended the same secondary school as Jacqui, and with whom she eventually became friends. Jacqui also worked with the comedian, Bobby Ball at the Braces Nightclub in Rochdale, Lancashire.
Jacqui is currently signed to Billberg Entertainment Ltd/Twaang Records in Sweden. She was short listed for Britain’s Got Talent, and auditioned in front of the judges in February 2012 in Birmingham, the day before she was due to sign with the Management/label.

In December 2011 she completed her second album ‘Free Spirit’, which was written, produced and funded by herself. The album is very different from the material she usually sings. A natural powerhouse vocalist, Jacqui struggled to keep her powerful vocals under control whilst recording this album. The song ‘Upon Reflection’ from the album has already been played on rotation with Butterflies Radio, which is based in Florida and Australia, also on rotation at imsradio, which covers the InStore retail chain and seems to be the world favourite on Reverbnation.
The song ‘Freedom’ from the album was listened to by BBC Manchester producers, but unfortunately did not receive airplay.

“The album is a lyrical wonder a lament of deep emotion. Most topical on matters of the heart and very touching. The impression given was that her soul was singing and the words coming straight from her heart. It is peppered with grief and sadness which provokes strong emotions in the listener.”

In October 2009, Jacqui decided to fund and record her own covers CD, which she named ‘All Covered Up’. She recorded 6 tracks at GracieLands Recording Studio in Rochdale, Lancashire. Yes, Lisa Stansfield owns the studio. After recording these 6 tracks, she decided that she did not like the direction and shape the songs were taking. They were starting to sound over-produced, and her intention was to have the songs sound as vocally natural as possible.

In October 2010, Jacqui was offered a 5 year recording contract with a label in Milton Keynes, but decided not to sign. Luckily she sought advice from Martin who works at Gracielands in Rochdale,Lancashire, who advised her against it.

In December 2009, Jacqui went to Studio Studio Recording in Whitworth, Lancashire and started to record her CD again from scratch. She originally recorded 22 tracks, but chose only 18 for the completed album.Jacqui specifically stated that she did not require the use of auto tuning, Cubase or Pro-tools on her album. She had one track out of the 18, subtly double-tracked, but echo, reverb and delay were used on all the tracks. She recorded a lot of different songs from different Genres, and even did 2 tracks acappella. She wanted to show that her vocals are suited to any song/genre.

Jacqui’s album was completed in May 2010, which was mainly signed and given to family and friends. She told everyone “I will sign your copy now because when I become famous, I won’t have time to sign them”. She also sent a copy to Louis Walsh and Trevor Horn.

There is also a promotional video for her new album ‘Free Spirit’ on YouTube. She also produced her own video for YouTube of the song ‘Dear Father’ off her ‘Free Spirit’ album, which is in loving memory of her dad and dedicated to all fathers lost either through war, illness, divorce etc.
Jacqui’s goal now is to work with her Management/label with the view to promoting and selling her first ever original album and eventually hit the charts.

In 2004, she completed her BTEC National Certificate in Music Practice at the Oldham College Lancashire, covering everything from music technology to putting on a live band performance at the Grange Arts Theatre in Oldham.
In December 2005, she appeared on the X Factor Live Final, along with 9 other unsuccessful auditionees, singing ‘MY WAY’. This was a great experience and gave her an insight into singing on live Television. This video can still be seen on YouTube. “I am the one with the long red hair, singing the line I did what I had to do”.

In June 2000, Jacqui was diagnosed with the debilitating condition Fibromyalgia Syndrome, but this did not, and has not deterred her from successfully following her dream of making it in the music industry.

Jacqui’s talent manifested itself at the age of 7, when she sang on Blackpool Pier with her younger sister, then at the age of 8, she joined the school choir. At the age of 10, she watched ‘Opportunity Knocks’ and remembers seeing this little girl with pigtails, pretty dresses and a big voice, called Lena Zavaroni. she thought to herself, ‘I can do that’. Her father bought her Lena Zavaroni’s first vinyl LP and once she started to learn the songs and produce the big vocals, she knew she was on to something, but it was a shame that her parents did not feel the same, so there was no real support in place, which was due mainly, to the lack of financial resources. This did not deter her and made her even more determined to pursue her dream.

Jacqui grew up with musical influences such as the Beach Boys, the Stylistics, the Original Platters, the Three Degrees, Michael Jackson, Abba etc, but none of these really influenced her musically or vocally. She was more influenced by the big power vocalists, such as, Shirley Bassey, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Leann Rimes, Celine Dion and more recently Charice Pempengco, Jessie J, Demi Lovato. From the age of 13 she was writing her own lyrics, which she still has today. She was writing to television producers, asking if she could perform on their shows, and auditioning for shows such as Tiswas, Sky Star Search, Opportunity Knocks, Star for a Night etc.
At the age of 14 Jacqui’s mum entered her and a friend into a local talent contest. After her performance, her mum was approached by the concert secretary who told her that she would be brilliant with a big orchestra behind her. To this day she has yet to experience singing with a big orchestra.

Jacqui’s vocal talent was more of the natural kind, only having a few singing lessons in her teens, so she made it her goal to learn from different vocalists, their vocal style, their intonations and diction.
Jacqui’s “cabaret” career was earning her good money, but little satisfaction. She became very wise and learned early on about unscrupulous agents. She had an agent, at the age of 17, who decided to leave the venue she was singing at, without paying her. When she contacted him, he decided to pay her 6 weeks later. She did not employ another agent after that and still does not have one to this day. She embarked on getting her own gigs, which was most certainly a challenge.

At the age of 18 Jacqui had a residency, singing every Thursday evening, whilst also working behind the bar at the Dukes Nightclub in Rochdale, Lancashire. She was approached by Paul from Pennine Sound Studios in Oldham to put her vocals down on some cover songs by Brenda Lee. After singing in various pubs and clubs around the North West, from the age of 15 to 23, Jacqui was beginning to realise that something was wrong. She wasn’t being herself, which is so important at the end of the day. There were no challenges, She just felt like a robot, singing the same old cover songs and singing songs that the pub and club goers expected her to sing, dressing up in glitter dresses, wearing high heels and a full face of make up. She did not want the stigma of ‘Club/Cabaret’ singer, so she gave the club circuit up.

Jacqui did not really do anything musically after that because she took a break to have a family. She was just entering big talent competitions, doing a Celine Dion Tribute Act, and various competitions, Stars in Your Eyes competitions and entering big karaoke competitions. In 1999, she appeared on the Tricia Show, as a look/soundalike as, yes, you guessed, Celine Dion, where an audience member requested she sang a few lines of the Titanic Song. This was a great experience and her first real taste of television.

Jacqui’s goal now is to work with her Management/label with the view to promoting and selling her first ever original album and eventually hit the charts.


“Jacqui is a star in the making and just waiting for her big break”.
thecelinesinger2 thecelinesinger2
46-50, F
Sep 13, 2012