by Abraham Kuranga
Jaci Velasquez has been a bonafide superstar in Contemporary Christian Music for quite some time now. She has accumulated numerous awards and accolades including a Dove Award, the CCM genre’s equivalent of the Grammy Award. All the success in such a short time has not taken away from whom Jaci Velasquez truly is.
“I’m just a normal person,” confesses Velasquez. “Okay, so my family says I’m not so normal!” Whether or not Velasquez is normal is debatable but her talent and affection for her Lord is clearly seen and heard in her music.
Being a CCM artist in such a secular world can be tough, something Velasquez has experienced in her 10 plus years in the music industry. “For some reason, people think we’re super-human,” says Velasquez of the stigma that is attached to CCM artists. “Unfortunately, we’re just people. We’re always under a microscope.”
When it comes to religious music, the microscope is even more acute. The spotlight is something Velasquez welcomes, especially with her new album, Beauty Has Grace. “I just wrote what was in my heart,” Velasquez said of the albums divinely inspired content. “There’s always pressure to do things differently.”
Beauty Has Grace is a snapshot of where Velasquez was in her life’s journey. After years of successful albums and touring, she is now a grown woman with many life struggles. The “photos” of her life were taken to England where Velasquez and producer Martin Terefe developed these pictures into the album. “Working in London was a great experience,” says Velasquez. “I loved walking to work everyday. It seemed that every corner I turned, there was inspiration.”
Not only did Velasquez receive inspiration from the streets of London, but from a source literally closer to home.
One of Beauty’s tracks, “Lay It Down,” resonates deeply with Velasquez. It speaks of laying all her worries and burdens at the feet of her Lord. “So much happened in my personal life that this song has become the soundtrack to my life,” says Velasquez. “This song is powerful to me, every time I sing it, it feels even more powerful.”
Another track that Velasquez prizes is the song, “Supernatural.” “We are all on a journey and we have a desire to see HIS face, whether we know it or not,” explains Velasquez.
Beauty Has Grace is a melting pot of styles including Latin flares as well as a notable rock influence. With musical influences including Billy Joel, Elton John, the Clash, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan and Rufus Wainwright, its no surprise that this disk shares such an eclectic nature.
“I have grown a lot in my taste for sound,” explains Velasquez. “I am very picky.”
With a decade of music under her belt, Velasquez has taken her act to the big screen, with a small role in 20th Century Fox’s Chasing Papi. “They approached me,” Velasquez says about the acting turn. “Acting was a great experience and a lot of fun. It was an honor working with 20th Century Fox.”
Don’t hold your breath waiting to see her in another movie. Velasquez is prepared to take her journey one day at a time. “Ten years? I mean where will I be in ten minutes?” Velasquez says answering to the question where she wants to be in a decade. One thing is certain, Velasquez will keep doing music as long as she loves it and there are people willing to give Contemporary Christian Music a chance. “Try it,” says Velasquez. “I think you’ll like it.” One would be hard pressed to see why we wouldn’t!
|#1 © 2005. Courtesy of Word Records. All rights reserved.|
|#2 © 2005. Courtesy of Word Records. All rights reserved.|
Copyright ©2005 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: December 1, 2005.