Stephanie Jacques has released a music video for her song “Because of That”, you can check it out below. Because of That was inspired by the preventable murders of black citizens in this very divided country. Just as she was judged by the color of her skin, she watches those on the news being judged, being accused, and ultimately being murdered because of their skin color. “This song conveys a real fear for the black community, where we are not judged by our values or personhoods, but singly for the color of our skin. I don’t want to be judged because of that, I don’t want to be accused because of that, and I certainly don’t want to die because of it”. Stephanie wrote the song with country artist Cassadee Pope and a portion of the proceeds from the song are going to the Color Me Country fund.
6 years ago, Stephanie’s long-time friend Mickey Guyton texted her saying that she needed to be in Nashville. “I did pop and r&b in California, but I started travelling to Nashville and writing a lot. Storytelling was allowed in Nashville. I’ve always loved it (country music) but I could now be public about it”. Growing up in the Bay Area, her immediate family was multi-ethnic: she and her older brother were raised by her grandmother after her mother died at the young age of 26. Her grandmother at the time had just adopted two children from South Korea with her third husband. In the 80s, Pleasanton, CA was very much white, and her colorful family stood out everywhere they went. “My grandparents were white, me and my brother were half black/white, and my two adopted siblings were full Korean.” Thus, the origin for much of Stephanie’s song writing stems from her unique but often challenged upbringing where race reminders were only a narrowed stare or sideways comment away. Artists like Faith Hill, Aretha Franklin and Julie Andrews are all inspirations for Jacques. “I came from a soul background singing gospel and I grew up watching the Opry with my grandmother. My music is very country soul. It's not traditional but it has all been influenced by early country music”.
In addition to her own music career, Jacques is the host of the IGTV show/podcast “Jacques Talk”. The show is self-described by Stephanie as the “little show I didn’t know I needed”. Jacques reflects that “the pandemic was tough but the blessing for me was I could come out of the dark being me. I kept my profile. I didn’t want to discuss politics. We talk about how to change''. The very first episode was Jacques alone discussing what Black Lives Matter meant to her. Since the launch of the IGTV program, episodes with guests have included Mickey Guyton, Dr. Jada Watson, Cam, songwriter Laura Veltz, Holly G of the Black Opry, and journalist Marissa Moss. You can check out all of the “Jacques Talk'' episodes here.
Another pandemic venture for Jacques is becoming Co-President of the Nashville Action Committee. Alongside Stephanie, singer Parker McKay and producer Alex Kline started the committee. “We wanted to create digestible content for people who wanted to get involved and make a change. It’s so hard to deal with some topics but if we create just one post a week, we can create a movement”. In addition to their own posts, the committee works closely with Hope On The Row, a charity helping out Nashville’s homeless population. You can check out the Nashville Action Committee on Instagram @nashvilleactioncommittee and Hope On The Row here.
You can follow Stephanie on social media at @stephaniejacquesmusic and find more information on her website here.