Interview with Singer Jacquese Steele

VOICE Magazine: Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourself; where are you from and what has brought you to Michigan State University?

Jacquese: I’m from Kalamazoo, Michigan. I am 20 years old and I came to Michigan State University for security. To be honest, college has not always been in the fore front, but because I did not obtain a record deal before I graduated high school, I figured ‘why not get a degree while I pursue my dream?’ Bottom line, I did not strongly desire to come to MSU. However, I understand and recognize the importance that an education holds in our society. So I am here.

VOICE Magazine: So how long have you been singing and performing?

 

Jacquese:  I have been singing since I could talk…on stage since the age of three or four…started out modeling… the stage is all I’ve ever known. First solo in 4th grade, and started writing songs in 3rd grade.

At the age of 10 or 11 my Dad, Dee Jay, producer, and an aspiring rapper at the time who had opened for various artists, like Trick Daddy and Trina, started putting me in the recording studio. From there is when it got serious. I was in talent agencies, performance organizations, sang national anthems for professional sports teams, and got heavily involved in musical theater and drama. So I like to say I’ve been doing this on a serious veteran level for about 11 years now.

VOICE Magazine: What do you think distinguishes you from other upcoming or signed artists?

Jacquese: I am a triple threat! A true singer, performer, and songwriter. My voice is very distinctive, as I believe, and as I’ve been told. My background and the diversity within it, even though I’m a singer, I’ve always been taught and trained to be on a rapper’s grind. That alone sets me apart.  Also, my background in musical theater and singing classical music [sets her apart]. I feel that I have star power, not only to sustain in the industry but [also] to be great!

VOICE Magazine: Tell us about your 106th & Park Journey.

Jacquese: Funny story. 106th’s “Wild out Wednesday” actually hit me up and told me I had made it through to the big audition in New York last September. There must have been some unorganized chaos on their end because I was never informed of the exact time and date I was supposed to be there, so it fell through. How it works is you actually have to be viewed for an audition to actually be eligible to come to New York. In my case, a video from my “I’m a Star” performance was sent in for review, and they were obviously impressed with what they saw. So now here I am, and everything is put together, and I am excited and ready to kill it and make it on the show!

VOICE Magazine: Who influences you the most, musically or not?

Jacquese: The late, great Michael Jackson is my idol hands down! He is the epitome of what an entertainer is. Although he’s a male, and obviously our voices are nothing alike, he has had the most influence on my performance abilities. He commands the stage, he is captivating, and when Michael performed, he always seemed to be on one accord with everything around him. That’s what I strive for. I believe that all entertainers should look to him for reference.

VOICE Magazine: What is on your iPod right now?

Jacquese: Everything! I listen to absolutely everything! Drake, Wayne, Michael McDonald, Brand New, Corrine Bailey Rae, who I absolutely love, Luther Vandross… I’ve got some Corey heat from the 80′s, Maxwell, Sarah Barellious. All of that!

VOICE Magazine: Do you have any other performances that people should look forward to?

Jacquese: Not currently. The main focus right now is laying down tracks in the studio for the new album. But keep your eyes and ears open; something always tends to pop up!

VOICE Magazine: What type of audience are you trying to reach with your music?

Jacquese: I plan on reaching all audiences. I am a person with great versatility and I do not want to box myself in or limit myself in any way. I want to keep myself open to express all genres, sounds, and lyrics that just so happen to come through to me. I simply do what I feel.

VOICE Magazine: Ok, I have a random question for the interview: If you could describe yourself as one animal, what would it be and why?

Jacquese: A white tiger! A white tiger is fierce, poised, graceful, distinctive, and classic! Those stripes won’t go unnoticed, much like me! Raaaarrr!

VOICE Magazine: What are you studying at MSU?

Jacquese: I recently changed my major to communications.

VOICE Magazine: Any album releases coming soon?

Jacquese: I am currently working on a new album titled “Circuit Breaker Love”. You can look for that sometime this year at the end of spring.

Also, look out for a mixtape project I will be featured on in the next coming month. I think everyone will definitely enjoy my version of Chris Brown’s “Like a Virgin”, so be on the look out! Feel free to purchase my current album “Heart on a Chain” at iTunes.com as well.

VOICE Magazine: Do you have anything you would want the VOICE readers to know about you?

Jacquese: I just want the readers to know that my journey in pursuing my dream has been full of highs and lows. I have encountered so many setbacks, so many obstacles, and yet I have still managed to carry on. I strongly believe that God has brought me too far to leave me. There is no way that my dreams will pass me by because I have faith, trust, and belief in my talents. If anyone out there desires to make it just remember that all your hard work is not in vain. When you put in work, eventually you will reap the benefits and success will show its face

 

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