Stacie Orrico

Pop

Power Pop,R&B/Soul,Contemporary Christian

http://www.StacieOrrico.com

Buy this artist on: iTunes, Amazon

Stacie Orrico never asked to be a star. Stardom, with all its glittering promises, found her. She was discovered at 12, released a gold-selling debut album at 14, and traveled the globe to support her internationally best-selling follow-up at 17. By the age of 18, Stacie Orrico had sold more than 3.4 million albums worldwide.

But the demands of a successful career nearly drove this young, preternaturally gifted singer and songwriter out of the music business. Thankfully, Stacie Orrico not only possesses a dazzling voice, she is also blessed with a rare maturity, which enabled her to walk away from her career three years ago to rediscover who she was and what, and whom, really mattered to her. Stacie Orrico’s elegant, the soulful, R&B-powered Beautiful Awakening, tells the story of that journey, which has landed her where she is today: in control of her life and career for the first time.
“(the new songs) reflect a time that is really joyful and where love has been a part of my life.”

“It’s definitely a peaceful record,” says Orrico. “I wanted to make an album that you would want to put on while you’re sitting in your bedroom after a long day. I wanted it to have songs that I could sing accompanied by just an acoustic guitar.” The result, a stripped-down affair that sets raw beats, guitar, piano, and a few strings against Stacie Orrico’s jazz-inflected powerhouse vocals, is the work of an artist coming into her own. Orrico says the topics, which range from break-up songs (“I’m Not Missing You,” “Don’t Ask Me to Stay”) to romantic ballads (“Easy to Love You,” “Wait”) to a shout-out to single moms (“Babygirl”) to a celebration of family (“So Simple”), “reflect a time that is really joyful and where love has been a part of my life. Whereas in the past my music arose from a place that was a lot rougher emotionally.”

To understand where Stacie Orrico is coming from on Beautiful Awakening, it helps to go back to before stardom changed her life. Born in Seattle in 1986, Orrico grew up the daughter of Christian missionaries, the middle child of five in a close-knit Italian-American family. When Stacie Orricowas seven, her parents’ travels took them to the Ukraine where young Stacie helped tend to tuberculosis-stricken orphans at a local hospital. The Orricos lived in a compound that had no hot water. “We took freezing cold showers,” she recalls. “It was so cold that when you put your head under the water, it would give you a headache.” The experience, she says, “taught me that no matter what a person’s background is, no matter what language they speak, there are common bonds between people, certain things we can all relate to.”

After a year in the Ukraine, the Orricos moved to Denver where Stacie Orrico went to school and sang in church. “I was the little white girl singing in the all-black gospel choir,” she says. “People would come up to my parents and be like, ‘This girl can sing. She's got soul. You’ve got to play her some Fred Hammond and Shirley Caesar records.’ My dad always listened to great old jazz music, like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn, so I was exposed to that kind of music from a young age.”

In 1998, Stacie Orrico attended a music seminar in Estes Park and wound up entering a singing competition as a lark. She won and an A&R executive from EMI’s Christian label ForeFront offered her a development deal on the spot. .

The Orrico family moved to Nashville, and Stacie Orrico released her first album for Virgin in 2003. Stacie Orrico, with its urban-flavored R&B-pop sound, spawned two Top Ten singles, “ (There’s Gotta Be) More To Life” and “Stuck,” the 17-year-old found herself caught up in a whirlwind of promotional appearances: performing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, at the tree-lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center, and on MTV’s TRL; announcing the Grammy nominations (for which she earned one for “Best Pop Contemporary Gospel Album”); and walking the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Then the album exploded in Asia, and Stacie Orrico hit the road, traveling to a new country every three days and doing interviews from seven in the morning to 11 at night. At this point, she had never attended a day of high school, never went to prom, and missed all of her family’s vacations, a particularly sad state of affairs for such a family-oriented person. “It just got to a point where I was getting more and more exhausted,” she says. “I started to think, I didn’t fight for this. I didn’t go knocking on people’s doors for a record deal. Now my whole identity is completely wrapped up in the music industry. I had no life outside of it — no foundation beneath it to support me. It was time to decide whether a music career was really what I wanted to do.”

She decided it wasn’t. By this time, Orrico’s family had moved back to Seattle and Stacie decided to join them, enjoying her mother’s cooking, attending her sister’s dance recital, and her brother’s football games, and making up for lost time. She got a job in a restaurant with her best friend, making $7.50 an hour serving fish and chips at a seafood place. “I just wanted to do something normal,” she says. “We had to wear these hideous outfits — ties and below-the-knee skirts, white tights, and navy shoes. I loved it.”

When that job ended, Stacie Orrico moved to L.A. to spend some time with her sister who was attending college in Malibu. She made new friends and felt relieved to be around people who were not familiar with her career. “You can get a pretty messed-up view of yourself when you’re used to people kissing your butt and telling you how perfect you are 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for eight years straight,” she says. “People say ‘Oh, you’re so mature and so together,’ but they don’t know you’re going back to your hotel room at night and ordering six desserts from room service because you’re so stressed-out.”

The break enabled Stacie Orrico to build a foundation of support from family and friends, which in turn, allowed her to consider going back to the business. “I finally started to realize that music is what I love — it is what I’m passionate about,” she says. “For me, it’s more than just making records — it’s a form of communication: telling stories and sharing experiences. When I was too exhausted and detached from myself to make that personal connection with people, I lost my enthusiasm for it.”

Stacie Orrico’s renewed passion for music — everything from singing to writing to vocal arranging — bleeds through the tracks on Beautiful Awakening. Orrico co-wrote a majority of the album and worked with a variety of top-notch producers, including Dallas Austin, Dwayne Bastiany, Kaygee, and co-writers such as Shekspear, Track & Field, Anthony Dent, and newcomer Novel, a rapper, singer, producer, and songwriter whom Orrico met at a studio in Atlanta when she heard him making beats down the hall. “He’s my musical soulmate,” Orrico says of Novel, who is the grandson of soul legend Solomon Burke and has written songs for Kelis and India Arie. “We just hear music the same way and are inspired by so many of the same things.”

Stacie Orrico is also eager to go on tour and perform. She’s inspired by Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys, artists who make their point simply without a lot of bells and whistles. So don’t expect ten dancers onstage and 50 costume changes. “That’s not what I’m about,” she says. “You’re not going to see me jumping around onstage to pre-recorded tracks. Really I feel like I’m launching a new career. I want to perform soul music. That is what rings true to me. And truth, honesty, and vulnerability always rise to the top.”

Listen to Stacie Orrico Here


Discography

Album Title Year Label
Genuine2000Chordant Music Group
Stacie Orrico2003Virgin Records
Beautiful Awakening2006Virgin Records

Category:

Location:

Seattle

Washington

United States

Record Label:

Virgin Records

Christian Label:

Yes

Years Active:

00's





SecondSpin.com