Photograph by Mateusz Sitek
Stacey Jackson is a wonderful warm and funny mum who I had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with when she was last in Dubai visiting with her beautiful family. Despite having 4 children she managed to reignite her singing career on the UK Dance Charts with great success singing with the likes of Snoop Dog and now travels to perform all over the world – she has also released her latest single, Dance the Night Away featuring Binky Felstead from Made in Chelsea. It is incredible to see how focussed she is and she shows you that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Her songs are dance tracks that are often heard on the dance floor – we track Stacey down to ask her how she managed to do it all. Here are the links to some of our favourite hits from her albums.
One of her most well-known tunes ‘Is This Love‘
Her music video with Snoop Dog, ‘Live it up’
And her new hit ‘Dance the Night Away‘ featuring Binky Felstead from the reality show Made in Chelsea.
Can you tell us a little bit of about your family especially about your
four beautiful children?
I have three boys, 18, 16, 12 and a girl who’s seven. My eldest son
developed an app called Verdict which is an anonymous image sharing app and he raised over $1m from venture capitalist firms to develop it. So although he was accepted to University of Pennsylvania early, he will be taking a gap year to work in San Francisco on his app.
Can you tell us about the dynamics of having 3 boys and a girl?
Haha! There’s no doubt she’s treated like a little princess but because
she is socialised by three older brothers she’s quite mature for her age. The other day we were going out for dinner as a family and she said “Mum, I really don’t think I should go. I’m really tired and I don’t want to be whiney at the table.” What 7 year old says that? None of my boys ever wanted to miss out on anything. But she’s so confident and amazingly independent for her age.
Both your husband and you are from North America originally, how did you come to live in London?
Originally we moved over for my husband’s job and then ultimately both our careers over here took off. Fast forward almost 15 years and we are still loving it!
Some of your children are now in their teenage years everyone talks about the negatives about teenagers. Can you share some of the joys?
I’m really lucky. I have bright, well-mannered teens. I think the key is
to know their friends well and who they hang out with. My 16 year old son is currently going through his GCSE exams so he’s been really
focused. He will be working in Philadelphia this summer interning for a venture capitalist firm. I’m very proud of all my kids.
For parents looking to send their children to schools in London, in your opinion, what are the top senior schools in London?
For really bright boys probably the obvious choices…
City of London
Was boarding school ever an option? If not, why not?
We thought about it for my oldest son as many of his friends were going to board. In fact a bunch were going to Eton and he almost went to Harrow. But in the 11th hour we all got cold feet! I think every kid is different and every family is different so you have the do what’s right for you and we wanted to have our kids growing up together as a family.
Can you tell us about your childhood and how it led you to sing in the first place?
I grew up in Montreal. I have a younger brother and my mom was a family life educator and my dad was a graphic artist. In fact in his earlier days he designed a lot of record covers for loads of Canadian artists including Celine Dion’s French albums when she was younger. I always was a performer from the time I was little and remember being asked to sing on TV for a charity telethon at 11 years old. From that moment on I knew that singing was going to be a major part of my life.
You previously had a singing career and came from a music background, what made you decide to come back into the industry.
I was in a band growing up in Montreal called ColdFront. It was an
original hard rock band. Then after college and living in New York I had a career working as a publicist in the television industry launching programmes and working with major A-list talent. But I also was lead singer in a Motown band called fuzzy Dice. So at nights I play in different venues around New York. Once I started having kids and I moved to London I became one of the vocalists with a covers band til one day I finally decided it was time to record an album. That’s when it all really started for me.
You also made an extremely famous hit on the dance floor with Snoop Dog. What an experience! Can you tell us more about it?
Well the funny thing was the first album’s profits went to a UK based charity called Music For Youth. It got a lot of buzz as I raised £20,000 and featured some of the talented kids from the charity on it. One of the tracks got remixed and there is my song — sitting between Lady Gaga and the Scissor Sisters in the Top Ten! Suddenly I was getting calls from producers saying my vocals suited dance music and would I be interested in writing an album. I wrote Live It Up based on a dream I had where my late father came to visit me and he said “Stae, this is it, this is your time, this is what you’ve always wanted and you have to go for it!” I was being managed at the time by an American manager called Steven Machat who said it would be a great idea to get a rapper on the track. I thought we could revisit some of the up-and-coming new artists from the charity MFY but he just said “How about Snoop Doog? He’d love this, he’d love you and he’d love the story”. Steve sent him the track and five days later I was on a plane to the States to work with Snoop. Crazy!
Can you tell us what we can look forward to from the brand, Stacey Jackson, in the future?
I’ve always been into health and fitness. I actually taught fitness classes right up until I was 8 months pregnant with my third child. So
I’m really passionate about keeping fit and healthy. As the music I write is up-beat dance music, it lives really well in the gyms — with my videos being shown around the world. I actually came up with an idea for a fitness top which addresses issues women face while working out — largely because I needed it and it simply doesn’t exist in the market! And from there a whole line of fitness clothes came about So watch this space for a unique fitness brand coming soon! At the moment it’s called StaeFit.
Your husband also owns his own private equity company, how do you both manage such busy careers with the four children? Do you have rules about how much time you stay away from the children?
Great question. When all the touring started for me it was tough to learn to juggle the whole thing. Thank goodness for Grandmas! My mum flies over if I need to be gone for a big chunk of time. But I never travel more than 10 days away at a time and try to swing it when it’s term time so they have their routine with school etc. The nutty times are when I’m releasing a single. So these next few months will start to get ridiculous or me with Dance The Night Away releasing.
What makes you feel guilty when it comes to your children?
Every mum goes through a guilty stage at some point. For me, because I have four plus my husband and a career I have to split my time with each of them as much as I can. Sometimes I let my third child stay up later than he should so I could be with him longer. Then I feel guilty for even doing that!
The older children get, the more they need their parents. Do you
agree with this statement?
I don’t think they “need” us more per se, for me it’s more like “bigger kids, bigger issues”. It’s not about a scraped knee or forgetting to do your homework anymore. You have to start thinking about your kid getting into a car with a friend who may have had one too many beers for example. You have to learn to trust your kids as they get older and hope that the values you’ve been teaching them sunk in!
For parents tempted with the thought of having 4 children, any advice?
I was lucky to have started young so I have quite big age gaps between my kids. My older two teenagers look after my younger two kids. It’s a great dynamic. I think you need to have a load of patience no matter how many children you have no matter how many or how old though!
You are heavily involved in the music industry, and now that you have a little girl who is seven, does it change your views on what children are exposed to?
My daughter sees me both in “mummy mode” and in “pop singer mode” so she realises it’s a “job” – that the glitz and glam is just all “show biz.”
As a mother, we can only hope sometimes. What do you hope for all your children?
That they live their dreams, do what they’ve always wanted to do and be who they really want to be. And they might not figure that out right away! I would never want to hold them back from something they are truly passionate about. That’s said, I am here for them if they ever need me. Forever.
To find out more about Stacey Jackson follow her on her FACEBOOK