Stacie Orrico is no ordinary sixteen-year old. Ordinary sixteen-year olds don't rack up gold sales figures with her debut release and no mass media buzz. Stacie did. Her first album, Genuine, bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, and has gone on to sell over 500,000 units.
Ordinary sixteen-year olds don't possess the brand of dynamic stage presence that can make an impression on Destiny's Child. Stacie did, and the Grammy-winning trio handpicked her to share the bill for dates on their tour.
And, most strikingly, ordinary sixteen-year olds don't possess both the vocal firepower and songwriting acumen found on the Virgin Records debut from this fresh new talent. Stacie does. And you can hear it in every note, every beat, and every word, of Stacie Orrico, beginning with her breakout lead single "Stuck."
Although her singing bursts with youthful exuberance, Stacie is more conscious and articulate than most of her peers – and this time out, she was determined to challenge herself to be even more honest as a songwriter, while also pushing her hook-laden pop in new musical directions. The edgier R&B grooves of Stacie Orrico, which features contributions from hitmakers Dallas Austin (Pink, TLC), the Underdogs (Tyrese) and Virgin CEO Matt Serletic (Santana, matchbox twenty, Aerosmith) reflects just how much she's grown up in the two years since Genuine.
"I definitely wanted the music to be more aggressive," she emphasizes. "All of my influences are very soulful musicians – my favorite artist is Lauryn Hill, and I've always loved Whitney Houston and Ella Fitzgerald – and I wanted to explore that direction more." As a singer, Stacie is as poised and persuasive as her jazz and R&B idols, as is evidenced by her confident reading of the Diane Warren-penned ballad "I Promise."
Stacie Orrico continues to showcase the frank yet responsible lyrical approach that Stacie's established fans expect from her. "I'm a teenager, living a similar life that most teenage girls are," says Stacie. "So whether it's from a positive perspective, or a questioning one, I want to sing about the things I'm dealing with, and worry or wonder about: Growing up, and guys, and family." Stacie isn't afraid to write lyrics that tackle tougher topics, too; though a pop song, "Hesitation" finds her ruminating over the notion of life after death.
Her infectious first single, "Stuck," is an immediately arresting example of her ability to address sentiments that resonant with a diverse array of listeners. "So many people, especially young girls, get into relationships where they're not being treated very well," says Stacie. "But they end up staying in them, because they find security in having a boyfriend, and maybe haven't seen what a good relationship is like. So you end up feeling emotionally torn, or stuck, which is where that whole I hate you, but I love you/I can't stop thinking of you part comes in."
Although music was part of family life in the Orrico household, and Stacie sang at church and in school, she never intended to pursue a career in entertainment. "I had always loved to sing," she admits. "But I was not raised in a showbiz home, and my parents are the farthest thing from stage parents."
In 1998, at the age of twelve, Stacie was discovered singing in a talent contest she'd entered on a lark; an A&R exec judging the event snapped her up as soon as she won first prize. Two years later, her debut, Genuine, entered the Billboard Heatseekers chart at No. 1. Her performances in support of the rapidly-selling release caught the attention of Destiny's Child, who asked her to be their opening act for a string of U.S. dates in 2001.
"They taught me a lot," says Stacie of the time she spent warming up for Beyoncé, Robin, and Kelly. "I had the privilege of touring with them at one of the highest points in their career. And there they were, on top of the world, yet I would watch them still take time to talk to the fans, and listen to people, and never act jaded."
With the release of the lively, polished Stacie Orrico, this vital new voice introduces her vibrant musicianship and sophisticated performance chops to the world at large. It was fate that Stacie became a professional entertainer, and fate that brought her to Virgin records, but now she has a mission, one that is simple, direct, and a far more ambitious than the dreams of ordinary sixteen-year olds. "I want to impact people's lives with my music," Stacie insists. "People of all ages, from all walks of life. If I can accomplish that, just by sharing some of my experiences, then my goal will be attained."
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