Tue | Jun 25, 2019

Stephanie Wallace on balance and taking time off from music

Published:Saturday | September 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Stephanie Wallace
Stephanie Wallace

"It is a weird balance between being a writer and a recording artiste," Stephanie Hava Wallace, told The Gleaner. There have been periods where the singer/songwriter had disappeared from the scene, leaving fans to question her whereabouts. But part of Wallace's reason for this is to create a sense of freshness when she re-emerges.

"There is a need to be seen and be out in the public, especially when it comes to promoting music being a recording artiste is about the voice and the image, and then the challenge of getting to that zone of writing, where you are more secluded," said Wallace.

The reggae fusion artiste explained that fans do not recognise you are missing unless the time off is significant. "People love it especially when you come back with a song, it's fresh and more exciting," she says of her disappearing act.

Wallace also shared that as a mother of two, it becomes part of the whole balancing act, and that part of her reason for taking time off is to attend to her personal life. She says that sometimes her team has to remind her of what is also required of her as a singer and an active songwriter for Texas-based Rebel America Inc.

"I am not the artiste that gets up and is driven every day, but I have to fight against emotions like doubt and find that creative spirit," she said. "This business will make people feel like it is always fun and exciting, but for artistes, especially those who write their own music, we are challenged every day."

Not to say that the Shades of Grey singer does not enjoy the challenges that come with the career after all, it has afforded her with the opportunity to represent and tour with some veteran musicians.

One year after launching and introducing a new side to her writing career as an author for the book Diary of the Scorpion Lover, Wallace completed her second solo tour opening for reggae artiste Peter Lloyd. She returned to Jamaica in August, but not before participating in the Panorama of Truth 2018 'We Sing Della' in Atlantic City, New Jersey. There she played the role of a younger version of the popular jazz singer, Della Reese Lett, for the musical tribute.


Backing artiste


Being a backing vocalist for other entertainers, Wallace has been touring for more than a decade.

"Touring is the easiest part of being an entertainer because it is usually organised that is, I am able to block out that time for those specific gigs," she said. "When I am home, I tend to do more corporate gigs and finding time to record new music it is all an interesting dynamic."

She describes working with the veterans in the industry, including Sly and Robbie, to 'taking a kid into a candy store' because each person is always picking up on something new that is an exciting opportunity. Wallace has contributed to Grammy-nominated projects such as the cover of Lady Antebellum's Need You Now on the compilation album 'Sly & Robbie & The Taxi Gang One Pop Reggae, among others.

Wallace is currently working to release two more albums in the next five years as she continues to tour with veterans. "It is so vital as a singer/songwriter and more so my sound, reggae-fusion, because it is not about fusing genres but the eras."