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Jaci Velasquez has been a bonafide superstar in Contemporary Christian
Music for quite some time now. She has accumulated numerous awards and
accolades including a Dove Award, the CCM genre’s equivalent of the Grammy
Award. All the success in such a short time has not taken away from whom
Jaci Velasquez truly is.
“I’m just a normal person,” confesses Velasquez. “Okay, so my family says
I’m not so normal!” Whether or not Velasquez is normal is debatable but
her talent and affection for her Lord is clearly seen and heard in her
Being a CCM artist in such a secular world can be tough, something
Velasquez has experienced in her 10 plus years in the music industry.
“For some reason, people think we’re super-human,” says Velasquez of the
stigma that is attached to CCM artists. “Unfortunately, we’re just
people. We’re always under a microscope.”
When it comes to religious music, the microscope is even more acute. The
spotlight is something Velasquez welcomes, especially with her new album,
Beauty Has Grace. “I just wrote what was in my heart,” Velasquez
said of the albums divinely inspired content. “There’s always pressure to
do things differently.”
Beauty Has Grace
is a snapshot of where Velasquez was in her life’s journey. After years
of successful albums and touring, she is now a grown woman with many life
struggles. The “photos” of her life were taken to England
where Velasquez and producer Martin Terefe developed these
pictures into the
album. “Working in London was a great experience,” says Velasquez. “I
loved walking to work everyday. It seemed that every corner I turned,
there was inspiration.”
only did Velasquez receive inspiration from the streets of London, but
from a source literally closer to home.
of Beauty’s tracks, “Lay It Down,” resonates deeply with
Velasquez. It speaks of laying all her worries and burdens at the feet of
her Lord. “So much happened in my personal life that this song has become
the soundtrack to my life,” says Velasquez. “This song is powerful to me,
every time I sing it, it feels even more powerful.”
Another track that Velasquez prizes is the song, “Supernatural.” “We are
all on a journey and we have a desire to see HIS face, whether we know it
or not,” explains Velasquez.
Beauty Has Grace
is a melting pot of styles including Latin flares as well as a notable
rock influence. With musical influences including Billy Joel, Elton John,
the Clash, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan and Rufus Wainwright, its no surprise
that this disk shares such an eclectic nature.
have grown a lot in my taste for sound,” explains Velasquez. “I am very
With a decade of music under her belt, Velasquez has taken her act to the
big screen, with a small role in 20th Century Fox’s Chasing
Papi. “They approached me,” Velasquez says about the acting turn.
“Acting was a great experience and a lot of fun. It was an honor working
with 20th Century Fox.”
Don’t hold your breath waiting to see her in another movie. Velasquez is
prepared to take her journey one day at a time. “Ten years? I mean where
will I be in ten minutes?” Velasquez says answering to the question where
she wants to be in a decade. One thing is certain, Velasquez will keep
doing music as long as she loves it and there are people willing to give
Contemporary Christian Music a chance. “Try it,” says Velasquez. “I
think you’ll like it.” One would be hard pressed to see why we wouldn’t!