By Pablo Jaime Sáinz
Keep an eye out for Jacqueline Grace, San Diego: She might be the next major singer to come out of the county.
Earlier this year, the 22-year-old Chula Vistan released her first album, simply titled Jacqueline Grace, and it has shown that she has the talent to become a pop star. The album contains 12 tracks, two of them in Spanish.
Her Mexican and Filipina roots can be heard in her lyrics, her passion, and her music.
Jacqueline was nominated in the category of Best Pop Artist for 2007 by the Los Angeles Music Awards.
Baile de la luna, which might as well be the best song in the album, received Honorable Mention in the 2007 John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
Her album was chosen as the featured album in the 2007 fundraiser for the National Youth Theatre.
Detox was a Top 20 Finalist Winner in the 11th annual UNISONG International Songwriting Contest. Songs were submitted from over 90 countries.
La Prensa San Diego talked with Jacqueline Grace, who performed live at Borders Eastlake in Chula Vista on January 5 at 7 p.m.
La Prensa San Diego: How does being Mexican-Filipina influence your music?
Jacqueline: I would like to say that to a certain extent I am influenced by my culture, and I want it to be. A lot of my original material has a Latin flare to it. I plan to go back to school in the near future, learn tagalog and thus, become more connected with my Filipina roots. But I would love to come to a point in my songwriting where I’m able to combine the two cultures in music. That is a definite goal.
Regardless of race, color or creed, music moves this planet. By producing a sound with such a mixture of influences, I hope to influence more than alienate. I want people to listen to my songs and be encouraged to look into other kinds of sound, and perhaps become inspired themselves in more ways than one.
La Prensa San Diego: How long have you being singing?
Jacqueline: I have the poorest memory. Ever since I can remember. My mom says that when I was about four (or five?), I was obsessed with “The Little Mermaid,” Disney movie and would sing songs from it everywhere. She says that’s when she noticed I could carry a tune. I now use that as my benchmark.
La Prensa San Diego: Is it difficult as an independent singer to capture the attention of labels and radio stations?
Jacqueline: From what I’ve heard, yes. But I’ll let you know. The bottom line in the entertainment industry (in all facets) is that you have to make the opportunities happen. I can’t sit around and hope the stations will call or knock on my door. That being said, a lot of radio station (specifically) are offering local artists time slots on their regular programs. I know it happens here in San Diego. So I’d like to think that stations, both TV and radio, here in San Diego are really interested, but again, you make yourself heard.
La Prensa San Diego: Where can people buy your album?
Jacqueline: I think the Borders in Eastlake, Chula Vista still has some hard copies. But they can also buy it online at www.cdbaby.com/jacqueline grace and www. itunes.com.
La Prensa San Diego: Why is it important for you to sing in Spanish?
Jacqueline: Truthfully, so my music can reach a wider audience. But as a singer, I find that I can emote a lot more through Spanish than English words.
Don’t get me wrong, I find English beatuiful and... clean? But with Spanish there is a definite passion that exudes from the words itself, no effort is really needed. But above all else it helps me accomplish what I’ve been meaning to do, which is bridge cultural gaps through music.
La Prensa San Diego: What’s the next step in your career?
Jacqueline: Well, you mentioned one thing, stop by local radio stations! Really my main objective now is to get heard. I have some new releases coming out. A couple of cover songs that I did of Selena and Gloria Estefan (two women I adore). A few days ago I was on Univision’s morning show Despierta San Diego, where I performed some of my songs.