“Make It Happen” is a new album by musical artist Stacey Peasley that celebrates a positive message of empowerment, courage, community, friendship and strength. The ten-song album is slated for release on February 12, 2021.
Stacey has won awards from Creative Child Magazine, Parents’ Choice, and NAPPA. She recently discussed her career via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially get interested in music and how did you break into the industry?
Stacey Peasley (SP): I remember loving singing and music from a very early age. I had an amazing elementary music teacher and loved learning all the songs she taught us. (I probably still remember a bunch!) I constantly listened to records (Annie soundtrack being my favorite!), and the record store was my favorite place to go. My first main performance was singing a song at a high school event in front of the whole school, and it changed my life. I auditioned for my first professional band when I was 18, started performing all types of music for live audiences, and was hooked. I played shows all around the New York area for about 15 years before I moved to Boston.
MM: How did you get involved with family music in particular?
SP: After I had my first child in 2005, I was still singing in “adult” bands, which was a tough schedule having an infant. I took a break, and then as my infant became a toddler, I started writing some songs about our experiences and what I was observing as a new mom in awe. I had my second child and continued writing, and my first album was born. I started playing birthday parties to pay for the recording of the album, which led to schools and classes. I decided to take my decade-long experience of performing in bands to start my very own this time — a family music band!
MM: What typically comes first, melodies or lyrics?
SP: Most often they come out simultaneously, believe it or not! I’ll have the idea first about what I want to write about, and then it will literally come together in my brain, and initial lyrics and a melody will form and come out. After that, I will sit down and write out ideas, grab my guitar, and make changes. The best thing is that I work in schools and classes so often, and I can test out the songs immediately with the kids and see what works and what doesn’t. I write a mix of general pop music, but also a lot of curriculum songs that focus on imagination and movement.
MM: What inspired the general theme of this latest album?
SP: I have been writing these songs since my last album was released in 2016, and they were probably for the first time more influenced by my work with children than by my role as a parent. My infant and toddler children are now teens and elementary age, and parenting is quite different now! I love taking experiences that I observe and kids tell me about and creating songs about them. Experiences kids can connect with. My later songs were definitely more focused on strength, bravery, and empowerment more than ever before, as a result of our social and political landscape these past few years.
MM: Do you have a favorite out of the ten songs and, if so, which one and why?
SP: Every time I get a new song back from my producer, it’s my favorite! LOL! Overall, I think the title track, “Make it Happen”, is my favorite. I love the message, lyrics, back-up vocals, instrumentation, and overall vibe. I think all ages can connect with it, and I hope people use it as an inspirational tool. Every day we can wake up and make the world a better place with big or small actions.
MM: What sorts of topics typically inspire your music and how has your style evolved over the years?
SP: Initially, parenting was my number one influence. A song on my first album, “Sleep Again,” was written as I was rocking my son in the middle of the night singing, “When is mommy gonna sleep again?” which I rewrote from a child’s perspective. I love songwriting and find influences everywhere. I was in line at Party City a few years ago waiting to get balloons for my son’s birthday party, and a little boy in front of me was handed his balloons, and his joy was overwhelming. I went home and immediately wrote my song “Balloons.” Little did he know he inspired a song! I have songs written from Facebook posts from my friends, songs about what kids like to tell me about (“Boo Boo” on my new album), songs to inspire (“Make it Happen” and “What Girls Do” from the new album, also). I do think I choose topics that are a little unique. Allergies (about my son), hand me down clothes, a pet fish who passes away whose parents cover it up, and a summer birthday child who really wants kids to come to his party even though everyone is away are just a few of my unique topics. LOL! I do think, with the support of my long-time producer, Marty Beller, my songs have become more complex and interesting musically and lyrically throughout my ten-year career.
MM: What are your ultimate goals for the future and is there anything else that you would like to mention?
SP: My main goal is to have as many families and children hear my music as possible. I love writing, and there is nothing better than having kids and their parents singing the lyrics to YOUR songs! I also hope to continue to play out with my band as our country opens up again. The live experience with families is so much fun! I also hope to reach a lot of children in schools and classes with curriculum-based early childhood music, which I am also constantly working on. I hope my music can be a great resource for teachers, librarian, and parents.
“Make it Happen!” will be available at Apple Music/iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp, and www.staceypeasley.com