From an early age, Stephanie enjoyed acting and singing. Her bubbly personality caught the attention of casting agents who placed her on the Cheerios box and in commercials for major brands like Pop Tarts, Best Buy and Cost Cutters. She quickly found starring roles in regional theater and was eventually offered the lead role in a feature film where she would be asked to do things that conflicted with her faith. That's when things came to a screeching halt. Standing at a crossroad, she was faced with a choice... Live out her faith or pursue fame and fortune.
Stephanie turned down the film and opted to tour the country performing Christian music and speaking to teen girls. Focused on ministry, she was determined to not just entertain but perform with a purpose. These days, Stephanie balances her life as a wife and mother of four with a budding music ministry that continues to have demands of it's own.
Stephanie's debut album, Walk Your Road, was released on September 22nd via Novanglus Records. The 6 song collection of timeless pop contemporary music, was produced by GRAMMY Award-winning producer Val Garay, whose credits include hitmakers like Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Bette Midler to name a few. Stephanie's debut single, "Everything's Gonna Be Alright," is impacting Christian radio now.
Q: Stephanie, thanks for this interview with us. Let's start with yourself, who is Stephanie Joy?
Well, Stephanie Joy has a lot of different facets. I am a wife, a mother, a singer, and I do a lot of administrative tasks as well, so all around I am just a girl who wants to see God glorified through her life and her music.
Q: You started out in secular music, what kind of secular music were you involved in? And you were also involved in acting? Tell us more about some of the projects you were involved with?
I actually never started out in secular music, but I did do musical theater and played lead roles in plays such as Cinderella, Annie, Peter Pan, and The Music Man etc. I also did commercials for nationally known corporations such as Best Buy, Cost Cutters, and was on the cover of a Team Cheerios box. I loved both acting and singing from a young age and the two just naturally go together in so many ways, so I began to pursue them both when I was young.
Q: What made you want to give up on this route of acting/secular music? What happened after that?
I won a leading role in a movie and it was really a dream come true for me. However, when I got the script and read it, my character would have to do things that conflicted with my beliefs as a Christian. So, I had a choice to make, I was either going to walk the road of following Christ or I was going to compromise my beliefs and go another way. I had been speaking to girls all across the country on virtue and what it means to be a "Virtuous Woman" as we find in Proverbs 31.
I didn't want to tell them how to live their lives and then go out and be an example to the contrary, nor did I want to be a part of a role and in a movie that I wouldn't even want my own husband to see, so I made the choice to turn it down and walk away. I know it was the Lord sparing me from going down a road that would not have been His will for my life, but I do see now (In hindsight) how the Lord used these thing to raise me up for His glory and His purposes. I believe I was trained up for all I am doing now and I am so grateful that God spared me from many things. After I turned down the part, I continued to travel across the country with my husband and a ministry team singing and speaking to young ladies in schools, at events, and more all over the country.
Q: Tell us about how your new record "Walk Your Road." How did the Lord lead you to make this album?
My new record "Walk Your Road" was a great opportunity to be able to make. We worked with a Grammy award-winning producer named Val Gray who has worked with artist such as James Taylor, Kim Carnes, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, Bette Midler and more just to name a few, so needless to say were excited by the opportunity. My husband had made a connection with a man from Geffen and Warner Brothers who recommended working with Val and so we flew out to California to do some ministry there and made a stop at his studio to meet him and see if this would work and if he would accept the project, which he obviously did. But it was really the Lord who opened up the door to be able to work with him and it was a great learning experience. Val really "Minted the Gold" per se and molded this album into something that would last and stand the test of time. We all feel we have something really special here.
Q: How would you describe the music on this record?
I would describe the music on this record as all being birthed out of testimony. There is a purpose and a reason for every song. Each song is a testimony of our own experience, birthed out of situations and trials or realizations that we've come to and walked in ourselves and now want to share with others. The music itself really contains a contemporary pop Christian music style, but is not typical of what you would necessarily hear out there today. It's unique, and stretches beyond the scope and box of what you might think of when it comes to Christian music. The best way to describe what I'm talking about would be to listen for yourself.
The response to our music has been one of people really being touched by God through it. Stephanie Joy Music is meant to lead people to Christ, so if that's what comes of it, then we have accomplished our purpose. The music is available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and more and we would encourage everyone to hear for themselves the quality, time, and effort that was put into making this record. I think you will find it to be unique in it's own way. Basically, we build it to last!
Q: What are you most excited about with this record? How do you hope this record and your ministry will impact the Kingdom of God?
I am most excited about the opportunity that the Lord gave me to use my talents and gifts for His glory. I completely feel this opportunity was a gift from the Lord and my goal is to see people come to Christ. We want to see people saved from their sin (Which is the transgression of God's Law or Ten Commandments - I John 3:4) and redeemed through Christ back unto God. We want the Lord to be glorified and we hope this record and our ministry through it will impact the Kingdom of Heaven in a profound way and bring forth the truth from the Word of God that so often overlooked today. If our music helps us to accomplish that purpose and to bring people to Christ, then we will have truly succeeded.