Janice Stain's life is a celebration of what she calls the five M's: ministry, marriage, motherhood, medicine and music.
Today we're mainly talking about the last one, as Stain releases her third CD, "Take Me To A Place."
Stain is a jazzy contemporary Christian singer who many might recognize as one of the O'Neil Sisters, a gospel trio that also includes siblings Jacqueline O'Neil Kelley and Joann Carol O'Neil. Notably, they recorded "An Ode to Fresno," which became Fresno's official song in 1997.
These days, Stain is busy as a solo artist. She has a CD signing 1-4 p.m. Saturday at Majesty Bible and Gifts, 7020 N. Cedar Ave., followed by a CD release concert at 6 p.m. Jan. 18, at Valley Christian Center, 4649 E. Shields Ave. It's free, but donations are being collected for Community Food Bank.
We talked to Stain about those events, her five Ms and more.
How did you get started in music? I was born into a musical family (the O'Neil family). I started singing at an early age. I started playing piano, clarinet and eventually added tenor saxophone in junior high.
Describe your style? Who are your influences? My style tends to be a little jazzy, but I must admit the songs I write reflects a variety of styles. Stevie Wonder is my favorite artist because his song writing has depth.
Your new album, "Take Me To A Place," what was the process to record it? My new album, my third, was recorded in a local home studio of one of the musicians in the band. This album has taken several years to complete due to my responsibilities of being a wife, mother of two daughters and an obstetrician/gynecologist.
What stands out to you about the album? That the songs on it, again, reflect a variety of musical styles. However, and most importantly, it stands out in that each song has a powerful message of its own that is very encouraging to the listener. I have written all of the songs and they come out of my personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Tell us a bit about the upcoming events you have this weekend and next? Saturday, there will be a CD-signing reception at Majesty Bible and Gifts, so that I can sign CDs, meet and greet and hug people who have followed my music as well as meet new people who are just getting to know me. The following Friday is our CD-release concert to celebrate the new album!
In addition to music, you're also a doctor. Very different fields, but are there ways they're alike? When I was very young, I felt that I would have five "M's" in my life: ministry, marriage, motherhood, medicine and music. All of these minister to God and to people and together it is about worshipping the creator. My life is about loving others. In medicine, I care for people with love and I have the opportunity to encourage them in their lives. Through the music that God gives me, I am sharing God's love with people and encouraging them to receive his love, which will help them as they live their lives. It is all one continuum.
What makes you stand out from other vocalists in town? I have not pursued music, but rather, music has pursued me as I have pursued Jesus Christ. Although I was born into a musically gifted family, now my music is truly a "by-product" of my intimate relationship with Christ and its message is what is important. I could do nothing without God.
For music and more: Go to janicestain.com and facebook.com/janicestain.
Know a local musician more people should be familiar with? Send details to Mike Osegueda, firstname.lastname@example.org.