Phenomenal Woman of the Week #15: Meet Stephany Camacho
Born in Medellin, Colombia, singer-songwriter Stephany Camacho has always had a love for music. At the age of 9, her family moved to Miami, Florida for her dad’s music career and her passion for the art continued to grow. After high school, she went on to obtain her Associate’s degree at Miami Dade College and transferred to Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts to finish her Bachelor’s in Music Business/Entrepreneurial.
“I have always had a passion for music and have worked gigging with local bands, both in Miami and Boston. I have also taught music to kids and performed at large venues like American Airlines Arena, Carnegie Hall, and Berklee Performance Center throughout my music career with different musical acts.”
Since her dad was a professional musician in the Latin industry she was constantly surrounded by music. Stephany was able to sit in at rehearsals with renowned artists, gigs and performances, and at home practices. Her dad would teach her and her brother different skills and they were enrolled in music school. By the time she was 14, she knew that music is what she wanted to do and with the support of her family and friends she is continuing her journey as an artist.
“My goal with my music is to inspire younger generations to be true to themselves and follow their passion. I want younger audiences to know that persistence is key to achieving any dream. I also want to see lots of smiles and people being moved by the meaning of my lyrics and leaving their worries aside in the moment. If I could leave any legacy, it would be to surround yourself with love and give as much love as possible whether through music, art, poetry, dance or a hug.”
In October of 2017, Stephany released her first single “Hoy Por Ti”, a song about coming together as one no matter the color of your skin or where you’re from. On February 14, 2018, she released her second single “No + Mentiras”.
“’Hoy Por Ti’ was indeed a dream come true, but I cannot stress how stressful it was as an artist who is just starting out.”
“I, for instance, had to do almost everything as far as the script, hiring talent, directing everyone, being the artist and worrying about wardrobe. I am humbled by having to do all the work now that I’m just starting [as an artist] and I am fortunate to have lots of siblings and my parents to help along the way. I have learned so much in my beginning process and can’t wait to learn so much more in what lies ahead. Despite the stress, it was humbling to bring together so many people that participated in my first project showcasing unity, fun, and happiness, despite race, color, or differences.”
Colorism in the Afro-Latino community is an issue that is often brought up but hasn’t be resolved. Social media movements such as #BlackLatinxHistory and today’s musicians like Amara La Negra continue to push this issue into mainstream media and spark important conversations. To Stephany, “the Latino and American community still has a lot to learn about Afro-Latinos(as)” and remains strong and determined to let her platform inspire and bring together others.
“If colorism is offensive, make your voice heard. If discrimination is a problem, don’t stop talking about it and point out similar scenarios whenever it is being done to someone of the same or different race.”
“I consider myself Afro-Latina. I am a “Colombiana” of African descent, in other words, “Afro-Colombiana”. Even though my parents were both born and raised in Colombia and all my family resides in Colombia. I know black comes from Africa and I have no shame in accepting that. I believe and know I have African ancestry. As far as struggles being faced in the industry, I believe Afro-Latinos need to stand out more and stop hiding behind the white man. Especially in Latin America, we need to stop being silenced. No one should be demeaning us and saying we are not “black enough” or “ but you’re Hispanic” as if my color was any different from any other black individual. In this case and topic, ignorance isn’t bliss and it shouldn’t be celebrated.
“I personally have experienced colorism and discrimination growing up in Miami with predominantly white Hispanics both in the music industry and outside of it. Especially being the only black girl in a classroom at times. But, little by little, I’ve been able to voice my concerns about what bothers me in regards to colorism and discrimination. Also, the times I feel or someone feels disrespected, stating what shouldn’t be said or done and presenting a positive alternative. Fortunately, I’ve seen change in some musicians I’ve worked with and some friends who have cared and have been humble enough to make the switch and recognize their wrongs.”
Like anyone else hustling towards their dreams, there can be times where it can be too much. With writing music, performing gigs, putting together music videos and being a student Stephany’s life is far from simple. Through the times where she feels like giving up her faith and her family are there to motivate her and make sure she continues pushing through her journey with music.
“I am a woman of faith and I believe in God. To me, my main motivation is bringing out the talent God gave me and make good use of it. Also, my family motivates me a lot. I have the blessing of being brought up in a household of “berracos”, which translates to “hard workers”, who are persistent and confident in the things we start. When it gets tough, only pushing stronger and working extra hard is what results in the end. I just want to take my family and me to success.”
Being in the music industry it isn’t always a clear path, but being passionate about her gifts, Stephany continues to push through the obstacles and remain persistent on her journey as an artist. When asked how to remain confident and persevere in spite of the difficulties encountered she said:
“Despite competition and/or hate, find who you are, what you stand for, and who you’d like your audience to be and what you’d like them to take from your music. I’ve been doing it since I was 6 years old and I can see God opening the doors for me one step at a time and in His time. Don’t expect stardom, although it’s something that can come along with the job for some artists. None of us know who will make it in the end, but even if we don’t all end up in the music industry, let’s all do it for the music and for the love of the audience. We can each leave a mark in this world in so many other ways than fame.”
“It’s very important to visualize success. Positive visualization affirms your desired outcomes.”
Outside of music, Stephany also enjoys fashion and last year started her own fashion company CM-CHO Fashion adding to her list of talents.
“Fashion became a passion along the lines of my student career in college, but it is no surprise that it was already in my genes. My mother owned her own boutique in Colombia and has designed and worked in fashion for a long time. I plan to take it further than an e-commerce business and potentially have a location down in Miami or Los Angeles in the near future.”
With her music and clothing business, Stephany continuous to walk in her purpose using her gifts to reach others. With her goal-getter mentality, it isn’t hard to see what makes Stephany phenomenal. When asked what does a phenomenal woman mean to her she said:
“A phenomenal woman is a woman that knows she’s strong, beautiful and sexy. A woman that has no need to compete with others or bring others down because she herself knows her self-worth. A woman who strives to be her best but doesn’t mind falling and getting back up stronger, however many times necessary. A woman who can laugh at her mistakes and learn from them. A woman that doesn’t let a man define her or her worth. She who is in control of her life but is open to being guided. A humble but confident woman, all these things are a phenomenal woman to me.”
Keep up with Stephany