Stephanie Marie Hanvey Age 9 at the 2008 Big Joe Jersey Talent Show

We caught up with Stephanie Marie Hanvey to see what she's been up to since winning the Big Joe Jersey Talent Show in 2008.

As we count down the days until we’re back on the sand at Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant Beach, we would like to reminisce of the great times and amazing talent that we have had in past years. The Big Joe Jersey Talent Show starts Sunday night June 17th and runs every Sunday night through the summer at 7pm.  To be a part of this year’s show go to our sign-up page here.

When did you realize you could sing, how did you develop your talent?

I realized I could sing when I was younger I would always sing karaoke to my family and friends all the time. My friend’s Dad told my parents that I needed to do something with that voice of mine; at first my parents didn’t think anything of it so they just pushed it aside. I realized at the age of nine that I wanted to perform in front of a crowd. I signed myself up for NJ101.5 Big Joe Jersey Talent Show. I started developing stage presence and practiced how to engage the audience for the show with the songs “Coat Of Many Colors”-By Dolly Parton, and “Imagine”- By John Lennon.

How has winning the talent show changed your life?

After winning the talent show I was founded by Sergio George a 5-time Latin Grammy winner. He flew me out to Florida to record an 11-song album called “BKidz” and it was sold worldwide in stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy (etc). I went on to perform and win at The Apollo Theatre, performed at Madison Square Garden, Izod Center, Prudential Center, Calle Ocho, featured on the MTV VMA’s red carpet as the next teen Pop Star and also I attended the Chaka Khan UNICEF event. I went to California to make my first album called “I’m That Girl” and I co-wrote all of my songs on the album with top producers from Disney, and one of my hit songs that I co-wrote was “Your Own Superstar,” that played nationally on radio stations. I also was recently featured on Channel 14 , on MSG Varsity’s talent show and I represented my school.

Do you ever think back to performing in the talent show when you are preparing to perform now?

When I am preparing to perform now I sometimes have flashbacks about how I felt before I was going to perform at the talent show. I think back to the wind blowing in my hair, the brushing of the waves against the sand, and the audience that was so eager to hear my talent. It was my first time ever performing so I will never forget my experience at the talent show.

What advice would you give to everyone that will be competing this year?

Just to be true to yourself as an artist. Everyone has to start from somewhere, so give it all you’ve got once you step onto that stage. Never sell yourself short, always work hard for what you really want. And dream big.

What was your favorite or most memorable part of being in the talent show?

My favorite part of being in the talent show was that I gained so much from it. I learned how to conquer my fear and to not be afraid of performing on stage; it really did give me courage to pursue my dream of being a professional singer and actress.

You wrote a song called "I'm That Girl" it's about empowering other girls to follow their dreams - what made you write that song?

I wrote the song “I’m That Girl” because I was once bullied because of my talent. After winning the Talent Show my fellow peers could not understand how a shy girl like me could win a singing competition. I wrote a song of what I was going through in school, and young girls like myself could relate. In the song it states,” I’m the girl who’s unique, I’m the one who stands out in the crowd.”


You live in Howell, what do you like about NJ? What do you do for fun?

Yes I live in Howell New Jersey, and on my free time I usually do what any other Jersey teenager would do which is to go to the boardwalk and beach and to just hang out with friends.

Who is your biggest inspiration as a singer?

My biggest inspiration as a singer is Beyonce because she really works hard and inspires me to work as hard as she does.

Stephanie added that "As a young artist I want to be an inspiration to young girls to dream big, to not only dream, but to live out their dreams. Once you find your gift, and nurture it you have the power to change the world, if not the world at least you can change one person’s life. And that’s what I plan on doing with the message of my music.”

You can catch Stephanie at The Big Celebration for girl scouts June 23rd at liberty state park, where she will be performing with Joe Jonas, Sara Barieilles, and Rachel Crow. Also you can come out June 30, August 25, and October 8 at the Jersey Shore Premium Outlets this summer to catch a live performance as well. Look for her new album coming out this summer and visit her twitter, youtube, and website.

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