It's been a hot minute since I posted on here, and I figured it was time to break the silence. I recently did a guest appearance on the podcast "That One Creative Show", and I'm really excited about it! I love Manny's mission, and he has facilitated some cool conversations with creatives from various fields. To hear my featured episode, click here!
I'll post again soon to let you know more about what I've been up to!
Around March of last year, I was feeling pretty low. I was 3 months out of college with a Theatre degree and no job despite auditioning for many. It felt like all I was facing was rejection - in my personal and professional life. I was talking with a friend about my music. I was crying, saying, "Sometimes, I wonder why I bother. What I'm doing doesn't mean anything. No one's listening." She grabbed me and hugged me and looked me in the eyes. She said, "No. Don't ever say that. What you're doing matters. Look at me and listen. It does matter." Well, exactly the next day I got offered a performing job that I didn't even audition for. And if you told me then, I wouldn't have believed you, but less than a year and a half later, I heard a song I wrote on the radio for the first time! What if I had given up then? What if I didn't have a dear friend to encourage me?
My point here is this: it matters. You matter. Your work matters.
Thank God I had someone in my life in that moment to remind me of those facts. Recently, that same friend was feeling similarly about her own journey. Why am I bothering? I got the opportunity to give her words right back to her when she needed them.
There is so much white noise telling us that we can't, or we won't, or we're not worthy of the life of our dreams. That's some bullsh***, y'all. Every person is inherently worthy. You have the talents and passions and dreams you have for a reason. Don't ever let the world convince you that they are worthless. Sometimes, life calls for us to keep chugging along even when we can't see the dawn breaking. Keep the faith. Keep chugging! You will see the rewards of your hard work and dedication, and it will come to you in mysterious and glorious ways. I know this for a fact, because I've lived it. I am living it!
Sending love to you wherever you are in the world!
Hey y'all!! Super excited about all the radio airplay I've been receiving lately. Truth be told...this is the first time any of my music has made its way onto the radio, and I've been writing for 12 years. Yay for life's victories! I'm feeling very grateful to the people of Rockabilly Radio who have chosen to play some of my tracks, to Jerry at WPRK who has given me some spins, and to George Gray of Pirate Radio 104.7 for interviewing me and playing my music.
If you want to hear the replay of DJ bacpac's show where she featured "Die Smilin'" in her Women in Rockabilly segment, click here.
If you want to hear the full interview with George Gray, click here.
Today is the day! You can listen to my new EP, Timeless, on all digital music platforms. I'll put all the links for that below. You can also purchase a CD from my store right here on my website. If you buy the CD through my website, I'll even sign it for you. Woohoo! T-shirts will be available for purchase soon, as well.
But wait...there's more! I released a live music video for my song "Die Smilin'" today to go along with the new EP. So much excitement over here! Check out the music video by clicking here.
Thanks to everyone who is supporting me during this time. I hope you enjoy the music!
You pour your heart, soul and guts, your time, money, energy and faith, all your love for someone into this thing, and suddenly, it's there in your hand.
You've given birth to this incredible creation. You think you'll feel such pride, such joy and accomplishment. And instead you're paralyzed with fear. What if they don't like it? What if they do? Even more frightening, what if they don't care? What if this thing that means the world to me is met with deafening silence?
I feel the fear. I give my creation to the world anyway. From the moment I wrote the first song on this album, I've been slowly stripping my armor off and allowing myself to be seen. The last bit of chain mail is falling to the floor, and it's a relief on some level. But I'm left completely vulnerable. Grateful to be singing my songs. Thankful to know the man who co-wrote this music without even knowing. He helped me find my voice again by the simple act of believing in me.
I'm hopeful that my stories will touch others in a meaningful way. There are so many emotions! Please hear me and feel the love that flows through this music. That's all I ask.
Normally, I don't do video ramblings, but I felt like I had some things to say about unconditional love. I believe this is a really REALLY important conversation to have, so let's have it! Let me know what you think about what I've said. Tell me your unconditional love stories! Watch the video on my YouTube channel or below.
My good friend Abigail (the same one who played upright bass for the album and is an all-around superstar) wrote a wonderful article about the upcoming album and my thoughts on rockabilly, Elvis and more. I cried when I read it! I'm so incredibly passionate about everything we are creating right now. Please check out the article, comment, share - all that good stuff!
We hit an important and exciting milestone for my upcoming EP, “Timeless”. WE ARE DONE WITH THE IN-STUDIO TRACKING! Woohoo! What does this mean, you ask? That means that we have finished recording all the parts for the songs that are being done in the studio. Four songs still need to be mixed and another recorded and mixed, but this is super exciting, y’all!
Photo taken during a vocal recording session
And we have something else really special planned. We are going to do a live video and bonus live take of one of my new songs right in my apartment…surrounded by Elvis stuff!!! The music I am most influenced by is the music of Sun Studio. When Sun started in the 1950s, they didn’t have the technology to do what we do now, where musicians can come into the studio separately and layer their tracks over what’s already been done. If they made a mistake, they couldn’t just punch in to the spot where they goofed and try from there. They had to get a usable take in one sitting without stopping or do it over and over again until they did. We’re going to try our hand at it! I can’t wait to see how it goes.
I want to share some pictures from the making of the album with you, and I want to take this space to thank the incredible people who have worked with me to make some music magic on this EP.
First of all, I have to mention Matt Juliano. He has worked tirelessly to learn an entire genre of music he has never played before and then write mandolin and guitar parts to all my songs. He didn't even know what rockabilly was a few months ago, and now he is making my songs rock in the best way. I'm so grateful!
Matt's studio concentration face
A picture of Tony and Dane working on a song
Tony Mickle offered to play electric bass for one of my songs, and he was able to add a particular brand of cool that he brings to all his performances! He and Matt are a part of a local Orlando band called Beemo. Please support them by checking out their website and keeping an eye out for their album, which will be coming soon. www.mynameisbeemo.com. They have taken such great care of me and introduced me to the Orlando music scene. I have so much love for these guys!
I'm also lucky enough to know the most badass upright bass player around, Abigail Cline! We went to college together and are very good friends. She survived a trip to Memphis with me Elvis fangirling all over the place. That is true friendship! Haha. You will hear Abigail's bass skills on four of the songs on the EP, and I am just honored to know her. She is a multi-talented artist. In addition to playing bass, she writes her own singer/songwriter music and composes theatre music alone and as part of an up-and-coming composer/lyricist pair called Pekar and Cline. Please support her by checking out her website, buying her music and/or following her work on social media: www.abigailcline.com.
Abigail slapping that bass in the studio
Other studio musicians who have brought my music to life in ways I never could have on my own are Brandon Miller (bass guitar), Gerald Law II (drums) and Andrew Williams (electric guitar). I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such professionalism and joy. These guys really love what they're doing, and they are damn good at it! Please support them by checking out what their music at the below links and by booking them if you ever have a need for a studio musician.
I couldn't write this post without mentioning Dane and Christian of Wholehearted Productions. They treat their artists with incredible respect, and they have helped bring all my visions to life. Making my kind of music is a step out of their comfort zone, but they have gone on the journey with me, never backing down no matter how many times they've asked me, "What do you want here?" and I've replied, "I don't know." If you are local to Orlando and are looking to record, please consider their services. You can find them at their website: wholehearted.productions.
WE ARE MAKING IT HAPPEN! I can't wait for you to hear what we've been cooking up.
I just watched an interview with Jesse McCartney where he talked about an experience he had where a fan ripped his hair out. Like...RIPPED HIS HAIR OUT! He was bleeding on stage. He mentioned that it was an "Elvis Presley moment" in his career, sounding none too pleased. Why do people do this to performers???
This is a topic that I feel very strongly about. Y’all, I’m a crazy Elvis fan! I adore him. He makes me smile when I’m sad. I feel like he’s a close friend of mine, because he’s helped me through a lot. But I’ve read the books. ALL of them. The whole sad story. I felt like I owed it to him. I could not accept the “good” parts of who he was and reject the “bad” as if they didn’t exist. He was human, and as a fan, I need to respect that humanity.
I’m just going to repeat that. RESPECT THE HUMANITY OF PEOPLE IN THE PUBLIC EYE.
Since I work in the performing industry, I’ve had the chance to meet several people who have attained some level of celebrity. I’ve gotten some insight into the beauty of that position and the demons that come along with it. I’m going to share a few stories with you.
I went to an R5 concert last year. They are one of my favorite bands, and I think their frontman, Ross Lynch, is incredibly talented. After the show, a friend and I waited by the stage door to say hello. I’m an observer, so I was listening and observing the people around me. Next to me was a mom and her teen daughter. This mom overheard me tell my friend, “I don’t even need a picture. I just want a chance to talk to him.” She intervened and said, “Oh, get your picture! You came all this way and waited this long for it.” I said, “No. It’s really all right.” And she replied, “Come on. They’re performers. They like the attention.” I was a bit shocked. I couldn’t believe that this woman didn’t realize that they perform, because they love to write music and sing. Meet-and-greets after the show are special extras that they give to their fans. Fans are not entitled to them. I know that, as a performer myself, after I just played a show, I am usually exhausted. It takes a lot of energy to then face the public with a smile on your face. After that exchange, I watched as Ross came down the line greeting fans. Most everyone snapped their picture without even saying a word to him. He looked tired. The girl right before me in line held up her phone for a selfie and said, “Can you smile with your teeth?” I’m sorry, WHAT?! Now, a fan is entitled to direct him on how to pose for her photo? It felt so dehumanizing. And ugly. And he is someone that I’m sure that girl says she loves. When Ross got to me, I said, “I don’t even want a picture. I just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful show! We had a great night.” I’ll tell you, that man’s eyes just lit up! He gave me a hug and stood there and spoke to me and my friend for several moments before moving on. While everyone else was pushing for their picture, he made a point to keep his focus on us. He really seemed to appreciate being spoken to like he was a human. It was a very special moment for me. And, I was lucky enough that my friend snapped a quick photo while I was talking to him. For artists, our music is about human connection. When that piece starts to get left out, we waste away. If you really love the artists you are a fan of, please consider how toxic it is to forget their humanity and treat them like a trophy.
This was a genuine moment of human connection.
Here’s my other story. A dear friend of mine is something of a celebrity in the sphere of performing he does. We were at an event, having a great time. He was walking around and greeting some fans. There was a woman in a wheelchair looking at him like her heart would burst. He went over to her and asked if she wanted a photo with him, beginning to look around to see who could take the photo. She said, “Oh, I don’t want to be in the picture. Just stand there and pose. You look like a wax figure.” I saw his face fall - ever so slightly. That type of comment just feels like shit. There’s no two ways about it. Everyone wants to be seen as human. No one wants to be put on a pedestal. It is lonely up there.
When Elvis was asked, “How close does the image come to the man?” he said, “Well, the image is one thing and the human being is another, you know? It's very hard to live up to an image, I'll put it that way.”
So, let’s stop this, please. It is beautiful to admire and appreciate another human being. It’s humbling for an artist to know that others like their work and enjoy who they are. But we can show them our feelings in healthy, loving ways. They also do not owe you anything other than the performance that you paid for - the show they just gave you on stage. Period. Grasping, clinging, demanding, expecting. None of these things are healthy for them or you. We want our music makers, our singers of songs, the people who give us their souls daily to live long, happy lives.
What do you think? I would love to hear about your opinions on this topic. Or, is there anything you'd like to know my opinion on? What questions do you have for me? Comment below!
When was the last time you followed your heart? You know, when you do something a little crazy or spontaneous or impractical, but inside you just know the answer is YES! Comment below with your stories. If you can't think of a story, here and now is the time to create one. If you think you need permission to do so...I JUST GAVE IT TO YOU!
By the way, almost all of my stories involve buying plane tickets! ;)