When did your love of music begin?
When I was in second grade, I really wanted to get a guitar. At first my parents thought it was a phase, and also because we had a piano they were saying that I should just use that instead, but I kept asking so they got me a guitar and lessons for my 8th birthday. I loved it from the first lesson and played all the time. After a few months I figured out that I could put chords together and sing over them, so that’s when I started singing and writing songs as well.
What artists do you recall hearing first?
Probably the Beatles. My third grade teacher was a huge Beatles fan and used to play their songs all the time as we did worksheets in class. By the end of the first semester, every kid in my class knew all the words to many of her favorite Beatles songs, and I used to go home and figure them out on the guitar. From third grade to fifth grade, I really didn’t listen to anything else.
Describe your songwriting, what influences it? Does the music or lyrics come first?
Melodies always come easier to me than lyrics. So, I come up with a rough melody and chords, and then I work on the lyrics. Usually the melody changes a little bit once I put the words in because the syllables kind of shape the melody. After that I edit my lyrics a lot. My songs are mostly based on things that happen in my life or lessons I have learned.
Tell us about your best experience so far as a musician. Also tell us your worst!
I got a message on youtube from K’naan. He said someone showed him some of my covers of his songs and that he liked them. We exchanged a few messages about music, and to me it was so cool because I was in 7th grade and didn’t really even email with anyone back then, let alone a music star. Then he even had me come and perform the next time he had a concert in Chicago, which now it is all a blur but it was amazing.
I get my shows off of Sonicbids, but before I heard about it, I was using Craiglist and I did get some really great shows from it, but I guess my worst experience would be some of the pretty sketchy shows I got off Craigslist.
If you could tour with any singer/band who would it be?
OneRepublic has been my one of my favorite bands for a few years because I love their songwriting and the way they use string instruments and orchestral sounds in the production of their songs.
What is your goal for your music?
My immediate goal is to keep getting better shows because I love performing and seeing people’s reactions to the songs I write. I also would really like to have a fully produced album, and also have a band. I also would like to hear opinions about my songwriting from someone who is an expert at it. Eventually I want to get a team of professionals so that my songs can get radio play and to have someone booking my shows so I can have more time for songwriting.
Name three albums that you can’t live without.
1 by the Beatles, Waking Up by OneRepublic, and Nothing Like The Sun by Sting
Describe your music to our viewers and why everyone should be at your next show.
My songs are pop with some rock elements, but because I’m solo acoustic the sound is more mellow than it would be if fully produced with a band. My upcoming summer shows are at the House of Blues Chicago, Six Flags Great America, Milwaukee Summerfest, and Taste of Chicago, and I’ll be playing new songs that I’m finishing up this month, so please come out!