Music has always been a part of my soul, in fact, I was singing before I learned to speak. Performing has always come natural to me as well, but it took me years to uncover what truly set my soul on fire. I began dancing at 4 years old and I continued to dance for 13 more years. I loved practicing, performing, and the rush of nerves and excitement before shining under the spotlight. I remember the anticipation building as I would wait behind the curtains and then taking my first step onto the big stage. Finally, at 17, I realized as much as I loved dancing, it wasn’t the journey I was meant to chase.
I had no idea what I was getting into.
I first picked up an old hammy-down guitar at 18. I began watching YouTube tutorial after tutorial on how to play chords, how to strum, and how to keep rhythm. Never attending a single in person "guitar lesson". I would sit down everyday on our guest room bed, bright yellow walls surrounding me, with a laptop that lagged and shutdown spontaneously (which made the process that much more frustrating). It was challenging, but I embraced it and was excited every moment I noticed progress.
I still remember feeling the drop in my stomach that late afternoon. Receiving the text from my mom, and now manager, it seems as if it were yesterday. “Do you want to perform at Southern Railway Taphouse from 6:00 PM-9:00 PM?”
Such a straightforward question, yet my heart jumped out of my chest. I felt unprepared, unqualified, and my mind began multiplying insecurities for me to politely decline the request. I was terrified to sing in front of anyone, even my parents, how would I sing in front of strangers? Guitar? I had just picked it up for the first time a few months ago. How would I manage to play at a popular venue for 3 hours? It seemed beyond impossible.
Yet something inside of me said “go for it."
I did in fact, "go for it." And looking back, it forever changed my life. Thank you mom and thank you Southern Railway Taphouse. I discovered an entirely new passion, confidence, and journey; one I never knew existed and has become something I will never neglect. Something I will pursue relentlessly.
The first time: It was the tapping of a stranger's foot to the rhythm of my song, the request of a love song for "our first anniversary", the disposition of the faces in the crowd as I sang lyrics we both loved: it was emotion.
My goal? Let me make this CLEAR. My goal is not to become famous. When referring to "chasing the dream", I have a completely different perspective than most artists. My goal is to touch other's hearts with my music. To inspire others to do what might seem unimaginable or impossible. To be a positive role model and influence to those around me. To constantly spread joy and excitement. Whether that may be 20 people or 20,000, my goal will remain the same: to touch others' hearts with my music.
So here I am. I am singing songs and playing venues I never imagined in my wildest dreams. I'm doing something I never thought I was capable of doing. Hard work, dedication, and support goes so much farther than I ever realized. I hear artists on the radio and think, "Wow...I opened for them..." or "...I hope to hear my song on the radio soon". Unimaginable. I'm still in disbelief and this all feels surreal to me. Opening for Chris Young & Cole Swindell at Innsbrook AfterHours, Eli Young Band at The National, and Lee Ann Womack, Larry Gatlin, and Ashley Monroe at the Beacon Theatre have been incredible experiences.
Life is journey. I've learned to stop making my own plans and trust in the Lord, because honestly the unexpected is inevitable. Everything changes, life changes. I'm so thankful and blessed to be where I am right now and for this journey. I can't wait to see what the future holds. I will always hold this passion close to my heart. I promise, I will never stop making music.
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans...."
"We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps." -Proverbs 16