How long have you been writing and playing your own original music?
I started playing the guitar when I was about 11 or 12. Yeah, a long time, almost 20 years now. When I picked up the guitar, it was like an automatic thing that I started to write songs. I think the guitar inspired my songwriting. Before that, when I was a kid, I did play the piano. My mom taught me piano, but it really didn’t inspire me to want to write songs. I felt like I had the songwriting inside of me, but I needed the right instrument to bring it out.
What do you think your life would look like if you didn’t get inspired to start playing and writing tracks? How would your life look differently?
It’s such a huge part of who I am. I feel all the time really lucky that I figured out at such a young age what I wanted to do, because I know that’s not always the case, and people are still figuring out, “What do I want to do?” Even when they’re adults. I had it easy in that way, and it’s been such a huge part of my life. Then also, when I was a kid and in high school, it was my go-to medicine to be able to express myself and get my feelings out in a creative way. If I didn’t have the guitar, it would probably be another instrument, but I don’t know. It’s just a part of me. I can’t really imagine my life without it.
Advice for new players?
For me, what I did was … Like I said. I started going to the music conferences and the music business [inaudible 00:20:31] and I got involved with … I signed up with ASCAP and started going to their conference every year. I still go to conferences, even though I’m doing music full time, because it’s just … Like you said. The industry is always changing. There’s always stuff to learn. There’s always new ideas, and that’s where you get to network with people who are doing similar things to you or people in the music business that you might want to meet. Everyone from all over, so you can go to one music conference and meet people from California and New York, the UK. It opens up all kinds of opportunities. I always encourage people to take advantage of that. Outside of that, musically, I would just say … It’s kind of cliché, but just to stay true to yourself and don’t be afraid to express yourself as you. Don’t edit that, because everyone’s different. In the music world, we need people to be themselves, so we need uniqueness. That’s what I like.
Was there a specific point where you started to play, and things just started to come together, and you thought, “This is something I could do potentially for the rest of my life?”
I can’t think of a specific point, but it’s really odd that I got into performing, too, because I’m just shy by nature, and when I was younger, I was really shy. I was that girl in school that was quiet and sat in the back and wrote poetry. Then all of a sudden, I chose to perform live in front of people. It’s kind of crazy and weird.
I immediately fell in love with the whole business side of it, too, like the marketing and thought that was really cool. Having a bio and recording your songs and that whole world of it, which is a whole separate thing than just songwriting. I think that excited me and got me really motivated to pursue the business side of being an artist. That probably was a turning point for me as well to get into this.