"I was nominated for Best Country Song..."
From AMTC, a little demo CD that I recorded in my closet was picked up by a woman in New York! She said, “Hey, I love your music and think that you have potential.” From there she connected me with some people, who connected me with more people, and I ended up working with incredible producers and writers in Nashville. I created and co-wrote my first EP called “Maybe More.” A lot of it is based off of personal experience and what I want other people to hear. Since I released the song last February, I made a music video for it which now has over 42,000 views on YouTube.
Just last month, I went to the Hollywood Music in Media Awards in Los Angeles, because I was nominated for Best Country Song and Best Music Video. That was a really awesome experience.
What was it like to find out you were nominated?
I started entering competitions and award shows, just submitting my music to consideration for nomination. I received an email from the Hollywood Music in Media Awards telling me that the nominees were posted. I went and checked it out, saw my name and freaked out! It was kind of…really late…my whole family was asleep, so I freaked out by myself. After I found out, we scheduled flights and went to California! I spend a lot of time checking everything out and doing touristy things. Then that night, I walked the Red Carpet and met a lot of really cool people from all over the world.
Have you faced any major challenges since becoming a performer?
One big challenge is balancing everything and not getting stressed. I have to make sure to make time for school, music and God. Somehow, I have managed this so far.
The biggest challenges for me have been on the acting side, because I do acting as well. In music, I write the songs and have a say in what I want to sing about. But in acting, I will get an audition with bad content and bad language, so I have to turn the audition down. Sometimes it is so difficult to have the courage to turn down an acting opportunity, especially when it seems tempting to make the compromise. I really work to stay grounded and only choose things that have positive content.
Has anything happened with your acting career?
After I went to SHINE, I saw an update on our AMTC Hub Facebook page about an Actor’s Alliance fair in Austin. It included a showcase for tons of local agencies. I went to that and ended up signing with an agency in San Antonio. Through them, I have taken a lot of classes and did several commercials for Southwest Airlines and AARP. I also did a public service announcement for Utah against teen drinking and driving.
So far, what is your favorite song that you have recorded?
I have one that I just wrote. I can’t really say much about it because I am trying to keep it a secret, but be looking out for it because it is definitely my favorite! The one I love most on the EP released right now is “Maybe More.” It was inspired by a true story: I had a crush on this guy for a long time, haha! We were really just best friends, and we had started to grow apart. The song was based on this personal experience, and I still sing it and connect back to it. It is a relatable song.
Do you feel called to be involved in the secular music industry more-so than Christian music?
Oh yes, absolutely. I love Christian music and the entire industry. However, I feel like there needs to be someone who can be a role model. My heart is specifically drawn to younger girls, like elementary through high school. The industry needs role models, people to look up to, who will not show up in the media doing bad things and switching around. The celebrities I looked up to as a child are not walking with God anymore, and are not a positive influence in the media…that is so sad to me. I want someone to be out there, whether that is me or somebody else, who others can look up to.
Have you always wanted to work in the industry?
(Laughs)…Oh gosh. I have wanted to work in entertainment ever since I found out that being a Disney Princess was not a logical possibility. I was in the first grade when I decided that I wanted to be a singer, and I never really stopped wanting that. My friends and I used to write little songs and sing them at recess, or I would put on concerts for my family. I have always wanted to get involved, and when I found out about AMTC I realized that it could actually happen.
What was the AMTC experience like for you?
It was amazing. AMTC is still one of the best and most educational things I have ever done. I honestly would not be working in the music and acting industries without AMTC. Everyone I work with right now is somehow connected with me going to AMTC’s SHINE Conference.
I was 13 at the time that I attended SHINE. At that point, I did not know how to play an instrument. I was singing all covers. Since AMTC, I have grown so much in my craft. AMTC was just the beginning of something so much bigger.
Do you have any ultimate goals for your career?
I want to go as far as Christ will allow me. I have huge dreams, like every singer. But the thing is, I know it is all in God’s Hands, and I will go as far as He wants me to go. I’ll trust Him, keeping walking on the road and journey as long as He allows me to.
What can we be looking out for?
Right now, I have been interviewing a lot! I also started hearing myself on the radio, which is crazy.
Some people say it is impossible to have a career in entertainment. How would you respond?
It is possible! A lot of people think that working in entertainment is a crazy dream, but it is completely possibly. It is so much hard work, and is not easy, but stick with it and be dedicated. Following your dreams is possible.