Your debut songs Hate LA and Smile are different in sound and sentiment, but speak in response to a similar reality – a heartbroken young lady lamenting over lost love. As an artist why was it important to you that your narrative begin there?
For me, as an artist and person in general, it’s important for me to be as real as possible. Music is my outlet and I write songs based on things that are happening to me as they occur. Regardless of style or sentiment, anything I release will always come from a real place.
At a very young age you’d already begun
to find your voice, singing with your musical family. But at what age did you realize you were a gifted vocalist? That moment when a track runner goes – okay we’re all running but I’m running faster than everyone else, so maybe I’m a sprinter.
I think I was probably around 7-years-old. My first song I learned how to really sing was Who’s Loving You by The Jackson 5. I competed in a talent show back in San Antonio and wound up winning against kids a lot older than me. I guess it was in that moment where I was like ‘damn, I guess I’m kinda good at this’ (Laughs!).
Talk a bit about your creative process. Do you generally write to music? Or are you a writer first who then looks for production that fits the song?
What I like to do is sit in a room with whoever I’m working with and just talk about how I’m feeling that day, that moment, that hour. They usually will just start playing keys or playing some guitar and I’ll just start writing both melodies and lyrics at the same time.
How would you describe your style, from music to who you are as an artist? What’s the message in your music?
My message is to not be afraid of being unapologetically yourself. I try and get as real and raw as possible, and let people in on my life and my stories and how things actually went down even if it might be a little ugly. Because guess what? Life is a little ugly sometimes.
Who are some of your influences in music and life in general?
I grew up loving jazz – Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday. Christina Aguilera was always my go to also. In life though, definitely both of my parents. They taught me to put God first in everything that I do, and to work hard and never give up. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.
Many music artists have found success remaining independent, while others have chosen to sign with major record labels and also found success. You clearly have the talent, public image, personality, and following already. Do you need major label push?
I feel like every artist has their own journey and I’m open to wherever my journey takes me as long as the result has me selling out arenas and being on the radio (Laughs!).
You relocated to Los Angeles from Dallas a few years ago? How do you like So Cal – do you really Hate LA? And what’s been your experience with the dating scene in La La Land?
I absolutely love LA. I only hated it for a little bit because my ex decided to ruin it for me for five minutes, but it’s all good. I can’t wait to have enough money to move my family here one day. I’m definitely going to buy a fatty mansion when I get the chance. As for the dating scene, still trying to figure it out. I feel like guys here are more complicated than the girls (Laughs!). But if you’re reading this and you’re cute, holla at your girl!
Let’s end on a fun guy/girl talk note – what are the three most important qualities every guy should embody? And though everyone is different these are like the Rudi G must have’s for you to even consider dating a dude.
A big thing for me is someone who is family oriented. I come from such a huge family and we’re very close, so I just want someone who’s not scared of that. Someone who knows what they want (Screams!). These indecisive men are getting on my nerves (Laughs!). And someone who can go with the flow because my life is crazy and I never know what’s going to happen next. So, someone who can just ride the wave.