How long have you been playing music?
I’ve been playing piano since I was about 6 and started writing songs when I was 13. I picked up the guitar only a few years ago.
When did you start performing?
As a kid I was performing in school musicals, dance recitals and piano recitals. As an adult, originally, I started out as only a songwriter. However, I realized that big stars don’t just call you up and say “Hey I want to record your song!” I needed to get out there and actively promote my songs. After I got used to the idea of being onstage I realized I loved it. I used to get extreme stage fright and was even afraid to sing in front of people but now it feels like second nature.
You travel to Nashville often. Tell me about that.
Oh I love Nashville! I find it to be the most creative environment I’ve ever been in. You tell people you’re a singer/songwriter and most likely they’ll say “me too!” I go to Nashville to network with other songwriters and musicians. My vocal coach lives in Nashville and I do lessons over the Internet, but it’s nice to have face to face sessions with her. I’ll also be recording my second album in Nashville. On Sept. 2 I’ll be performing at an artist showcase at The Rutledge in Nashville. I also filmed my debut music video in Los Angeles this May.
What do audiences enjoy most about your shows?
I realize that the show isn’t really about me. It’s about the audience. It’s about them getting away after a long week of work and just getting to hang out and relax with their friends. I also need to give credit to my band. The guys I play with (Jeb Hart, lead guitar; Wes Weeber, drums/percussion; Ryan Marshall, bass) are great musicians and they really do a great job.
Where do you get your inspiration when songwriting?
When I first started the songwriting process it was all about writing from the heart about personal experiences. I find inspiration from any place you can imagine — conversations with people, magazines, newspapers, the Internet, etc. I used to have to wait for inspiration to strike in an “ahh-ha” moment, but now I’m more committed to sitting down and writing even when I don’t have any ideas.
Who are your musical influences?
Sara Bareilles and Duffy in terms of vocals. Sheryl Crow and Jewel as far as female singer/songwriters.
What’s your favorite song?
“Lock me in Tonight” is my favorite from my first album. It was also my first music video which you can see on my website An unreleased favorite of mine that we do at live shows is “Bluebird.”
What are your musical goals?
My number one goal as a musician and artist is to create and maintain a long term sustainable career as an artist and a songwriter. I think it’s amazing that I get to do what I love on a daily basis. Speaking short term goals, I’m in the process of writing, both independently and with co-writers for my next album. It’s very important to keep writing and releasing new music.