I've been singing for about 11 years. It's funny to think of how long I've come yet I still have so much to learn as a vocalist. I started singing because I watched a lot of "Hannah Montana." I loved the idea of the life of a singer. I'd shut the door, push the play button, and sing along to all the songs on my "Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus" CD in my bedroom; you know the typical concert in your bedroom-type jam session. At the time, I was also very shy. I was very much an introvert, and I kept to myself a lot. I eventually grew out of my "Hannah Montana" phase and started listening to other singers.
Vocalists such as Rihanna, Selena Quintanilla, Hayley Williams of Paramore, Demi Lovato, Ella Fitzgerald, Amy Winehouse, Cyndi Lauper, Sade, Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Eryka Badu, Gloria Estefan, Lauryn Hill, Janis Joplin, Jenna McDougall of Tonight Alive, Kathleen Hanna, Kali Uchis, Jorja Smith, Natalia Lafourcade... they have all have showed me different styles and ranges. I have gained a lot from these influences, but I'm glad to say I have also gained my own sound and confidence. It has come a long way from singing in my room. I've moved locations, venues, and I have allowed myself to continually keep myself going. Every time I perform, regardless of it being my best, I always learn from it.
I remember my dad telling me that if I loved it so much I wouldn't get nervous and face my fears. I remember going into an audition for my seventh-grade talent show. It would be the first time I would sing in front of anyone. I walked into my seventh-grade English teacher's classroom, and I told her I wanted to sing in the talent show. I sang "Take a Bow" by Rihanna. My teacher really liked it and said I was good, and then she introduced me to Selena. Selena Quintanilla, a famous Mexican singer, was someone whose name rung through my head because my mom had CDs of hers lying around near the stereo. Although, I had never put much thought into her music until my 7th grade English teacher pointed her out to me. I guess she saw some kind of spice in me that said I could pull off one of her songs. She even introduced me to a disco song I don't remember the name of, but God was that song a banger.
My first performance was my seventh-grade talent show, and I sang "Como La Flor" by Selena. I'll always have my teacher to thank me for putting me onto one of the greatest female entertainers, and for making me perform the same Selena song for different occasions at school. Something crazy that always sticks with me is that on February 26th, the first time I ever performed live, was coincidentally the same date as Selena's last concert before she was tragically killed in 1995. In a spiritual way, I'd like to think she passed on some of her energy on to me that day, but also onto others who loved her just as much as I did.
Seeing myself in a band now is something I never imagined as a part of my future. It was something I dreamed of being, and now am the female lead in my band, grizzlies. I performed so many talent shows on my own to instrumentals/karaoke tracks, and now I have the real thing right behind me. Getting to play with so many different musicians has given me the motivation to be better for myself and for them. I plan to keep striving and pushing myself and my voice beyond just "good." I love singing, and regardless of gaining any fame from it, I'm just grateful to have the opportunity to play and have gotten to this part of my life. I don't need fame; just the feeling of singing on any stage is an honor. It's always going to be just for the music, and most definitely always going to be for me.