Most people who know me know that music is my passion. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, but my journey to the point I’m at now hasn’t always been easy.
I loved singing and music as a child. I would joke about wanting to sing with people I was extremely close to, but if anyone else asked me about it I would deny it. I was so shy. I could be belting out a song alone in a room, but the second someone walked it, I’d become quiet as if nothing had happened. I did church choir, but that never meant me being a soloist. People would hear the group, not me. As I got older people started to catch on. I denied and downplayed my love for singing until I was 14 years old. A lot happened to me that year. But that I decided to take a risk: I sang in front of people for the first time.
It was for my school’s Shakespeare Festival. I sang “Circle” by Marques Houston a cappella and was so nervous about how I did. I started the song and was literally shaking. However, the performance was well received. People got into it, started clapping and everything. They didn’t even criticize me when the high note at the end didn’t really come out. It was all love. When the song was over the applause from the audience gave me a rush of emotions. I had never experienced anything like that before. It was a magical moment. The following year, I decided that I was gonna join the high school choir. However, to do so I had to make a change to my schedule. I walked into the room to pick the form and the assistant principle asked me what I was changing on my schedule. I told her that I wanted to join choir. She then responded with “Oh, so you think you can sing.” I replied with a yes and she then stopped everyone in the room, told them to quiet down and then had me sing in front of everyone. Mind you, I’d only sang in front of people solo ONCE! Again the nerves kicked in, but I opened my mouth and sang “I’m like a bird, I only fly away.” In that instant she handed me the form and everyone started to cheer. Thus my journey into high school choir began.
I started off in men’s choir but didn’t stay there for more than a semester. I moved up to Varsity Mixed Chorale and had so much to learn. I didn’t know how to read music, the style of singing was completely different from what I was used to, and the singers in there were amazing. I was definitely intimidated. But as time went on I found my voice and my love for Christina Aguilera. I was singing her song “I Turn To You” and it really shocked me how good I sounded. It’s one thing for people to tell you that you are good at something, but it is another for you to realize it for yourself. I quickly became a piece in the puzzle that was the choir and my love for music grew exponentially. During my second year in choir, I had my first solo. Well it was a solo that almost wasn’t. It was at the Christmas show. We always do a brown bag concert during the lunch period and then a full on concert. The brown bag show was essentially my audition. I went up to sing and I was really shy and timid. I was shaking throughout the entire song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” At that point, it felt like I was cut from the concert. I had to prove that I could do it in front of the masses. So one day after school, I practiced and went out and sang the song for my choir director. I didn’t hold back and she said that she’d love for me to do it in the show. I did. It was the first time my mom and grandmother actually saw me perform. It was such a thrill that had me bawling afterwards. My reputation in high school became that of the singer and the lover of music.
With this passion for music, I wanted to be a music major in college. I did two auditions and didn’t make it into either UT’s or UofH’s music programs. I was hurt. The one thing I loved, I wasn’t going to be able to do. It hurt. At State Solo & Ensemble at UT that year, I sang my heart out because I had something to prove. My judge asked me where I was going to college. I said UT. Asked me if I was going to be a music major and when I said no she practically begged me to keep singing. In college, I kept up with it. I did the University choir for 2 semesters, a student-run choir for 3, started playing guitar, competed in 2 talent shows and then started performing both on and off campus. College is where I found who I was as a musician.
Now my musically journey hasn’t always been successful. There has been plenty of setbacks like no winning or placing in talent shows, not making talent shows or groups period. I doubted my abilities so much. I still doubt them. Any time I’m around another singer who is amazing (in my opinion) I immediately become self-conscious. I think of their amazing gift and then find mine to be mediocre. Also when people would give me compliments saying that I was amazing I can only halfway accept them because I don’t want to discredit their compliment, but I don’t always believe that I was amazing. It’s hard to believe you are something when you always believe that there are people better.
This is something I struggle with, but I will not let it break me down. I’m doing me. I recently recorded some music and released it on Soundcloud! It’s the “All Alone – EP.” It’s two originals and 2 covers that could have been better, but they are me: real, raw and unedited. Check them out.