by Ingrid Angulo
Can you tell me a bit about your background and how you got into music?
I got into music through musical theatre when I was probably eight years old. I had a local theater in town that would host theatre camp, and I begged my mom every year until my age group was allowed to go, and the moment that I stepped on stage and was able to be in this performance and in front of an audience, I knew that that was where I wanted to be. Over the next few years, I figured out that maybe just the music part was probably better suited for me than the acting. Nonetheless, it still instilled this love for theatrics and performance. It’s interesting because I feel myself being so drawn back to musical theatre and the whole production of a theatre now that I’m working on my live performances. It’s funny how it all comes full circle in the end.
Do you try to incorporate a lot of that performance aspect and everything you learned in theatre when you’re doing your live shows?
Yeah, exactly. I love that old Hollywood thought of really putting on a performance and giving the audience something to really remember. I try so hard to make [my music] very visual when you listen to it, and when I am working on my live show, I really want to bring those visuals that you have when you’re listening to life.
What made you decide that now was a good time to start producing your own music and releasing it on a label?
I’ve always been pursuing a career in music. From musical theatre, when I decided that writing music was better suited to me, I always knew that this is what I wanted to do. It’s interesting you ask about being on a label, because I feel like right now is such a time of ‘you’re either on a label or you’re independent’, and I think every artist has to make that decision for themselves. I’ve been extremely lucky working with Monument Records. They were a great team for me and it’s super collaborative, and I think in that circumstance, if you can find a team that really values your opinion and your views and inspiration, then it makes total sense. I think for every artist it’s different.
Do you think it’s harder for artists to get their start if they’re more independent?
It’s definitely harder in some aspects. We’re in such an exciting time where social media plays such a big part in that grassroots beginning. It’s really cool to see my peers taking advantage of [social media]. Whether it’s music or if you’re an influencer or whatever you’re doing, just seeing people take advantage of these platforms that we have and using it to their advantage is so amazing. For me, I see the benefit of the label as well, because it’s very expensive to be an up-and-coming artist, and that’s something that people forget about. It takes a lot of resources and money and connections and time. For me, I see the value in having a team and a label. I totally respect and think it’s so admirable of people who can do it independently, and I think it’s such a great message for young artists to listen to, that you have more options and you just have to see what’s right for you and what makes sense for you.
Do you think you can use social media to become closer to your fans, or do you find it another way to market yourself?
I think it depends on how you use it. I handle all of my social media. Everything that you see from a post to a story to everything, that’s all me personally posting and me personally responding to messages. But not every artist is that way, and that’s their decision to how hands-on they want to be with it. I’m 24, and I grew up with social media my entire life, so it’s super natural for me to be that involved. I don’t even think about social media, it’s just so natural at this point.
The singles you’ve released so far have all been pretty different, can we expect that same diversity on your album?
I really tried to create a spectrum, a rainbow if you will. Because this is my first album that I’m putting out, I really wanted to give these new listeners a full spectrum of who I am. As any person, we have a lot of different colors in our rainbow. I think it was really important from my end to show all of that. You can totally expect to see everything from pop to jazz. I have everything in the middle to represent my inspirations and who I am as an artist.
You seem to be quite inspired by older artists, is there anyone making music today that inspires you?
It’s funny you ask that because I just saw A Star Is Born, and Lady Gaga is life. I think she is the coolest, most inspirational female artist out right now. She just goes to show that you can really do it all and have it all if you put in the hard work and really take your art seriously. I have so much respect for her.
Lady Gaga has changed her sound so much throughout her career. Can expect the same from you?
Yeah, that’s kind of what I was saying, that’s why my album is the way it is. I have songs that are more classic, I have songs that are more pop. That way, in the future, if I do want to do something that’s more straight up Frank Sinatra style jazz, it’s not weird. You can expect me to grow and expand. I’m a young person and I’m going to go through many changes in life. You get exposed to different things in life; different things happen. You see different inspirations, travel, all these things will influence you and what you think is cool. I write all of my music, so everything that you see from me is based on something that I’ve experienced.
If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Dead, for sure Frank Sinatra. I have a tattoo of him on my arm. Needless to say, I’m a fan. Alive, I think it’d be really cool to do work with Tony Bennett. Frank Sinatra said he was his favorite singer in the entire world, so as a huge Frank Sinatra fan, I think that would be a huge honor to work with someone like Tony Bennett. Obviously, I love Gaga and I love Bruno Mars and a lot of these newer acts like Khalid.
Do you find the saturation of the pop scene to be a problem for you?
My album is so uniquely itself, I don’t feel like I’m too often compared to other artists. I feel like my album is such a pure representation of myself, I don’t feel any competition in that way. As a listener and as a fan, no I don’t think so. More is better. It’s incredible that, through social media, we’re able to see so many acts that we wouldn’t see many years ago because they weren’t empowered in that way. I think more art is better, to have more inspiration out there in the world, more beautiful things that we can listen to.
How do you feel about the way streaming is affecting the music industry, and how can fans help counteract the negative effects?
I think it’s a double edged sword. You are able to be exposed to so many more artists that you wouldn’t traditionally be exposed to, but from an artist perspective, it definitely hurts us financially. I think with the different bills and acts being passed right now, we’ll hopefully be able to find the perfect medium. I think that’s eventually going to be the best bet. I think there are so many positives, we just have to figure it out form a legal standpoint and also just make sure that these artists whose music you’re listening to and loving are getting fairly paid.
Live shows are the best way a fan can support their favorite artists. Just coming to see your favorite artists and really being involved in things they’re putting out and working on, I think that’s the best way that you can do it.
Looking forward, what’s next for you?
I am actually planning a string of residency shows that will be in Nashville, Louisville and Atlanta. We will be releasing those dates very soon. I have a lot of live stuff planned, and that’s going to be my focus through the end of the year and also the top of next year, just really getting out and meeting everybody who’s enjoying the music and gettng to know them and playing my music around the country.