What was your reaction when asked to perform at the Jazz in the Gardens?
I am very blessed and wanted to have a slot for the last couple of years, so I am honored and flattered that I was chosen this year. I cannot wait to kick it off
How was your experience on “The Voice”?
“The Voice” has definitely changed my career in a lot of ways. It’s validated all of my hard work. Being able to get an audition and get on a team and be on the show. For the short while it was an incredible ride. To be able to get the validation of your peers; Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Shakira and Usher. To have superstars like that to validate your work and give you praises for your singing, it just makes it so much richer. The validation lets you know you are doing what you are supposed to do and [are] on the right track. I have received a little more notoriety and my name is known since being on the show. I will have a live album come out during the summer.
How long have you been singing?
I have been doing this for a living for the past 13 years.
Do you most often actively seek inspiration or does it find you? Or is it a combination of the two?
It is a combination of both. I am a lover of music and any little thing that inspires me or when I get on stage gives me the opportunity to inspire someone else. It’s like a give and take when it comes to the music
In addition to mastering their art, what other skill sets do you recommend that artists develop if they want to be successful?
There are so many aspects of the music business … I definitely encourage musicians and aspiring musicians to learn how to read music, it is very important, and work on their craft on a daily basis. For everyone that is hustling out there, someone else is hustling more. It is a competitive world out there when it comes to singers and a lot of talented people as well. Just work hard, it will pay off.
How do you map out your goals? How do you measure your success?
I think for me the measure of success is do whatever makes you happy. This lifestyle is very bohemian. Sometimes when I look at my calendar and it is empty and I do not have a gig [it is concerning], but when you are in alignment with your purpose your phone will always ring. I never have to worry about how I am going to pay my bills, because the work just always come. Again, when you are in alignment with your purpose, things will always fall into place. It just always work for me.
Who do you consider to be your peers in your field?
Well, there is a large network of musicians in Florida, we are tight group of people. We are consistently networking with each together. I would say the musicians that work in Florida are really close and very talented people that I work with. So I am very blessed to have an amazing group of peers around me
Name two of your top role models.
Two of my musical role models are Michael Jackson and Donny Hathaway.
Why do you consider continued learning important?
I think there is always room to grow, even when you are older. I think the more you are open to learning from other people, just learning about life in general, makes you a better person, musician, for all the roles you play in your life.
What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? How do you utilize it?
Well, social media is very important, especially when you are an independent artist and you have to promote yourself. Sadly, it does takes a lot of your time, but it is very important to be on Twitter, on social media and promote your shows as much as possible. Make sure you have a website. Technology is a big part of our lives.