Blog

Name: Jason Hawk Harris

Age: 20 something

Style of Music: Meta-Apocalyptic Country/Americana

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jasonhawkharris

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jasonhawkharris

Facebook: https://facebook.com/jasonhawkharris

Website: https://jasonhawkharris.com

Short Bio: Jason Hawk Harris experienced his musical coming of age one fateful day in middle school when a friend played him Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”  Indeed, fate seems writ large in Harris’ artistic journey.  He comes from a long line of musicians; a tradition that all but guaranteed a both passionate and vexed relationship with the guitar.  Though classically trained, he considers it perhaps the greatest instrument ever created (and occasionally wants to smash his Martin over the head of its inventor).

Harris’ songs offer nuanced explorations of life’s vagaries; matching determined honesty with vivid imagination.  His upcoming record fuses robust musicianship with a poetic vision inspired by magical realists like Charles Williams and Haruki Murakami.  His music, Harris explains, shares in their “audacious assumption that the physical and spiritual occupy the same plane of existence.”

1. What made you want to be a musician for a living?

The sharp realization that it would feel too strange to do anything else. 

2. It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible? 

I am not a “hired gun” type.  I’m just not that good, honestly.  First and foremost, I’m a songwriter.  As a songwriter, I think that you’re out of work a lot more than the type of guys who are so great at their instruments that they basically live in the studio.  I’ve learned to value getting my fingers into other artistic endeavors to shake up my creative process.  The other thing I’ve learned to value is a dependable “side-hustle.”

3. As an independent artist, what have you done to successfully create music that  competes with major label big budget artists? What would you have done differently? What advice would you give to other independent artists when budgeting funds?

I think the greatest way to get the best bang for your buck is to find a good producer that believes in you.  In order to compete with Capital, you need great production quality.  There are a lot of independent producers out there who are really great at what they do, and are working just as hard as you are to get their careers off the ground.  Partner with them.  Learn from them, trust them.  A lot of times they have relationships with studios or other professionals that can lead to discounts on some of the larger expenses involved in making a record (i.e. mastering, mixing, studio time, pre-production).

4. How important is the choice studio/engineer when it comes to recording the music that means the most to you?

There is no more important decision when it comes to the recording process.  I don’t like to think about any of the technical sides of “recording” the music when I’m in the studio.  I want to focus on playing. That’s it.  So I think it’s really important to have a great space, and an engineer who knows how to work it.

5. How important is image? How has social media played a role in your image and your career? What advice would you give to other independent artists?

Ugh… this question.  I get why it’s an important consideration—I really do—but man I hate spending any time on it.  My advice would be to spend as little time as possible on it without neglecting it.  Spend the majority of your time being as great as you can be at what you do.  Then, use an app like Hootsuite or Buffer at the beginning of the week to schedule all your posts at one time so you don’t have to look at it again.

6. How do you go about making connections? What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilize them?

A good rule of thumb is to stop thinking about making connections.  A friend of mine is fond of saying, “Talk about the dip.”  Meaning… if you see Willie Nelson at a party and he’s chowing down on some killer bean dip, don’t hand him a CD with your music on it, talk about how dope the dip is.  But the other important part of this is, you have to actually try the dip before you say anything, or else you’re just a schmuck who’s trying to clandestinely slip Willie Nelson his demo.  People see through that sort of crap.  Networking is for young, neurotic marketing professionals at SXSW with a fistful of sweaty business cards and tote bags of useless garbage.  In music, it’s about shared experience.  Connections are important, sure, but nobody likes the person who’s always trying to “connect” or “make contacts.”

When you’re hitting the road for an exciting tour the last thing you want to be worrying about is damaged or stolen instruments. Whether you’ve got top of the line, modern equipment or a much-loved guitar that’s seen you through the hard times, these tips will help ensure that your instruments stay safe and sound for your next performance.

  • Keep it simple: The less you have to keep track of while you’re on the road the better. Bring only the gear you really need and be sure to check out in-house equipment to simplify your trip even more.
  • Be extra vigilant when loading and unloading: Transporting instruments to and from a venue creates a prime breeding ground for thieves. Always have someone standing guard while your equipment is being loaded and unloaded and make sure the van is locked when your belongings are inside and nobody is around.
  • Pack correctly: Make use of traveling cases and well-designed packaging supplies whenever possible and consider securing your instruments with tie-downs to keep them protected from bumps, scratches and dings.
  • Maintain adequate security: Always opt for parking garages and lots that have security when available if leaving your equipment in the van or bus for a long period of time. If secure parking options aren’t available, consider taking your equipment inside your hotel room with you.
  • Beware of extreme climate conditions: Extremely hot or cold temperatures and damp climate conditions can wreak havoc on your musical instruments.
  • Prepare for the unexpected: Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or private vehicle, and even if you’ve got your favorite instrument tucked away “safely” in your dressing room, anything can happen. From an unexpected splash of beer on your analog synth to careless baggage handlers, your instruments are vulnerable to damage when you’re touring. Make sure valuable instruments are covered by insurance, and always bring repair kits and extra parts just in case.

 

Name: Nick Lopez

Age: 20

Style of Music: Pop

Bio: From San Francisco, currently live in LA. I am a singer/songwriter.

tinyurl.com/spotifynick

https://www.soundcloud.com/nicklopezmusic

https://www.instagram.com/nicklopezmusic

https://www.twitter.com/nicklopezmusic

whoisnicklopez.com

 

1. What made you want to be a musician for a living?
Not sure what specifically sparked it, but it’s just came very naturally to me. I couldn’t envision myself doing anything else other than music as a career, it just feels right.

2. It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible?
Save your money! Songwriters and musicians should understand that there are good years and bad years. We don’t have a steady salary or a constant paycheck. So we need to be very aware of that when making financial decisions. To transition out of a down period simply requires hard work and a constant, relentless dedication to achieving your goals.

3. As an independent artist, what have you done to successfully create music that  competes with major label big budget artists? What would you have done differently? What advice would you give to other independent artists when budgeting funds?
I take my time with each song I release. I plan out a strategic release ahead of time. I know which blogs I am going to target, which YouTube channels and Spotify playlists. I also try to get other artists featured on a lot of my songs, because a great collaboration can enhance the song from both a musical standpoint and also a marketing standpoint.

4. How important is the choice studio/engineer when it comes to recording the music that means the most to you?
Incredibly important to me. I hate bad mixes, so many of my friends that make music have horrible mixes, and it really just ruins their songs. They could have been great songs if the mix was done right, and now, there’s no chance. Everyone at Clear Lake has given me a consistent sound in the mixes that is an essential part of my presentation – you have to have a good mix to compete with the big dogs.

5. How important is image? How has social media played a role in your image and your career? What advice would you give to other independent artists?
Image is everything. You need to act, dress, and give off the vibe of an artist if that’s what you are trying to become. 24/7, you need to represent yourself as an artist, with everyone you meet. When you are recording at Clear Lake, you are an artist. When you are doing a photoshoot, you are an artist. When you go to the grocery store, you are an artist.  The point is, you never know who is watching, so your presentation always needs to be at 110%. For social media, you should have high quality, cool photos that represent your personality. You need content apart from just the music, so people can really form an emotional attachment to YOU and not just your songs. This can be done via Instagram and Twitter, and constantly interacting with new fans who discover your music.

6. How do you go about making connections? What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilize them?
Making connections to me happens naturally. People try too hard sometimes to network, which is super annoying. You kind of just have to let it happen. It’s good to write down specific people you want to meet, and kind of map out who knows who in order to get to them, but at the end of the day, you need to make genuine friendships. That’s the only way your networking is going to pay off. Every “connection” I have made happened because I created a true friendship with that person. Just get out there, meet people, and be genuine.

Name: Margarita Monet (Edge Of Paradise)

Age: 26

Style Of Music: Hard Rock/Metal

LINKS:

Website: http://edgeofparadiseband.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/edgeofparadiseband

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EdgeofParadise1

Vevo: https://www.youtube.com/user/EdgeOfParadiseVEVO

Bio: Margarita is a singer / songwriter and a pianist. Growing up in Moscow, she started music lessons very young and toured Europe as a pianist. Moving to Houston, she attended High School For The Performing and Visual Arts, for musical theater, later on, moving to NY to attend NYU’s Tisch School Of The Arts. Margarita moved to LA in 2010 where she met guitarist Dave Bates, who was in search of a singer to fill Robin McCauley’s shoes. Soon their music partnership solidified and the band took up the name, Edge Of Paradise.

1. What made you want to be a musician for a living?

I grew up in Moscow and was surrounded by music and art! Every week my mom would take me to see a concert or we would go to a theater, ballet, opera… There was something on every block! I loved it, so I started playing piano at 4, taking singing lessons as well as theater and dance, I was emerged in this world since a young age and I never imagined myself doing anything else! Being a musician and having my own band, I get to create music as well as a visual world! Sharing that with others is very fulfilling! Music, really is, a universal language!

2. It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible?

It’s definitely not an easy path. But I’m a big believer that if you work hard and you’re great at what you do, then everything else will fall into place. When we started the band, we used to teach all day long, to get the budget to record the CD, so when you’re in between gigs, try to find time to focus on your own music, or perfecting your skill, because the better you are and the better your content is, that will impact, how busy you’ll be as a musician!

3. As an independent artist, what have you done to successfully create music that competes with major label big budget artists? What would you have done differently? What advice would you give to other independent artists when budgeting funds?

Creating music is not easy and you can’t do it by yourself in your room, and compete with major label acts! What we have done, is focus on writing the best possible songs. We approached people that produce major label acts that we like, and if they like your music, you have a good chance that they will work with you and your budget! We were really lucky to have worked with amazing people! Looking back i wish our first songs were better, but that’s all part of the journey, you have to let your music evolve. The advise i would give, is to write the best songs you can, put your heart and soul into it, surround yourself with people who know what they’re doing and invest in the quality of the recording!

4. How important is the choice studio/engineer when it comes to recording the music that means the most to you?

It’s very important! You have to feel comfortable in the studio so you can focus on the performance! And working with great engineers can make the biggest difference! That’s why we love recording at Clear Lake! Top of the line gear, amazing staff of engineers who are great people, awesome environment, perfect for creating that next hit 😉

5. How important is image? How has social media played a role in your image and your career? What advice would you give to other independent artists?

We live in a digital world where everything is over saturated! It’s also very visual, so sometimes people get interested by the imagery first, rather then the music. And social media is a double edged sword in that respect. You have the tools to reach people, but you really have to have the best content that will interest people, both visually and conically. These days you really have to create a world that people will want to be a part of, but in some ways it’s good, because it’ll push you creatively, just be ready to work really hard, and do it because you love it!

6. How do you go about making connections? What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilize them?

Connections are important, you have to be active in your scene, be good to people! But the most important thing is to focus on creating great content because that’s the biggest thing that will help you further your career!

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Name: Anoop Chaganty


Age: 22


Style of Music: Hip-Hop / Rap

LINKS:

https://soundcloud.com/anoop-chanty

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-TYF5t_kmT1LJxIDrLUQQg

https://twitter.com/noanticipation


Bio: I am a composer / rapper from San Jose, CA. Though I mainly play the piano and produce, for the last two years I have been pursuing a career as a rapper as well.

1. What made you want to be a musician for a living?

I grew up in a very artistically progressive home, especially considering my Indian immigrant upbringing. In fact, it was actually my parents who encouraged my brother and I to pursue careers in the entertainment industry. My brother decided to be a director and so I sort of followed in his footsteps. Around high school I realized I didn’t want to make movies myself, but I wanted to make the music for movies. The turning point for me was when I watched the “Lost” Season 4 behind- the-scenes of the making of the score. That shit was so cool.

2. It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible?

For a long time, I desperately wanted to study music at a music university. Fortunately, I never got in to any of the schools I applied to, so I was forced to study something else in college. As a result, I (almost) have a degree in International Relations from USC, which qualifies me for a lot more jobs than if I had just gotten a music composition degree. Obviously, I would love for my music to take off right now and be able to support my life, but that is not realistic. In the meantime, I can work (doing a lot of different things) while still making music. I have no doubt that one day, I will see success in my art. Hopefully that day is sooner rather than later, but even if it’s not, I’m still happy.

3. As an independent artist, what have you done to successfully create music that competes with major label big budget artists? What would you have done differently? What advice would you give to other independent artists when budgeting funds?

Work with people who are better than you. Or just collaborate with talented artists. I cannot stress that enough. I made life so much harder for myself by trying to be this all in one music production factory. The best thing you can do to compete with major artists beyond constantly making art and improving is to surround yourself with those who are more experienced and better than you. As a musician, I never really did this, but I did collaborate with talented filmmakers. So my music videos are comparable to major artist music videos, even if my music isn’t necessarily on that level yet.

4. How important is the choice studio/engineer when it comes to recording the music that means the most to you?

A studio / engineer will make or break a project. There’s no two ways about it. An engineer is as much of an artist as any of the musicians on the record are, and you should treat them as such. I’ve had many bad or sub-par experiences with engineers and my music suffered as a result. Find someone to work with who’s cool and likes you / your music, otherwise you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

5. How important is image? How has social media played a role in your image and your career? What advice would you give to other independent artists?

Image is everything, especially in the social media age that we’re currently in. If you don’t have an excellent social media presence, you will be forgotten. It doesn’t matter if you make the best music ever, if people don’t see it and share it, it will be never be heard. Personally, I hate social media, but I still recognize it as necessary evil. I’m currently in the midst of planning my full-scale social media launch so ask me in a few months if I’ve had any success. Right now, I’m a ghost.

6. How do you go about making connections? What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilize them?

Connections are king in the entertainment industry. Often times, its who you know, now what you know that qualifies you for a certain job. Don’t sit in your studio and be that angsty isolated musician. You may make excellent music as a result, but you’ll never have anyone to share it with. Enjoy yourself. Go to open mics, parties, social events, and meet people. Don’t talk to them like they’re potential likes but actually engage with them on a personal level. Soon, you’ll have a reputation for yourself, and that promoter you met in that Uber might give you a call for a gig. Stay patient. This takes time.

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Whether you want to test drive some of our gear in conjunction with your own or you are traveling to Los Angeles and need a fully equipped studio, Clear Lake Recording Studios has you covered! Heres what we’ve added this year!

Guitars

Amps

Drums

Fender Jazzmaster

PRS SE Custom 22

‘60s Supro Dual Tone

’77 Martin D-35

Fender Active Precision Bass        

Fender Deluxe Reverb           

Fender Princeton

Vox AC 15

Mesa Boogie Mark 5

Kemper Profiler

Marshall Silver Jubilee

Avatar 1×12 Cab

Mapex Orion Series 5 piece set

Ludwig Black Beauty

Ludwig Supraphonic

Slingerland Radio King

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Name: Dylan Dunlap

Age: 20

Style of Music: Singer/Songwriter

LINKS

Instagram + Twitter: @iamdylandunlap

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/iamdylandunlap

YouTube: www.YouTube.com/MrDylanDunlapMusic

iTunes: http://goo.gl/KEX1mE

Spotify: goo.gl/1I9UyD

Bio: I was born and raised in Studio City. I then took a year to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston and came back to Los Angeles to pursue my solo career. Thankfully I had the opportunity to be a contestant on The Voice, but now I’m focusing on spreading as much love as I can in this world through my craft while keeping the utmost integrity.

1. What made you want to be a musician for a living?

Most of the people that I’ve met want to be musicians for a living so that they can show the ones that didn’t support them along the way that they could actually succeed. To be honest, it was never really a “want” for me. I hunger for it. Writing, producing, performing, and anything else that I do comes from the fact that most things in life don’t bring me the instant euphoria that music brings for me. For as long as I’m alive, I will never see myself doing anything else.

2. It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible?

Because I street perform for a living in Burbank and sometimes Santa Monica, there can never be a day that I can’t work on my craft! If my vocal chords could take it, I would be singing to people all night. That’s kind of what helps me through the rough times of not getting actual paid gigs and/or not finding production jobs. I go to bed every night telling myself (in a healthy way) that there is always something more that I could have done, which propels me forward into the next day.

3. As an independent artist, what have you done to successfully create music that competes with major label big budget artists? What would you have done differently? What advice would you give to other independent artists when budgeting funds?

As an independent artist, the most important thing that I’ve done is look at the resources that I HAVE. Big budget record deals can provide an artist with anything that they want in this world, but sometimes that doesn’t always necessarily result in a cohesive good-sounding product. From recording 75% of my debut album in my bedroom to randomly discovering Clear Lake to track some drums and mix everything for a good price, you wouldn’t believe the amount that I actually spent on “Thoughts Become Things”. I took the time to really figure it all out, and it also helps that I taught myself how to use ProTools in middle school. I absolutely loved producing my own record.

4. How important is the choice studio/engineer when it comes to recording the music that means the most to you?

Choosing the right studio engineer is one of the most important things. Without a doubt. As an artist, it is CRUCIAL to have a say in what you want your finished product to be, as well as how you want your engineers to go about executing that vision. I’m pretty sure Eric Milos at Clear Lake wanted to chuck that grand piano at me over a dozen times for how nitpicky I would get with the final mixes. Then again, all eleven songs were like my babies. I needed them to sound a certain way in the end, and he helped me do that perfectly.

5. How important is image? How has social media played a role in your image and your career? What advice would you give to other independent artists?

This is my favorite question. Image. Image is nothing. Image is everything.

On one hand, the music should absolutely speak for itself and it shouldn’t matter if you shop at Urban Outfitters at the Glendale Galleria or the local smelly Jewish thrift shop on Ventura Blvd. The music should be the only thing that people judge and not the fact that you have over 10k followers on your Instagram & Twitter.

On the other hand, social media has blossomed into such a beautiful outlet for independent artists to reach out to people that they wouldn’t ever normally reach out to. Because of Spotify’s existence and its “Discover Weekly” playlist, people all over the world are spinning my tunes and hearing my stories.

It’s important to focus on what truly matters most here. Yes, it sucks that I’m literally being sent checks of dimes and pennies with how often consumers stream music. Yes, I have a pretty number of followers and a consistent aesthetic throughout my Instagram page, which makes me look “cooler”. But in all honesty, the only reason I love doing all of that is because it allows me to open up conversations. I utilize almost every platform I can to simply be honest with my family of supporters. I give my thoughts on mental health, how difficult it can be to pursue music for a living in 2016, and so much more. It’s a beautiful thing to know that people actually listen and respond to it all. I can’t wait to move forward in this career solely to reach out to a bigger audience and let them know that they’re not alone in this world.

6. How do you go about making connections? What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilize them?

I make connections by street performing and actually talking to those that take the time to watch me and/or tip me. I also love to connect with people through my open mic that I started doing at Crave Cafe over in Studio City. Every Tuesday night, I have committed to getting singers and songwriters the opportunity to perform a couple songs for an audience. It may not be a big room (at all), but it’s something. I can tell it has now become a place where friends can come to and catch up on each others’ lives, as well as support one another when they play and sing. It all really melts my heart! Anyways, I utilize the connections I make by always being available and open-minded for any kind of collaboration. I respond to every Facebook comment, every DM on Instagram/Twitter, every YouTube message, and every e-mail I receive. I think that’s really important.

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Age: 20

Style of Music: Folk/Pop

Short Bio:  “Caitlin Lucia is a California native that uses her talented pop voice and love for the folk genre to create a unique music experience.”

Where are you from: Orange County, CA

What do you do: Singer/Songwriter/Musician

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caitlinluciamusic

Website: http://caitlinlucia.com

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/caitlin-lucia

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/itsscaitlinn

1.    What made you want to be a musician for a living?

Music just comes naturally to me.  I got my first paid gig when I was 15 and I was hooked ever since.  It never is about the money, it’s about the people I meet, experiences I have and every gig I learn more and more about my craft.  It’s like a paid rehearsal.

2.    It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible?

Getting paid gigs to make a living is hard to keep at a consistent rate.   I always try to plan in advance and already have my schedule for the next month.  I think it’s very smart to be consistent with talent buyers and booking agents so that way they don’t forget about you.

3.    As an independent artist, what have you done to successfully create music that competes with major label big budget artists? What would you have done differently? What advice would you give to other independent artists when budgeting funds?

Just write, write, and write.  That’s where it’s at in the music industry.  They not only want an image, but a great musician and songwriter.  Being a musician is an investment because you put a lot of money into your craft.  Such as studio time, merchandise, equipment, etc.…

4.    How important is the choice studio/engineer when it comes to recording the music that means the most to you?

Very important!  I have been recording at Clear Lake since I was 15 years old with Eric Milos.  It’s important to work with a studio/engineer that knows your sound and what you want.  It makes the process go by quicker and smoother (especially when you are on limited time and budget) We work so great together and I always learn something new when I go into the studio.

5.    How important is image? How has social media played a role in your image and your career? What advice would you give to other independent artists?

Having an image and social media is very important.  Social media is how you connect with people all over the world.  It is very beneficial when it comes to the music industry and building a fan base.  My advice is to find a unique style and image to market yourself as an artist and stick with that so people remember you and your style.

6.    How do you go about making connections? What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilize them?

Making connections can be very difficult in the music industry.  I believe you have to be persistent and consistent with talking and emailing people.  You have to be pushy and make sure people don’t forget about you.

*th_RS2_0367

Age: 32

Style of Music: EVERYTHING

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/leahzeger

Short Bio:
I am a singer, violinist, composer/arranger, sideman of many styles, session musician, live performer.

1. What made you want to be a musician for a living?
I had no choice. My parents are a professional violinist and cellist and they started me on violin at 6 years old.

2. It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible?
I’m always working somehow. Even though summers are generally slower, I use that time to write music and try to stay calm 🙂

3. As an independent artist, what have you done to successfully create music that competes with major label big budget artists? What would you have done differently? What advice would you give to other independent artists when budgeting funds?
Man, I just keep my head down and try not to look at what’s going on with the industry. I do my private party/corporate gigs to be able to afford to make art. Frankly, I can’t compete and I don’t care. But 10 years ago, I would have done more to push myself as an independent artist and worry less about making $$. Easier said than done. But that window is short and precious.

4. How important is the choice studio/engineer when it comes to recording the music that means the most to you?
Extremely important. It’s pretty much essential.

5. How important is image? How has social media played a role in your image and your career? What advice would you give to other independent artists?
Videos, videos, videos. I make like 5 music videos a year. No-one wants to listen to a song without some sort of visuals anymore.

6. How do you go about making connections? What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilize them?
I pass out my cards to this day. I pass out my albums. I go out to shows. I went and played at the Baked Potato on a Monday Jam night the night I moved to LA in 2010. In 2015, a man that I met there said he needs me to contract a 10 piece string orchestra for Annie Lennox’ videos and live performances. I was the concertmaster/soloist for the project, and that MD was the MD for Jeff Lynn of ELO… Domino effect.

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Age:
 23

Style of Music:
 Pop

Youtube: http://www.youtube/ohdezflores

Short Bio: My name is Desireé Flores and I am a 23 years old singer, songwriter, model, and aspiring actress from all over the world. I have been singing all of my life but decided to follow my dreams as a recording artist at the age of 19. My music interests and inspirations is a mix of old school sounds and new school.  I recorded my first EP produced by Tommy Brown and wrote with song writers Victoria Monet and Tommy Parker. I recorded a song in my EP “I Want You” featuring Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men. I also competed in Season 14 of American Idol and made it to top 70 (last round of Hollywood Week) out of thousands. My musical influences have been incorporating my Latina culture and old school vibes.

1. What made you want to be a musician for a living?

I love the creativity that goes into making music and the ability to express yourself. It’s hard for me to express myself sometimes, so I put it all in my music. That is what made me want to be a singer/songwriter. It’s an amazing feeling and I have fun doing it.
2. It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible?

It’s always great to have another interest to fall back on, but just because you are out of work musically does not mean you can’t continue to create. I would use that time to push harder, challenge myself musically, and always get myself out there and perform and collaborate with other artists any chance that I get.
3. As an independent artist, what have you done to successfully create music that competes with major label big budget artists? What would you have done differently? What advice would you give to other independent artists when budgeting funds?

I simply got myself out there. Sitting around waiting for doors of opportunity to open will not get anyone anywhere. So I auditioned, got signed to a talent agency, made the decision to compete in a talent competition in LA called “IMTA”, and that’s when my music career began to climb. You have to invest in yourself; nothing in this world is free. Luckily, I had support from my family to help me because they know that music is my passion. Learn an instrument, upload videos frequently on YouTube, perform any open mic events, and always have a savings account for your music.
4. How important is the choice studio/engineer when it comes to recording the music that means the most to you?

Choosing the right studio and engineer is in the top 3 most important choices for me. I have had experiences in the past where I have chosen a random studio and the quality of my project was something I could have done BETTER by myself. You have to do your research and, most importantly, you have to feel comfortable. When I am not comfortable or have doubts, then best best never came out. Which is why I love working with Clear Lake Recordings because of how talented, professional, and all round good people I’ve worked with which makes me feel comfortable and I only have to my 100% focus on my music project.
5. How important is image? How has social media played a role in your image and your career? What advice would you give to other independent artists?

I think image is important…but isn’t at the same time. Your image reflects what people see of you as an artist. Many people will have interest in you just by how you look and carry yourself, others will not. Social media is so important in this day in age ESPECIALLY if you are a musician. You really have to think carefully about what kind of image you want to put out there and why. For example, I have established somewhat of a clean image because I want to inspire the youth in a positive way. Always be true to yourself though.
6. How do you go about making connections? What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilize them?

Making connections really requires reaching out to the right people and also blessings. When you make connections with the right people, opportunities will open. Sometimes though, just you have to start small. Connections can happen by simply reaching out to another artist or producer about working together and it always helps to always be nice and positive. Everyone always love working with positive people and you never know if that person you are working with knows people that they can refer you to help with your career. By keeping in contact with them, you are utilizing your connections and possibly making genuine friendships with them.