The Real Story of How I Became a Professional, Full-time Musician & Producer - Part 1

Jun 06, 2023
 Listen to the audio version here.



From the moment I arrived on this planet, I was destined to be a musician.

Ever since I could talk, I sang.

I remember harmonizing before I even knew what harmony was.

You could definitely say that music was in my veins. It was clearly a huge part of my blueprint in this life  (and possibly many past lives.)

It’s funny, one of my mom's favorite stories to tell is about when I was about 2 years old. 

I was in my crib, and my mom and aunt were getting ready to go out to the Sunset Strip. 

They were jamming out to Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love."

When the bridge section kicked in (which, if you're not familiar, is a lengthy drum break without vocals for a few minutes), suddenly they heard me belt out at the top of my lungs, "wayyyyyyy down inside, wo-man, youuuuuu neeeeeed" 🎶.

They erupted into hysterical laughter, wondering how a 2-year-old knew precisely when to chime in after a several minute long instrumental break 😂

I have countless stories like that from my entire childhood, where music was ingrained in my very being. For instance, I would listen to the wind chimes sway on our front porch and confidently say things like, "Mom, that's a C!"

One might assume that I always knew music would be my career path, but that couldn't be further from the truth. 

In reality, my great grandmother was incredibly strict about my piano practice and lessons, which eventually sucked the joy out of music for me. After we moved out of her house when I was 8 years old, I took a hiatus from music for quite a few years.

Mom: You want to continue in piano lessons?

Me: Nope! 

However, it only took a couple of years before a guitar fell into my lap, and I was back to playing everyday.

The catch was that I could only play for my mom and my best friend. 

You see, the strict practice routine imposed by my great grandmother had instilled in me a crippling performance anxiety, so I would shake profusely and totally bomb if I tried to sing or play in front of anyone, let alone write my own music. 

Fast forward a few years, and at the age of 15, something unexpected happened. 

I found myself getting kicked out of the house, but before you go thinking “oh you poor thing!” don’t worry! 

It turned out to be a blessing in disguise for both me and my mom. We BOTH needed a fresh start, and it was the best thing that could have happened to me.

That being said, my first priority became getting a “big girl job” so that I could survive. 

The good news was, I turned 16 shortly after, which was the legal working age in California, and I had work experience most 16 year olds didn’t have…

This is because I took specialized classes in high school, like the “Legal Secretary” class and “Typing”, so I could type over 100 words per minute by the time I left high school (I actually tested at a whopping 111 wpm on my test at the end of that class!).

Thankfully, even though I technically dropped out of high school at 15, these skill sets allowed me to dive headfirst into the workforce. 

I began working full-time in various offices, doing all sorts of jobs.

I was the friendly face at the front desk, the data entry ninja, a loan officer, and believe it or not, I even sold cars once I hit the ripe age of 18!

Now, let's not forget my true passion: music. 

Even while working those jobs, I couldn't resist the call of the stage. 

However, I still battled performance anxiety, so I stuck to singing and playing for fun. You'd find me at karaoke bars and open mics, where the flowing drinks would magically ease my nerves (yep, I had a fake ID!).

One day, an announcement came on the radio station I was listening to that said, “Submit your demo for an opportunity to come sing a Christmas song LIVE at the station”. 

I thought, “well that might be fun!”, so I sent in a demo of me singing “Santa Baby”, and wouldn’t ya know, I won! 

I will never forget the day I came into the office where I was working as a loan officer at the time, and told everybody I was going to be on the radio.  People gathered around and we all listened as I nervously sang my heart out for the first time on air.  

One of my co-workers turned to me and said, “if you can do THAT, why are you working HERE?”

And that’s when I realized, maybe I actually
could do this music thing.

So I started pursuing music more actively, joining cover bands, doing more local gigs, and getting out there - despite my massive performance anxiety.

I was now determined to turn music into my only career.

After years of doing cover bands, playing in bars, and even touring with an all-girl tribute to Led Zeppelin (shocker), I realized what I really wanted to do was write my own music.  

The problem was, I was never taught that I
could write music.  

In fact, as a child, I was only allowed to play “the greats” like Mozart, and Bach, and jazz standards.  If I was caught “tinkering” on the piano, I was actually reprimanded, and pointed back to the sheet music on the piano stand.

So how was I going to write songs?

That's when I began seeking guidance.

It's truly remarkable how, when you turn inward and start asking yourself…

"What steps do I need to take to achieve my dreams?" 

The Universe responds, and the answers start to reveal themselves, and the books start to fall off the shelves.

I delved into books like "Writing Better Lyrics" by Pat Pattison and "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. They were like a revelation for me. My mind seemed to burst open with newfound knowledge, creativity and inspiration.

That’s when I came to a powerful realization. 


It didn't matter that songwriting didn't come naturally to me or that I didn’t start young. 

What truly mattered was my willingness to put in the effort and work. 

With this newfound perspective, I embarked on a journey to study the art and craft of songwriting.

During this time, I also discovered an insatiable thirst for learning and personal growth, something I had never experienced before, perhaps because high school failed to ignite my curiosity.

However, as I started studying something that actually excited me, that thirst for knowledge exploded!

I literally became consumed…

Entering into what I like to call "monk mode”, which is where I hyperfocus all of my energy into something I’m passionate about, absorbing every bit of information and insight I can find.

It didn't take long before my songs started capturing the attention of publishers and accomplished songwriters, because I was also diligently pitching my songs and expanding my network.

In Part 2, I'll share the story of how I found myself in Nashville, writing two to three songs a day, collaborating with renowned songwriters, and ultimately discovering my true calling as a producer.

Stay tuned!

Wishing you success and creativity✨