Can you talk to us more about your single “Wanna Be Cool”?
Wanna Be Cool was the first song I wrote on the album. I immediately knew that it was a new and different sound for me. I love the vibe and thought it was “so cool”, and best of all it felt honest because I was being true to myself as an artist.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Wanna Be Cool isn’t about a particular event that happened to me, but about watching myself and others make poor decisions because they want to fit in and be accepted. These bad decisions may even jeopardize your life. I think almost everyone has experienced a situation that could have been avoided because they were worried about fitting in, and put their better judgment aside for the desire to be part of the in crowd. The song illustrates getting in a car late at night and speeding to showing off for a friend, because you simply want to be cool.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
I will absolutely be releasing a music video for Wanna Be Cool! I’m very excited about it because I’m finally going to show off some of my dancing! In the past, I was a little shy to dance in music videos because I thought they had to be a certain way. That’s kinda what this song is about too. Not caring about fitting in, and I’m just finally doing what I want with my music career and it feels so amazing. I choreographed the dance with my friend from college, Neal Rodgers, and my best friend Daniel Maldonado directed the video. I’m a dance teacher and all the dancers in the video are my students too! It’s amazing to be surrounded by so many talented people that I love so much. I can’t wait for everyone to see it. It’s my favorite video I have shot to date.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing process was a lot of fun! My producer Zach Loss sent me the track and I was instantly inspired. It was the fastest song I wrote on the album. I ran to my room and started humming melodies and singing lyrics into my iPhone. The whole song was written in an hour and a half! I then demoed it at Zach’s house and that’s when we knew we had to go cut the song. We ended up hitting up one of the best mix engineers in the world named Ken Lewis who’s credits include Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Lana Del Rey, and more to mix the song. We were still looking for a vocal engineer at the time so he told us to go to Cooper Anderson who’s another heavy hitter, but the nicest most humble guy I’ve ever met. Everything came out amazing and I knew these were the guys I wanted to do the album with. Today in pop there’s a lot of jumping around with producers and engineers, but I fell in love with everyone and their style and wanted to work with people that got me as a person and understood the direction of the album.
How has your upbringing influenced you as an artist?
I was grew up in a big family, myself, two brothers, a sister, and my Mom and Dad. We’ve all always lived together and stuck together. I’m super grateful to have a loving family that is so supportive of my dreams and the arts. My brother, Albert, was born with Down Syndrome and later diagnosed with Autism. Albert cannot speak, and has a hard time with everyday things that most of us take for granted. He is my older brother, so I grew up knowing people with different abilities my whole life. I love him with all my heart. I never understood why people would make fun of him. They didn’t even know him. One day, I want to give back and help people with Autism and Down Syndrome as a thank you to my brother. He opened my eyes, and helped me understand how great I have it. Albert has given me an open heart to all people, and it makes all the difference.
Does the new single mean we can expect new material (Album/EP) – how’s that coming along?
I’m very excited to say you can expect my debut Self Titled album in the near future! Musically we are exploring a less produced sound with live guitars, sweeping solos, with an alternative rock indie pop sound. My influences are very eclectic. I idolize Michael Jackson for his live pop sound and Taylor Swift for her story telling ability. I also love rock bands like Joan Jett, The Pretty Reckless, and Halestorm. If you listen, I feel you can hear the influence from these artists. Lyrically this album pulls from personal experiences in my life so I feel very confident about the new direction for my music.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes, I will most definitely be hitting the road! I will have a few spot dates and festivals prior to the release of the album, and then I will be looking to set up a tour for the album. I’m very excited because this will be my first time on the road!