My generation has grown up with some inspiring and prolific musical poets such as Queen Bey and Yeezy, as well as pop icons that have moved us to work to make our world a better place such as Lady Gaga. And then there are the superstars like Taylor Swift whose heartbreak songs help you cry yourself to sleep at night. But, where did their inspiration come from? Who did they listen to in order to write the music they write? Well I recently learned a little something about “inspiration”. I was chosen as the only kid to perform with the most incredible group of adult singers in Denver. The show was put on by the local rock band, The Guitar Villains. These guys have years of experience playing, singing and performing on stages all over Denver as well as across the country. Oh and did I mention, they’re incredible!
You cannot begin to imagine how intimidated I was at that first rehearsal. These singers have no fear, just pure excitement. They sang Prince, Ozzy, Steve Perry, and Stevie Nicks with so much soul and power that I was in panic mode when I had to stand up and run my song. I had chosen “Me and Bobby McGee”. Janis Joplin was an awkward teenager who used music as an escape. Sadly because of drugs and alcohol, we will never know how far should could have gone, but given her short time on earth she got pretty damn far! Like all the greats she is frozen in time in our memories and in particular this song tells the story of the happy days of her youth. I also decided to only be backed up by the amazing guitarist and musician Jason Kirby, rather than the whole band. Jason was very sweet and recorded himself playing the song and sent it to me so I could practice, so when the time came for us to sing together for the first time, I was somewhat ready. Of course I fumbled around with some of the words but I was really more concentrated on singing and not the 20 pairs of eyes staring at me. But after the song was done and I opened my eyes, there they were. Twenty amazing singers staring at me and one of them even handed me a beer. They clapped and cheered me on. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling I got. I felt so welcomed and all of my fears just vanished.
But the real highlight of the performance night was when the great Hazel Miller came over to talk to me. She gave me the best advice I’d ever received about my music. She told me to never stop what I was doing and to not let anyone tell me otherwise because she’d run them over with her “big ass SUV”. I was absolutely humbled by her kind words.
Getting ready for the show was really fun too. I tried to channel my inner Janis and got my hair done in a cool boho 60s style at Look Salon, and also got the my paisley retro pantsuit at one of my favorite boutiques in Denver, Midnight Rambler. I was also very lucky to have the support of five of my greatest friends. And when I finally took to the stage that night, I once again closed my eyes and asked Janis to help me make her and everyone else proud. I definitely got a little help from Miss Joplin that night because I took home one of the best singer awards! And my grandma was there crying in the audience. The concert was a fundraiser for the Denver Rescue Mission and there were so many people that deserve thanks for doing such incredible work for our community:
Trevor Huster (the Personal Producer Recording Studio)
Adrienne Osborn (my vocal coach and owner of Performance High in Denver)