Of your touring and gigs so far in your career, do any stand out as being particularly memorable or defining moments?
It's funny...I was doing shows in the UK last year, and that was incredible. The people are so wonderful, and the fans are so appreciative of the music. But there is something about going home to people who knew you before life got complicated. I grew up in Tulsa,Oklahoma. Last year I was asked to do a concert at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. To go to my home town and be in front of an audience filled with people who I have loved and who have loved me all my life was amazing. Tulsa was the home town of the late, wonderful Wayman Tisdale. We went to the same high school. Also Leon Russell, The GAP Band...Charlie, Ronnie, and Robert Wilson. And Chet Baker was from a small town just outside of Tulsa. So is Garth Brooks! To be a part of that rich musical history is really speacial. That was my favorite show!!
Who would you say has been the single biggest influence in your life in getting you to where you are now in your career?
My family. I'm the youngest of 4 kids. I grew up with parents who encouraged us to live our dream. And both mom and dad did everything they could to help us get there, cheering and supporting the whole way. My dad was a professional musician, a concert promoter, and a manager for country and Contemporary Christian artisits in the 80's. The artisits would pull up in their big tour buses and park them outside of our house. HAHA! I remember being mortified!! But I learned so much about life as a musician. We had a recording studio in our house, and both of my brothers are musicians. They hit the road touring when I was a kid. I grew up in this business.
What would you define as the most life-changing event so far in your musical career?
The day I decided to write my own music was the most life changing event in my career. I've always been a singer. I did session work in Nashville and have been singing jazz/r&b in Houston for almost 20 years. But I was completely dissatisfied with my career. I was so frustrated. I knew I was not put on this earth to sing the thoughts and words of other people. And I knew I owed it to my kids to show them that it IS possible!...that you can live your dream. So, I decided to write, and that's how my song "Legacy" was born. It was all about my 2 boys. And then the songs started coming so fast! I could hardly get them written down before another one would come pouring out of me!
How would you finish this sentence? “I don’t like to go a day without_________?
I don't go like to go a day without thanking God.
Is being one of the few prominent women performers mostly fulfilling, or do you find it to be a challenge?
It does have some challenges...but it's mostly fulfilling. There are certain things about life, and the world, that can only be told through the eyes and heart of a woman...a daughter,a sister, a mother, a wife or girlfriend... only a woman can share that perspective. So to be able to put those things in to words and have other women identify with them is fantastic. It's an a amazing feeling to hear someone say "YES! I feel what you are saying!"
Going back in your life as far as you can remember, what song or performance is the first you recall hearing and being affected by?
When I was in the 5th grade, I guess age 11 or 12, I traveled with my parents and my sister to Europe for the summer. I had always loved the stage. My dad took us to see 'Annie' in London. I flipped out! The girl playing Annie looked to be about my age. I knew at that moment that was what I was going to do...sing on stage for the rest of my life! So, after that, I started grooming for a career on Broadway. I had lots of training and vocal coaching, went to New York and checked out my options. But then I went off to college and started singing jazz...Ella, Sarah, Nancy,...all the greats. I was hooked. Things changed. I wanted a recording career. So I switched gears. But I'm still so in love with the thought of starring in a Broadway show. My life isn't over yet! Who knows????