“I was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. My mom, just like her mom did for her and her five siblings, had me and my brother learn piano when I was four and my brother was five. My parents told us when we turned 10 we could choose a different instrument if we wanted to, so I chose guitar, I don’t know… the guitar always kind of spoke to me… I wanted to be a rock ’n’ roller!
I was a shy kid. I wrote songs in my room that I sang to myself. In fifth grade I had this notion to form a band with some neighborhood friends. I was like, ‘Let’s form a band!’ I made everybody get matching outfits because we were, you know, ‘in a band’ but I was the only one who could play an instrument.
I took some lessons from a guitar teacher who was a legit rock ’n’ roll guy. Like, he didn’t teach me music theory—he taught me what I wanted to learn.
Then I got a degree in criminal justice with a concentration in forensics from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, got my masters in criminology at U Mass Lowell and I was headed to a career in the F.B.I.!
But I always had this idea that I wanted to share my songs with other people, because that’s how I would write the songs—to share with other people. I just couldn’t get up the courage to do it.
I started going to open mics and met a songwriter named Jim, a sweet guy. He said he would look at my songs. He’s a pop-country songwriter and said, ‘Why don’t you try writing a song in this style,’ and the song ended up being “Catch the Wind.” I shared it with him and he said, ‘Terrible… this is not at all how you should be writing pop-country.’ I know that now but for whatever reason, it’s not my style.
I had a friend down here who’d always wanted to do something with music, sent her some songs and she said, ‘Let’s make an album!’ So I came down here on a whim and that’s what we did in late 2012; the record came out in 2013.
The band now is Cranston Clements on guitar, David Brouillette on bass and Daniel Perez-Iriondo on drums. We’ve started traveling to Houston quite successfully, we’re going back in November but I still do my Tuesdays at Check Point Charlie’s at 8 p.m. and the second Saturday of the month at Carnaval.
I like New Orleans because it’s just different—when I came here I was like, ‘Oh! This is where I fit in!’”