In kindergarten, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said “rockstar princess” and I haven’t wavered from that decision since.
I came to my mom at six with a song I had written and sternly told her that I was going to be a singer. But after I left, she broke down in tears and wrestled with God. She herself had endured the worst of the music industry, before trading her dream for a high-paying career to provide for our family. But now she had two choices: to push me away from music out of fear or to give me a fighting chance and be the support she never had. She and my father chose the latter.
When I was 14, my father uprooted his 15-year-old, million-dollar small business and took a loss on our forever home in Hot Springs, Arkansas for a 1 bedroom apartment in Southern California so my brother and I could attend Orange County School of Performing Arts. I flourished at OCSA and earned many solo performances and showcases for my original music. At 14 I auditioned for Capitol Records. From there I was sent to an artist development company where I was asked if I had ever thought about doing Christian music.
I wrestled with that question for four years.
No literally, I was up at night crying over this. I had dreams that would wake me out of a dead sleep. I knew if an innocent question was bothering me so much, that God was calling me to do it. And I didn’t want to be a Christian artist.
The only Christian music I had been exposed to was repetitive and vague. I didn’t see Christian music that addressed deep issues people were struggling with; I didn’t hear anything I could relate to. It seemed like there was only Christian music for people who either wanted a feel-good escape from life or had completely surrendered to and could wholeheartedly worship the Lord- and don’t get me wrong, there’s value in that. There's just so many complex places we can find ourselves in on our walk with Jesus, and our posture isn’t always carefree or in a state of surrender. I wanted music that talked about how God responds to tough questions, or how to still choose Him when it seems insane. If I was gonna do Christian music, I wasn’t gonna do it the way pop Christian radio was doing it. And maybe that’s exactly what God wanted.
A week before my senior year of high school, God came to me vividly and told me to surrender my dreams to Him. Surrender the secular songs I’d written for myself and write for Him instead.
My superiors at OCSA stressed the huge mistake I was making, but regardless I left high school and my 4.4 GPA behind to songwrite full-time. By God’s grace, I stumbled upon Phil Allen, a Grammy award-winning producer who was willing to work with me and we started making music. One of many songs that came was God Made You By Hand, a song I wrote for a family friend who took her life. I hadn’t heard a song that addressed God’s response to that, and I knew that’s what her family needed to move on. I soon realized that this was the kind of Christian music people were starving for.
In October 2019 I released God Made You By Hand with no marketing other than social media posts.
In February 2020 I had the honor of singing the song at Mariners Church’s Youth Culture Weekend for 800 high school students.
And then, in April I woke up to a YouTube video of my song that had gone viral. The video topped 500,000 views before the channel that reposted it mysteriously wiped all of its content. I have no connection to the account that posted the video and I have no idea how they found me. I spent hours translating 1000s of comments from around the world on how God Made You By Hand kept people from taking their lives, and how it started playing at a moment someone needed to hear it the most. Then the song went viral on TikTok via an influencer I’ve never met and the same thing happened. I released the song with no promotion and today it has over a million total streams/views. Because the song had been reposted so much, not many people know my name or give me credit for the song. But I know that God has acknowledged my work and that’s good enough for me.
In summer of 2021 I finished my first tour with the Extreme Tour, an organization that takes Christian concerts to poverty and crime-ridden areas around the US. It gave me empathy for a demographic I otherwise would have never encountered and now I write with them in mind. Soon after I started co-writing and have worked with some amazing writers like Rita Springer and Jesse Reeves, and got selected for a Maverick City writing camp.
As I release new music I want to maintain the theme of writing on God’s behalf and for the welfare of those that listen. My story thus far is a big testament of faith and I don’t think God is done.