Have you ever had a dream of something that you wanted to do, that you were almost afraid of coming true? I'd like to think that I am not the only one. LOL However, whether or not I am is irrelevant. I have released my first album! It is a project that I am very proud of.
Since the days of singing into the hairbrush along with my Whitney Houston record, I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I saw that my singing impacted people. It caused them to feel-to smile, even to cry, and that was powerful. I knew that I wanted to experience that again and again. I could hardly wait to get out of high school and get away from my hometown in SC, and into the big city where I was going to become a star. Once there in NY area, it didn't take me long to learn that the big city dreams that I had, didn't come easily. After I met with the fourth consecutive producer, music industry person who told me I had a beautiful voice, but I didn't have "the look" my ego crashed, and I scurried back to SC and went into the work force. The rejection was just too much for me. I was also quite rebellious and felt like if they didn't want to hear my voice because I can sing then, F- umm, forget them! Afterall, excuse me for thinking that being a singer was actually about being able to sing well!
Years later, I resorted to become a wedding singer in my community, singing at dozens of weddings over the years. I worked many jobs that I didn't see myself staying on for any substantial amount of time. Meanwhile, I decided I had better get my education rolling because a minimum wage lifestyle was just not going to work for me long term. Two masters degrees and a mass of student loan debt, I am a certified guidance counselor-which serves my other love, mentoring and counseling youth. I was content at least on my last job as a Behavior Management Specialist. Content until I lost my first hero my Daddy in late 2011, and then Whitney Houston died in early 2012. As I sang along with all the songs in the tributes to her, I found myself singing songs that I had long since forgotten that I even knew! There began a burning within me, that I had to get it done now. I auditioned for "Sunday Best" the following month, and then went to X-Factor in 2013. I enjoyed some success there, getting the vote "YES" from the four celebrity judges and having Kelly Rowland scold me for working in a school with my voice! I had the chance to go to Hollywood and to meet some awesome artists from around the country.
Fast forward to 2015, I registered for a networking event in Savannah Ga, and asked to sing during the event. Weeks later I got a call and was told that yes, I could sing at the mixer, since he had checked me out online and learned that I can actually sing. I arrived there that night to learn that I didn't know a soul in the building, however, there was a room full of people networking and I had something to do. I sang my heart out, and it was very well received. Through relationships that I established that night, I had my very first live show as GwenYvette in July 2015. From there I have been building relationships, and writing my own songs. I released my first single February 2016, and two more later that year, culminating in my album release June 9, 2017. I am blessed to have some really devoted people on my squad, who sing background vocals live and in studio as needed. I am so proud of what we achieved with this project. The producers, support system, have all been a joy and I am eternally grateful to everyone who sowed into this, regardless of whether it was money, time, social media sharing, purchases, attending shows...everything...THANK YOU!