I’ve never seen myself or my name so large on anything. Sure makes the downs in those ups and downs of having a career in entertainment worth it for moments like this. If you’re on #vine street in Hollywood, say hi to giant me! I wonder how long it will take until someone spray paints a mustache!!!?!? Check out the video of me seeing it for the first time HERE!!!
Hi. It’s me — brain. I just want to thank you for putting up with my stubbornness. I know that sometimes I try to talk over you, interrupt you, or think of a million practical reasons why I should ignore you because of fear and uncertainty.
The truth is, every time I just let you do your thing and lead us, everything feels right. It works out better than I could have planned or strategized for. You’re truly the one who knows what’s best and my job is really just to help you execute those things. Sometimes I forget that.
Thank you for helping me keep this human on track with what she’s meant to do here, and who she’s really meant to be. I hope you can forgive me for being a jerk — but since you’re a heart, I already know you will.
You’re right. As always.
...this wasn't always the case.
I’ve had moments in life where I just wished I could have been a dude. I feel like a traitor saying this, in fact, I don’t think I ever fully admitted that to myself until right now, but I feel that it needs to be shared.
I remember when I had my first music mentor, a really powerful guy in the music business. I felt so lucky because while I knew a bunch of guys who had a roster of mentors, I didn’t really know any other girls who did at that time. And there I was, for months on end, sitting in a big fancy building in NYC looking out on a million-dollar view, playing my EP for my big-shot mentor, dissecting each song word by word, note by note. We spent hours and days strategizing my career; the meetings he would set up, the events that I would play. I was so used to taking on the hustle by myself, trying to figure out how to negotiate pay rates at 20 years old, working several jobs on the side — then suddenly I had an experienced businessman who wanted to teach me everything he knew because he believed in me.
I was unstoppable to have that kind of experience behind my passion and drive.
Until one day, he started to talk about sex. And how much he liked sex with younger women. And how he liked to hide this from his loving wife because he "couldn’t imagine hurting her."
I remember the feeling of shock and confusion; was I one of the guys? Was he just bro-talking me? Was this how dudes talked to each other in business settings?
I tried to play along at first but the energy didn’t feel “bro-ish.” I felt sick to my stomach carrying the information that he was having multiple affairs, sitting in his office, looking at a framed picture of the strong, beautiful woman who he embraced proudly in the photo. I tried to ignore my entire body shutting down when he slowly began shifting the conversation into more detail, talking about how the women he liked to be with were all musicians. Musicians that he had worked with. He was 35 years older than me. He had spent months working with me, setting up opportunities that depended on his being there to make happen. And now…he was testing me. I may have been young, but my female intuition superpower told me this was off.
What was I supposed to do? I remember turning to one of my female business friends who worked in sales to ask her how I could get him to go back to being my mentor and steer him away from the creepy vibes I’d been getting. She was several years older than me, respected in her career and quickly on the rise in her profession. When I brought this up to her she laughed, rolled her eyes and said: welcome to the world of business as a woman. She told me her tactics for how she got flirty clients to get back to focusing on the deal, sharing her skills — survival skills — that she’d figured out along the way in order to be taken seriously.
I listened to her, perplexed while taking in the information. I took mental notes. I had watched so many of my male entrepreneur friends successful meet with investors for their business ideas, artwork, and never have to deal with this strange negotiation of turning uninvited sexual energy back to business.
My “mentor” and I met up several more times, but each time just felt like a stretch of what he could get away with. Like I was living out some weird power trip fantasy for him no matter what I said, how cold I acted, how I always shut it down. My final straw was when he put his arm around me and told me he liked my dimples. I left the meeting immediately and I never spoke with him again.
Instead of doing anything about it, I just pretended it never happened. I didn’t warn other women about him. I didn’t report his strange behavior. I just let it go. Because I felt like maybe I was crazy, maybe this was just how the music business worked; I was young and confused and I had no idea that this was not only a normal situation that professional women have to deal with at some point, and that many deal with on a day to day basis.
But I’ve learned from that experience, from the many experiences that followed. I’ve learned to stand up for myself immediately, to walk away from people and “opportunities” when they feel off. I’ve now built a network of powerful men who would never dream of power-playing me and strong women who know their worth, and because of that, demand they be taken seriously. It took me a lot of painful situations to get here, but shit, I sure wish someone had told me about this when I was 20. I wish I’d had a strong female mentor that could have guided me along the way. I wish that when I went to guy friends to ask for advice they didn’t downplay it by saying things like: “ I wish I was a chick, I’d be using my boobs to get so many meetings.” I wish…but...
…now I see that it was all perfect because it lead me to where I am now: Now I am devoted to helping empower younger girls and women with the tools they need to be a badass, to be true to themselves, to believe that their work can speak for itself and to know that the right people will get on board with their vision as long as they can trust in themselves enough to walk away from the wrong ones.
I’m proud to be a woman today, because I now feel the immense support and network of us rising together, of the encouragement to speak loudly against disrespectful behavior, the having each other’s back, the men and boys who are as dedicated to equality as we are, and the opportunity to see more and more women take on strong leadership roles every day.
I am so proud to be a woman because I love being able to play some small part in the way our future will view women and girls, and because through the emerging female leaders I see on a daily basis I trust that we are our own mentors and so incredibly powerful, especially when we come together.
This Saturday I will march for women, with women and men, and I march for the chance to unite all of humanity: I will march arm in arm, side to side, stepping forward together into the possibilities of the future. (ORIGINAL FACEBOOK POST LINK HERE)
In the spirit of Mother's Day, this video is dedicated to women and girls everywhere, as well as the men and boys who honor the special women in their lives every day.
So a weird thing happened to me in late November. I posted a story about a little angel named James and it went viral pretty quickly. I hopped on a flight to Nashville and by the time I landed, I had emails from The Today Show, People, and basically every media outlet you can think of, asking me about what happened. (Here's a link to the original post, I'm guessing you'll have to be logged in on Facebook to see it).
There were a few things that surprised me about this post's quick traction across the internet. First of all, it was really cool to see so many women and men come together to discuss catcalling, to talk about ways to stand together for each other regardless of sex or race, and to basically honor this little boy for being brave enough to speak his mind when he felt that what he was seeing was wrong.
My second thought was -- wow -- we really need more positive news stories. Like, REALLY need them. I studied broadcast journalism in college and we were actually trained to write in a way that sucked people in with negativity and sensationalism. That's part of the reason I decided not to pursue a career in journalism; I couldn't stand the thought of spending my early days as a reporter covering murders and political scandals. That's just not where I want to spend my limited amount of days here on Earth, in a place of fear, hopelessness and worry. No thank you.
In the last few months I've started to completely focus on FB pages and people who share stories that make me feel good while raising awareness about issues and current events. Like anyone else, wherever I look - that's where I go. So if I'm constantly feeding my brain with pain and "what's wrong" then I'll stay in that place for hours, sometimes even days.
I'm grateful for this experience because of all of the new people who have come into my life, for more inspiration then I could ever imagine, and for the possibility to create change together, no matter how small, that might help someone else feel a little bit brighter, lighter, and actually produce results that will be felt on both a small and large scale. Let's continue building an Army of Love because honestly, being loving isn't a passive thing, it requires action and training, and is sometimes more difficult than just looking the other way. But it's worth it. So so worth it.
“New York feels like it’s all about ‘making it,’ ” said Julia Price, a musician and former Manhattanite who is in her 20s. “L.A. feels like it’s all about making things.” I really loved talking about the differences between being a full time artist in LA vs. NYC. Check out the article here and please share your thoughts below or on twitter! xx JP
I've already bought tons of fuzzy Christmas socks because, well, it just felt like the right thing to do. Let's get right to the list; not the naughty and nice kind of list, but just a list of what I've got coming up and what I've been up to the last few months!
1. I covered the Spice Girls' "Wannabe." It was one of the best days of my life...considering I was OBSESSED with the Spice Girls back in the day. It was a ONE-SHOT deal and I got to dance with four of my homegirls.
2. I finally got to rap over piano. It's been awhile. My mad skills were rusty.
3. I'm back in the writing room. Well, rooms really. I'm writing with incredibly talented peeps in LA and spending a lot of time back in front of the piano alone. I've been journaling more and more, pulling lyrics and ideas from there and turning it into music that moves me. I've been having a lot of fun with the covers but ultimately, I'd love to focus my efforts on the originals again.
4. I'm performing with a bunch of incredibly talented musicians at the annual Holiday What's Trending Tubeathon in LA on Dec 11th. You can watch it live! Click here to learn more.
5. So many exciting projects coming up that I can't talk about yet because I had to sign stuff and that's really hard for me because I want to tell you everything and I'm bad at secrets and I have to leave now or I'm going to blow it.
LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A FUN LITTLE PRESENT FROM ME TO YOU!
Thanks for hanging out with me so much. You're the best.
My city, my home. New York City is my heart, my reminder of every push forward, every chance I took to to turn a NO into a yes...to make the impossible...possible. I moved to Manhattan when I was 20, $800 to my name. My first apartment was some craigslist girl's living room for $725/month. Thank god she didn't ask me for a security deposit. I think we paralyze ourselves in thinking we need to have everything figured out first. Sometimes you just have to take action then hustle hard after. Moving to the Big Apple without stopping to think, "how the F is this going to work?" was the best decision I've ever made. It was the beginning.
I spent most of August back in NYC reconnecting with my inner hustler. Millions of footsteps pounded the pavement around me every day, steps that sounded like excited heartbeats, keeping me in time with the realization that I'm now making my living doing what I love; performing and creating. Let this be an example to you to trust that you can do anything you want to. Anything.
One of the perks of being an artist is that I get to collaborate with some extraordinary musicians. These "collabs" as we call them in the industry (one of my ex-boyfriends would chuckle every time I told him I was "collab-ing" with someone), wait where was I? Oh right - collabs - collabs are basically productive creative playdates for adults. But not all collabs are the best time ever. You can have one artist whose energy overpowers the other, or sometimes you have an artist who is too passive to contribute their own ideas.
But then, ahhh, there are the collabs where everything just works and you are all like, "OH EM EFFING GEE I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, I LOVE MUSIC SO MUCH, I WANT TO MOVE INTO YOUR LIVING ROOM AND JUST MAKE MUSIC WITH YOU EVERY SECOND OF MY LIFE!" I mean, you know, not to be dramatic or anything, just normal reactions like that.
So, that's what happened when I got together with Portugal's golden girl, the effortlessly beautiful Ana Free, who recently toured as Shakira's opener and has a super cool tongue ring. We just clicked as artists, as girls who have had their share fair of music industry induced heartache, who laugh like little kids together, and who really can't go more than an hour without some sort of snack.
Here's what we came up with; a cover of Sia's "Chandelier," written about her struggles with addiction. I've witnessed close friends and family battle their own addictions, and of course, have my own weaknesses and downfalls that I continually work on and work through. Maybe music itself is my addiction, for it is the one thing that I consistently put before anything else. Hmmm. Pondering that one for a moment.
Whatever your addiction is, I've got your back.
As for the people who you collab with on a day-to-day basis, keep the good ones close, and collab often. Check out Ana's YouTube channel as well (we also shot a cover on her page), and special shout out to T-South aka Taryn Southern and my other collab homies for also keepin' it real on the regs.
Vine. A six second app that has revolutionized social media yet again. It's an interesting platform for straight-to-the-point artistic expression, comedy, and music covers. While it has been an incredible tool to connect with fans, there isn't much room in those six seconds to hit the core emotions that a full song can hit. So, I decided to merge all of my worlds, gather up my favorite Viners, and group together a series of Vine videos into one full-length cover of Pharrell's 'Happy.' Cody Johns and I collaborated on the vocals and shot the entire video completely using Vine.
Because the song is about happiness, I am donating all profits from the song sales on iTunes to an incredible charity, Operation Smile, that provides free surgery for children with cleft palates and other facial deformities, so that they can show happiness the way we all do, with a smile.
Check out the video to see the lovely group of Viners who came together with Cody and I to make this possible.