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.