If you have walked the streets of St. Augustine, you’ve heard live music coming out of one door or another, but not all of them stop you in your tracks. I remember the first time I heard Jolie sing at Pizza Dina, I must have stood there for an hour listening. Her voice draws you in, gets to your heart, and mesmerizes you.
What age did you know that you wanted to sing?
I always secretly liked music, but I was timid growing up so I would sing in my room and wouldn’t tell anyone. I became more serious about it when I was twelve or thirteen years old when I started doing competitions. They were mainly country music competitions, which is not my genre, so I didn’t fit in, but it was for fun for me at the time. The competitions helped to make me more comfortable singing in public but they didn’t help me to discover who I am with music.
Where are you from?
I’m from Jacksonville but went to high school in St. Augustine. I was recommended to the chamber chorus at St. Augustine High School, which has an excellent music program. Singing was a fun thing for me, and I liked blending in with the choir, I didn’t see it as a career choice at the time
When did you tell your parents that this is what you wanted to do?
I told them when I was fourteen. I was in the St. Augustine talent show, and it was the first time I felt I truly loved singing. I ended up working with a producer downtown after that, and that’s about the time I started to become more serious about writing music.
Did you play instruments growing up?
Yes, my mom taught me piano when I was ten years old for about two years. I tried guitar, but I couldn’t get over my fingers hurting so I stuck with piano. I play ukulele too now; it’s much easier.
How was it the first time you sat on the street in front of Pizza Dina?
That was insane; I didn’t notice the people that stopped to listen because they were behind me. All I could see was the reaction on my parent’s faces, and they were freaking out.
It was by chance, I saw a Facebook ad in 2017, they were looking for someone, so I messaged them but never heard back. I figured well I tried. A few weeks later they responded and asked me to come in and sing on that Friday. I did, and they loved me, so they had me come on Saturday too. It’s was a tiny place, so I never expected it to become a thing. When they closed last October, I was worried about finding other gigs, but I was fortunate because other local businesses knew Pizza Dina closed and they reached out to me. One of them was the owner of Casa De Vino, so now I sing there as well as some other places.
Where is your favorite venue to sing?
Colonial Oak is my favorite. They don’t book solo artists, but there is one solo artist that plays there so when he can’t be there, he asks me to fill in for him, and it’s during the day so it’s great because I can still do my night thing.
Tell me about the music you love, and that inspires you?
I would describe my music as pop, but it’s inspired by what I go through in life whether I’m sad or something made me mad. I’ve yet to write a super happy song. I enjoy listening to sad songs and it’s much easier to write a sad song, so it makes sense for me to write those and I feel people relate to them more.
Sort of but I learn more by ear. Most of the time I figure out what key I want my song to be in and I make it up as I go. When I stopped learning piano from my mom, I figured out a more natural way for me to learn the piano. My husband can read music and is super technical about it, so it’s funny when he sees all these sharps and flats in my music and says this is so complicated, but for me it just makes sense.
He plays by ear as well, but was taught to read music and plays the piano well.
Do you sit at the piano together and sing when you’re at home?
We don’t, but we do want to learn some duets together. He has been extremely supportive. I sing while he handles the business side of things and does all the digital promotion.
I saw that you performed at a wedding recently, how was that?
That was a lot of fun. I’ve done a couple of weddings and genuinely love being a part of these special days. I’ll sing during the ceremony and the cocktail hour and then get to hang out for the party. Most of the people who have hired me to sing at their wedding have heard me at Pizza Dina or Casa De Vino.
What kind of music inspires you?
I like songs that tell stories. A few of my favorite artists are Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers, and Brandi Carlisle. When she performed at the Grammy’s, I was like WOW!
I want to release and perform my own music. I’d like to have a fan base big enough to book gigs and have an audience there. I will be releasing an album of my music soon. It will have five or six of my original songs and will be on Spotify and iTunes.
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