Making Stardom Dreams More Realistic

When it comes to choosing a career, we’re almost stuck for choice. There’s a lot we can do with our lives, and we never have to stick to the same thing for years to come. So if you’re the kind of person who likes to sing into a hairbrush, or you’re already at the top of your drama club, let those ambitions come to fruition by chasing after your dreams. They don’t have to be unreachable when you’ve got a few ideas on your side. Here’s a few for you check out in the journey to the stardom everybody’s wanted at some point in their lives!

Start a Youtube Channel

Youtube is an incredibly accessible platform to be on, and there’s all kinds of people with all kinds of content to look up to and be inspired by here. When you’re on a video streaming site, you can be extremely flexible with what you post, as video has always been an exciting and versatile medium to live off of.

Post covers of yourself singing popular songs, or upload your speed painting tutorials here for the world to see. Build up an extensive catalog of things to watch to keep people interested, and try to post daily if you can. This can be quite tiring, so there’s no harm in not being able to achieve that straight away, but it’s the best way to keep people coming back and to build up your channel in the way you deserve.

Yes, youtube has recently changed its terms and conditions regarding adsense, and thus it’s going to be a little harder to make some money when you first start, but don’t let yourself be in it for that alone!

Find Some Resources

There’s a lot to see when you’re online, and there’s no better place for finding resources eligible to you. If you have plans to become popular in the ever changing world of the entertainment industry, as mentioned above, start with its newest medium for a springboard into fame.

For example, if you’re looking to make it in the entertainment industry, check out an online acting coach. This is a much more approachable way of learning how the big wigs do it, as you’re following the lessons through a screen and in your own time.

Use Social Media

Mostly everybody has a social media account nowadays, and when you’re using it for your career ambitions, you’re going to be easy to find and lot easier to support. Any fans you accumulate can contact you here, and anybody looking to hire you or commission you has a straight shot into your inbox.

Make sure you’re public with your desires on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, as these are the best places to mingle with like minded people and find advice for your dreams.

Stardom isn’t something that’s right for everyone, and you should always play around with your ambitions to see what actually fits you. Be in front of a camera confidently!

Chit Chatting with Singer Annamaria


Written by Jill Sheets

This 17-year-old break out singer and songwriter, Annamaria, has a career that is off to a great start. The New York native has just released her new song “Affection,” which can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. Keep reading and learn about her new song, where are some of the places she would like to visit, and what five things you may not know about her.


R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the music industry.

A: The way I got into the music industry is actually really funny and coincidental. Last year, I had my “sweet sixteen” party at my manager’s, John Casale’s, catering place. My dad showed him one of my YouTube videos that I made when I was younger, and he fell in love with my voice. He showed Richie Cannata, a recording studio owner next-door in Glen Cove, and that’s really where I first started. Once I realized that the music that I’ve been writing for so long on paper could actually come to life, I couldn’t stop writing and recording. It turned into my favorite thing to do.


R: Tell us about your new song “Affection.” How did you come up with the idea for the song?

A: “Affection” is a song that I wrote under pressure and very quickly. It was my first time at Water Music studios in New Jersey. Mike, one of the owners of the studio, asked me to choose a track that I liked, so I did. After that, he told me to write to it and I was alone in the studio with the track on a loop.  I was very nervous, and already sweating because it was so warm in the studio! Thankfully, the lyrics came straight to me with no hesitation and after about 14-20 minutes I wrote to the whole track. I really love this song, and it will always have a special place in my heart because it reminds me of what I’m blessed to be able to do.


R: Tell us about some of your other songs. What is your normal writing process? 

A: All of my songs that I’ve written have been created in different ways. There’s no strict way that I write and create a song, and usually I never sit down and write a song directly. The tune or lyrics either come to me by an inspiration, or I start playing around with the piano and I come up with something. Also, this year I have been introduced to writing lyrics to tracks that have already been made, which is how “Affection” was created. I love all the ways to write music, and I aspire to be good at all of them and not limit myself. Although I do love making tracks after I write the lyrics, I also love writing lyrics to already made tracks. When I first started writing, I started with the words and helped make a track after. A lot of my songs have all different tones to them, so they are all able to be heard and understood by all different types of listeners.


R: How many songs have you written?

A: The first song that I wrote and recorded was called “Right Off My Feet.” I wrote the lyrics and Eren Cannata wrote the music in the track. The song hasn’t been released yet, but it is going to be released in the near future! In total, I think I have written about 20-30 songs so far. The reason for this is because, lately, I have been getting an entire song written in my mind. When I was younger, I used to get bits and pieces of different songs. Now, I’ve even been dreaming of songs in my head and when I wake up I write the entire song down. Writing music and coming up with melodies are two things that are probably one of the most enjoyable things to do.


R: I read that your favorite artists as Tori Kelly, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Demi Lovato, and Christina Aguilera. What are your top five favorite songs of theirs?

A: My favorite song by Tori Kelly is “All in My Head.” “My Love is Like a Star” or “Catch Me” by Demi Lovato, “Sing for Me” by Christina Aguilera, and “Ben” by Michael Jackson. I don’t have a single favorite song by Justin Bieber, but some songs I really love are “Common Denominator,” “Up,” “Life is Worth Living,” “Down to Earth,” and “Die in Your Arms.”


R: Where can people get your music?

A: My music is sold almost everywhere on digital stores. This includes iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and more.


R: You are from New York City. What are your favorite things you like about New York?

A: My favorite thing about New York is that I can get almost anything and do anything in one city. My other favorite thing about New York is that there so many cultures in such a small area, which means I can also get all different types of food and different ideas in a small area.


R: Where are five places would you like to go on tour to?

A: If I were ever lucky enough to go on tour, I think my top five places would be Melbourne, Tokyo, Barcelona, anywhere in South Africa, anywhere in Brazil, and Indonesia.


R: Who has been your biggest influence and why?

A: My biggest influence in my life has been my parents because they both did not come from much when they were younger, but both worked so hard and became very successful. It’s a blessing that I have such hard working role models in my life. My biggest influence in the music industry has been Justin Bieber because he also came from a small town, but proved the impossible by becoming the Prince of Pop.


R: What is your favorite song you like to belt out in your room?

A: I love to sing “Speechless” by Lady Gaga in my room.


R: What are five things people may not know about you?


  1. I’m a 1st generation Greek-American.
  2. I visit my friends and family in Corfu, Greece for the whole summer, every year.
  3. I have an older brother and an older sister.
  4. I started to play piano on my own at a young age and listened to instrumental tracks of songs to understand the keys and sounds better.
  5. I used to play guitar, now I enjoy playing the ukulele more.


R: Do you have any charities that are close to your heart? If so you would like to talk about them?

A: One of my favorite charities is the ASPCA charity and the Make-A-Wish foundation. Since both my parents are pharmacists at their store New London Pharmacy in New York, for years they have always worked with these two charities. I’ve seen the work they have done with them and I want to continue that because these charities are so significant.


R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

A: The strangest question I’ve ever been asked is “Who do you want to be like?” This implies that as an artist, I should want to be just like someone that’s already been.

The reason I find this question so strange is because my answer to that every time is that I don’t want to be like anyone that has already been. I would much prefer to be my own person with my own creative ideas and talents. Although I am inspired by many different artists in the industry, I for sure don’t want to be exactly any person specifically and do everything that they did. I want to be my own artist that maybe someday other people are inspired by and look up to.


R: Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which ones and what are their addresses?  Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?


Twitter – @annamariasmusic

Business – @annamariasmusic

Personal – @annamariaaofficial

YouTube: Annamaria Music

Facebook: @annamariasmusic


R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

A: To my fans, thank you for your support! I’m so blessed and happy you’re here with me.


Photo credit: Annamaria Music


Surviving Your First Music Festival

There are some pretty awesome music festivals that run in the US throughout the year. Such as Joyfest in Charlotte North Carolina, and Spirit West Coast in Concord, California. You may even be lucky enough to have a festival running close to where you live. However, if you haven’t been to one before, you’ll be in for lots of fun, but also possibly a shock as well, as that festival life is pretty different to what you are used to. To help you prepare for this check out our guide to surviving your first festival below.

Finding your festival

Before you can go enjoy your first music festival, you need to decide which one you will be attending. Happily, there are plenty of websites dedicated to specific genres of music festivals that list the dates and locations, as well as how to get tickets. is particularly useful for Christian music festivals that are happening in the US in 2018.

Getting your tickets

The next job to complete is getting your tickets. If you are organized and get them booked early, you can typically buy them straight from the folks that are running the festival. Something that is useful because then you know they are genuine and there will be no problems.

However, if you decide which festive to go to later on, you may have to resort to buying pre-sold tickets from people that can’t attend. Sadly, the major issue with this is that not all ticket sellers are genuine. In fact, many of them are touts, and that means you can be paying for fake tickets! Something that can be disastrous, especially if you don’t find out until you have traveled all the way to the location, only to be denied entry at the gates!

To avoid this, you can use sites like TicketOffices that genuinely resell gig and festival tickets, and offer a 100% guarantee that they are real. Be sure to skip buying tickets and passes from unverified sources like Craigslist and eBay as well, even if they seem like a really good deal. Otherwise, you could end up paying out but not receiving your ticket at all.

Sorting transport to the festival site

Once you have a genuine ticket in the bag, it’s time to plan on how you will get to the festival site. Most folks choose to drive, although if its a long way it’s best to go in a group and share the driving, so you don’t get too tired.

It’s also possible to use public transport such as buses or trains. You may even find that certain festivals offer bus service from key points at train stations and in neighboring cities to get you to the festival site with the minimum of fuss.

What you need to pack

The contents of your backpack are a vital tool in surviving your first festival.

Packing for a festival is one of the most important ways that you will ensure that your not only survive but have a great time as well. You’ll need the standard basics like clothes, toiletries, camping gear and a power bank for your phone, but it can also help to put together an emergency festival kit as well.

This should include spare toilet paper, tissues, and baby wipes for cleaning up. A poncho and some trash bags are also useful in case it rains, and things get really muddy. Sunscreen and painkillers are pretty essential too and don’t forget that having some spare bottles of water and cereal bars as well. Just in case you can access a food stand for any reason.

What to do if anything goes wrong

It is also very useful both for you and the peace of mind of your parents, to have a plan of action in case anything goes wrong while you are there. This should include agreeing on a meeting point with your family or friends for if you get lost or separated.

It’s also a smart idea to talk through what you will do if you suffer an injury, feel unwell, or unsafe at any point. Then you will know what to do in any emergency.

Enjoying yourself

Above all though, the point of a festival is to have fun and enjoy yourself. That is why it is crucial to do all the planning and prep well beforehand. Then when you get to the site, and the acts start to come on stage, you will have nothing else to worry about apart from having the best time ever.

Meet Country Singer Ruthie Collins

Hi there! My name is Ruthie and I’m from a little town called Fredoina, New York. It’s very rural and about an hour from Buffalo. I love country music, I’m crazy about dogs, and I love all things vintage!


R: When did you get into singing and what made you realize you wanted to be a country singer?

RC: I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. I fell in love with music very young, had my first solo in church when I was three, and then I was hooked! I also started playing piano and violin that year. I started listening to country radio in middle school and picked up the guitar in high school. Country music became my everything. The lyrics, the story telling, I loved it all. But it wasn’t until after college when I decided to move to Nashville, Tennessee that I started to believe that maybe a girl from western New York could actually have a shot as a country singer in Nashville!


R: Talk about some of your music. What’s your favorite single? Do you have an album? Where can people get your music?

RC: I just released my VERY first full length album on Curb Records called Get Drunk and Cry. I wrote all the songs, so it’s so hard to pick a favorite.  If I had to, I’d probably say a song called “Me and Emmylou.” It’s a song about a girl taking a risk and moving away from home to follow her dreams. She has no idea what she’s doing, but knows she’ll be ok as long as she has her tribe with her. In my case, that’s a little 10 pound Chihuahua named Emmylou!

You can find my music everywhere! iTunes, Spotify, Apple music, all the places!


R: Not only do you sing, but you have a DIY channel on YouTube. What’s the story behind that? What kind of things do you make? What’s your favorite?

RC: I’ve always loved crafting, interior design and everything vintage! My mother and grandparents always had a project going at all times, so DIY is definitely in my blood! I love building things and doing projects around the house, and also helping people create a beautiful and inspiring place! My favorite style is farmhouse chic. It’s cozy, comfortable, rustic, and country. I make all sorts of things, from jewelry to closet doors. You can also watch my show Home.Made Saturday mornings on A&E!


R: What is an easy project that a girl can make at home?

RC: A cute easy DIY project that any girl can make is this adorable lace watch. I love it so much I made it in three colors!


R: Where can we find you on social media?

RC: I’m on all the social media sites but my favorite is Instagram. My handle is @ruthiecollinsmusic.


R: Do you have anything else you’d like to add?

RC: Don’t forget to check out my debut album on Spotify here:



Written by Anna Tallarico


Chit Chatting with Singer-Songwriter Bree Taylor


Written by Jill Sheets

Canadian singer Bree Taylor has been writing songs since she was young. She says it has helped her get through hard times by writing songs about what she has gone through, or even what her loved ones go through. Keep reading and learn more about her, her music, her favorite karaoke songs, and find out what RiseUp TV is all about.


R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in the music business.

B: I’m a singer-songwriter and actress from Toronto, Ontario. I’ve been writing songs since I was a little kid and have always had a love for music. Music has gotten me through some of the toughest times in my life – having been bullied all throughout my school years, music and writing are what helped me cope. My parents enrolled me in piano and voice lessons when I was a kid, and I participated in choirs all throughout grade school. I put my music ambitions on hold while pursuing my degree in University and after I graduated, I started pursuing my dream of performing and recording music. This is what I have been doing the past couple years and I’m really fortunate to have come as far as I have.


R: Tell us about your single “What You’re Looking For.”

B: Well, like all my songs, this song is based off a specific experience in my life that inspired me. I write from the heart, and I like my lyrics to reflect honest emotions. However, this song has become about so much more than the experience that inspired it initially. It is about how so many guys nowadays don’t know what they want when it comes to a relationship or dating, and end up wasting a great girl’s time playing games. With all the dating apps now, guys find it so easy to meet girls and are so often looking for something casual, with a fear of commitment. They’ve gotten lazy when it comes to romance, pursuing a woman, letting a relationship develop naturally over time, and getting to know someone.

This song is about having the self respect to walk away from a situation or person that does not fulfil you or give you what you want. We all deserve to feel loved and wanted and to be someone’s number one, and that’s what I want people to take away from the song.


R: Tell us about some of your other songs.

B: I have released two other singles before this current one. My first single, “Broken Dreams,” came out in September 2016 and is about a breakup I went through that felt like the rug was pulled out from underneath my feet. It’s about when you spend time with someone, get to know them, start falling in love, and they just bail and leave and end things with no explanation. My second single that came out in February 2017 is called “Perfect,” and it is about the pressures we put on ourselves and feel growing up to be perfect. It’s about how we never feel good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough – just never enough. Regardless of that, the message of the song is that imperfections are beautiful and to love yourself first no matter what. At the end of the day we are all strong, resilient, beautiful women and are our own versions of perfect.


R: Do you have any upcoming tours?

B: Yes! I will be part of the RiseUp TV tour in May 2018. We are touring across Canada starting in Vancouver, BC and ending in Montreal, QC. There are lots of shows booked over the span of two weeks and it is all being filmed for RiseUp TV, airing in Fall 2018. We are also in the process of booking more of my own shows for next spring and summer, so updates will be up on my website as they get added.


R: Not only do you sing, but you write your own music. What is your writing process?  

B: Yes! I love songwriting – it is such a therapeutic process for me. I usually write about a topic that is close to my heart, which is why my music is so personal. I get inspired by things that I or my friends and family go through – mainly my life experiences and interactions. There really isn’t one way that I approach songwriting, to be honest. I typically start with an idea or concept of some sort – what I want the song to be about – and then go from there. I also love to collaborate with other talented writers, which is such a great experience; it brings another element and voice to the song and helps it in a cool direction.


R: Where can people get your music?

B: My music is available everywhere – Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Soundcloud, YouTube, etc. Wherever you love to stream or download your music, you can find me! Links to everything can be found on my website


R: Tell us about RiseUp TV.

B: RiseUp TV, as I briefly mentioned earlier, is a TV show following artists and bands behind the scenes as we tour and perform across Canada. You get to see what goes on during the tour, our performances and how we prepare, what it’s like touring with other artists, and all the behind the scenes stuff along the way. It is going to be extremely exciting and fun to be around so many talented musicians, performing and connecting with fans.


R: Who are some of your favorite singers?

B: I love so many artists! I grew up listening to various genres of music. Both my parents were big music fans, so I listened to all of their albums. Some artists I love are Elton John, Stevie Nicks, The Eagles, Blink-182,  Sum41, Amanda Marshall, Shania Twain, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Halsey, Kelly Clarkson, Dixie Chicks, Miley Cyrus, Michelle Branch, Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett…seriously, the list goes on!


R: If you could travel back in time, where would you go, what area and why?

B: That is such a tough question – there are so many possibilities! I am a bit of an old soul, so I would probably want to go back to the late 50s or early 60s to the golden age of Hollywood. Considering my love of music and film, it would be so incredible to go back to the time when it all started growing into the culture it has become and when some of the best music and films were created. I would love to grow up in that era and get to experience the 70s and 80s – some of my favorite musicians and movies were from those time periods.


R: What are your top five karaoke songs that you like to sing?

B: “Man! I feel like a Woman” – I love singing anything Shania Twain, but this is a classic.

“Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus – it’s one of my all time favorite songs.

“Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey – one of those songs that you just can’t help but sing along to.

“I Love Rock N Roll” by Joan Jett – one of my long time favs to sing since I was a kid

“Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood – I love all her music, and this song is so much fun!

R: I read that you are a social media/ PR guru. How did that get started?

B: Well thank you – I try! I was obsessed with social media at a young age; the digital world always fascinated me. Whenever something new like Twitter came out I would be on it – I remember the day Twitter first became a thing, no one in my school even knew what it was. I also went to University for Media Studies and I specialized in Public Relations, so we learned a lot about marketing and social media and its benefits in the media world. I chose my program because as a singer-songwriter, I wanted to take something that would give me knowledge and skills that would benefit me in this career (knowing I would be pursuing music once I graduated). I also got my first job out of school as a social media manager, so that helped as well.


R: It is not easy being a teenager these days. What advice would you give them?

B: I completely agree. It wasn’t easy for me growing up either, so I can definitely relate. I would tell them to be themselves no matter what – to not be afraid to shine, or to be different, and to not let someone else’s opinion of them define them or make them want to change who they are. Love whatever and whomever they want to love, embrace whatever makes them unique or different, and love themselves no matter what. Know that whatever they are going through, especially the bad, they are strong and they will get through it. Keep a positive outlook no matter how hard it may be and always try to see a silver lining in any situation.


R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

B: I don’t get asked very many strange questions actually. If I really think about it – I guess the strangest question I have ever been asked is probably “are you aware that you look like Katy Perry?” I get that ALL the time. People are always asking me if I know that I look like her or saying that I look like her, which is a HUGE compliment because she is gorgeous, but it gets super awkward sometimes, especially when I hear it a lot.


R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

B: Yes! My official website is and I am on all social media sites!





Snapchat: @BreeTaylor4


R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

B: I want to say THANK YOU! Thank you for loving and supporting me and my music, especially this new single. I really pour my heart and soul into my music and to know that people are enjoying it and connecting with the song really means a lot to me and makes me feel like I am doing my job. I can’t wait to see you all at a show or event in the future!


R: Bree, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

B: Thank you so much! It’s been great talking with you as well – I am so grateful to be here.


Picture credit: Bree Taylor


Chit Chatting with Singer Alabama Luella Barker


Written by Jill Sheets

Up and coming singer Alabama Luella Barker is REALLY talented. You may know her as the daughter of Blink-182’s Travis Barker, but when you are listening to her new song “Our House” you will be able to tell that she is going to have an amazing career and make a name for herself. Read on and learn more about her, her music, who she would like to work with, and who her biggest influence is. Also, don’t forget to check out her video below for “Our House” after you are done reading this interview.


R: Tell us about yourself and how you got your start singing.

A: I always used to dance and sing when I was younger, and that hasn’t changed. It’s fun!


R: Tell us about your song “Our House.”

A: I worked on it with Rachel West, my dad Travis Barker, and John Feldmann. It’s really fun and chill, and just about having fun with your friends.


R: Where can people get your music?

A: Everywhere! iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud…wherever you get your music.


R: What is your favorite song to belt out in your room or in the car?

A: Currently, it’s “Hold On” by Janine.


R: If you could work with anyone who would they be?

A: Oooh. Definitely Beyoncé or Rihanna.


R: I read that you were credited for writing “She’s Out of Her Mind” by Blink-182. Is that true?

A: That wasn’t really supposed to happen. I just went in there and started playing, and they were recording me. Then my dad told me that they were going to put it on the album. It was so cool.


R: Who has been your biggest influence and why?

A: Getting to see my dad perform and tour has been a big influence.


R: What are your future goals?

A: I want to keep working on music and fashion! I can’t wait to get started on my next single.


R: What do you do in your spare time?

A: I love doing makeup. It’s so fun.


R: tell us about your pet pig!

A: I used to have a pet pig named Chad, but he got too big so he lives with my aunt now. He’s so cute, and I still see him a lot!


R: It is not easy growing up these days. What advice would you give teen girls today?

A: To just do your own thing and not worry about what other people think.


R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their handles? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

A:  Yes! I’m on Instagram at @alabamaluellabarker and I have a YouTube channel too where you can check out the music video.


R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

A: Thank you to everyone who supports me and my music.


“Our House”


Good Reasons To Use Your Musical Talent

If you’re a student, or a new young adult trying to find your feet, you’re probably a little confused on what you’re up to and where you should go with a career. It might not make you the most money ever, but look back into those musical dreams you used to have! It’ll make you feel good and you can impress plenty of people at parties. Yet, it seems everyone is into music nowadays, or has a singing gig on the side, and maybe you’re finding that a little boring. However there’s good reasons for this! Let yourself be creative and create what you want; here’s why you should!

Because it Can Make You Good Money

Think of your childhood dreams and how great it would be to actually be able to follow in them. Dreams of standing on a stage, playing your guitar at local gigs, and signing autographs after the end. However, maybe you gave up on that when you hit puberty and decided school was the only way forward.

Okay so maybe you weren’t a superstar back then, crooning in music class and being told to quieten down by your parents, but you’re older now and that means your voice and creative drive has changed with your age. Look into your musical ability again; maybe even take some lessons if you have the money or your parents decide it’ll be good for you too, if you’re still under their roof!

Because of How Hopeful it Can Be

Music has been around for thousands of years because people love it for similar reasons. Music stimulates the brain and releases endorphins for us to enjoy ourselves with, and we get happier when we put the headphones on. We could all do with cheering up from time to time, and the world needs a little more sprinkling of happiness in it.

Hearing someone sing is something that can truly uplift the spirits. Similarly, when you’re working hard on cultivating your talent, whether it started from singing into a hairbrush or just picking up a keyboard from the charity shop, there’s so much you can do with it. Just take a look at the case of Coran Capshaw, a music producer who was recently honored with these reasons in mind.

Because it Can Make You Feel Better

This is probably the best reason as to why you should starting creating and playing your own music. We’ve touched on this above, but that’s just the shallow end of it! You can raise your self esteem, memory, and empathy levels incredibly via a few tunes you penned yourself.

Self worth is a cycle of improvement. If you managed to make a whole tune by yourself, or a little jingle you and a friend made together, you’re probably going to feel good about yourself. Do it again and again and again, and you’re going to feel even better!

It’s all for a good cause. Make music and make yourself and others happy with it!

Chit Chatting With Singing Duo Wild Fire


Written by Jill Sheets

I first found out about the singing group Wild Fire from my Instragram account, and decided that I would check out their music.  I am glad that I did.  These amazing sisters have been singing sense they there young and they have not stopped. Continue to read on about these talented sisters, about their music and their favorite theater acting roles.


R: How did you two get into singing?

Kelli: I started singing and taking professional voice lessons at age five, and Kayla at age six.


R: Tell us about your EP “Wild Fire.”

Kayla: Our “Wild Fire” EP is our debut record that was released in March of 2017. We wrote all of the songs on it ourselves, along with a couple other cowriters. The title track “Wild Fire” is a song about our arrival on the music scene. It is a hard-hitting, high-energy country rock song. Our song “Southern Summer” was inspired from our love of the Texas Gulf Coast. Our song “Social Media Lovesick” is a humorous song about relationships in the modern age with social media, texting and instant communication. Our most popular track is “Believe,” which is an inspirational song of hope. We wrote this song as a means to encourage others to pursue their dreams and never give up.  This has been our most popular song by far.  It has been featured on two TV shows, FM and AM radio and internet radio. We had a great time writing and recording our “Wild Fire” EP.  It took us about six months to complete it from start to finish.


R: I heard that you are recording tracks for a new album. Is that true? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it and do you have a release date?

Kelli: Yes, that’s true. We are currently working on a seven-song album. We started on it as soon as we finished our first EP. Five songs have been completed with two remaining. We think our fans will really love this album. The first single, titled “One,” will be released in early November. Let’s just say if you loved “Believe,” you will love “One.” For our fans who want to be the first to download “One,” they will be able to find it at We do not have an official title for the new album yet, but will soon. Just like our first EP, you will hear elements of country, country rock and pop infused in the tracks. We are also heavy on the harmonies, of course. As far as a release date, we are targeting January 2018.


R: Not only do you sing, but you write your own music. What is your writing process and how do you come up with the ideas?

Kayla: We have different approaches. Sometimes it starts with a chord progression we come up with on the guitar, and then we begin writing lyrics. Other times, we like to write without an instrument. We hear the song in our heads, record it into our phones, and go from there. There are also times that we will overhear a conversation and that sparks an idea. Then we quickly write it down or record it. So we use various methods, but our main instrument we write on is guitar. We draw our ideas from our life experiences as much as possible. We feel it is important to be as open and honest as possible with our art. When you hear our songs, you will know that you have peeled the layer back and learned even more about us.


R: Where can people get your music?

Kelli: You can find us at all the usual distribution channels such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, and so forth. We encourage our fans to purchase directly from our the music page on our website, which is:

If you want to connect on social media, our website etc., here are some links:



Google Play:


SnapChat:  wildfiresings  wildfiresings


R: What are some of your favorite songs to belt out in the car or your room?

Kayla: Anything by Sam Hunt, such as “House Party” or “Cop Car.”

Kelli: I would have to say right now it would be Carly Pearce’s “Every Little Thing.” Yeah, that’s my current jam.


R: Tell our readers about Upbeat Kidz Rock.

WF: Upbeat Kidz Rock is a TV show that features young artists under the age of 17 that write, record, and perform their own original music. We were selected for the show in 2016 and filmed our episode in Cleveland, Ohio. The show featured two music videos from our first EP: “Believe” and “Social Media Lovesick.” The show also featured some short interviews of us and our parents. We had a blast on the set, and the people were just awesome to work with. Our episode aired this summer in seven states and Canada. We recently were cast in another TV show called Houston’s Own Country. It is a local access show here in Houston, Texas, that also airs on cable TV. We filmed five music videos which will soon be aired on TV. We will also post these to our YouTube channel once the editing has been completed.


R: I read that you have performed in many theater productions. Is that something you would like to do in the future?

Kayla: Yes, we sure have. We began theater and dance at the age of 5 (Kelli) and 6 (Kayla) and fell in love with theater. We were cast in numerous plays up until 2016 when we started Wild Fire. I think this really shaped us as performers, as we were constantly in front of an audience speaking, singing, and dancing.

Kelli: I think in the future we would definitely love to audition for roles in theater, TV, movies and so forth. We love being in front of an audience!


R: What was your favorite role?

Kelli: I would have to say my favorite role was Gretyl in “The Sound of Music.”

Kayla: My favorite role was Alice Beineke in the “Addam’s Family.”

R: What are your future goals?

Kayla: Our short-term goals are to continue to write, record, and perform original music here in Texas and grow our fan base. There is a lot of ground to cover here in Texas. In the long-term, we plan to move to Nashville after high school and attend Belmont University. We plan to major in music and continue performing our music in Nashville.

Kelli: Our goal is to become a major artist in the country music world.


R: Do you have any charities that are close to your heart?  If so, which ones and tell us about them?

Kelli: The charity closest to our heart is the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. Our Nana passed away from this terrible disease and we hope and pray for a cure.

Kayla: We also support St. Jude’s and Texas Children’s Hospital.  Kids are very special to us!


R: If you could go back in time, where would you go, what time period, and why?

Kayla: I think the 80’s would be fun. Yeah, I would go back to the 80’s. We love the music from that era.

Kelli: I would have to agree.


R: It is not easy being a teen. What advice would you give them?

Kelli: The most important piece of advice I would give is be yourself. Don’t try and mold yourself into what your peers think you should be. You are an original masterpiece and there is nobody like you.

Kayla: I agree and would also say don’t listen to the haters. You will encounter negativity and people saying you can’t achieve certain goals. They are either jealous or they do not have enough confidence to reach their own goals. Believe in yourself and you will succeed.


R: Anything else you would like to add?

Kayla: We would just like to thank you for this interview and we are so glad that we connected.
Kelli: I agree. We would also like to tell all our fans that we appreciate all of you! God bless!


Photo credit: Molly Young, Rob Iutzwig

Chit Chatting with R5’s Ellington Ratliff


Written by Jill Sheets

If you are a fan of the band R5, then it is hard to miss Ellington Ratliff. He is the drummer and singer of the group, which has been together for eight years. Read on and learn more about him, R5’s new album, and five things you may not know about him.


R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got your start singing?

E: I grew up in an entertainment family. My grandma is a dance teacher (still teaching, now on her 71st year), Mom’s a choreographer, and Dad produces shows in Japan, so it’s safe to say I was born into the industry. I’ve been singing and acting since I can remember.


R: Tell us about your new album New Addictions. What are some of your favorite songs from this album?

E: Picking a favorite song is like picking a favorite child, but I do like “Trading Time” and “Red Velvet” a lot. Even though it’s not technically on New Addictions, our new single, “Hurts Good,” is out and it’s definitely one of my favorites.


R: Where can people get your music?

E: Everywhere. Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, YouTube, etc. If you have a computer, you can listen to R5.


R: What is it like working with R5? What has been your favorite memory so far?

E: We’ve been a band for eight years, so there are too many memories to have a favorite. I always love being in the studio or on the road. I think that’s where we gain the best stores. We are very lucky to be able to do what we love and to have fans coming to see us all over the world. We are very grateful.


R: You play the drums. How long have you been playing and why did you decide to play them?

E: I didn’t pick up the drums until I was eleven, but I’ve loved them ever since. They’re a great way to put out energy–like if you’re having a bad day or if you’re extremely excited about something, drums are always there to be hit. I didn’t start drumming every day seriously until I met the guys (and girl) in R5.


R: Are you currently on tour? If so, how long is this tour?

E: We are currently on tour in Europe until late October, and then we head to South America. You can check our website for all tour dates.


R: What is the best thing about touring and being on stage?

E: I love being able to travel and experience other cultures and meet fans from around the world who have been touched by our music. Being on stage is also great, especially when a show is electric and the fans are totally in it with you, there’s nothing better.


R: You are also an actor. Is this something you would like to do more of in the future?

E: Yes, I’d love to be on a comedy series like Parks and Rec. Whenever I’m on a set it seems like so much fun.


R: Who is your biggest influence?

E: I look up to people who succeed in all types of entertainment, especially people like Donald Glover, who has his music project Childish Gambino. He’s also playing Lando in the new Star Wars film.


R: What are five things people may not know about you?


1. I was named after the famous jazz musician Duke Ellington.

  1. When I was thirteen, I did the workshop and LA company of 13: The Musical by Jason Robert Brown (famous composer in the theater world). Later, Ariana Grande did the same show on Broadway.
  2. I can juggle.
  3. I started out playing guitar before I got fully into drums.
  4. I’m an avid music finder.


R: Do you have a girlfriend? 

E: Yes, I do–she is the keyboardist in R5 and her name is Rydel. She also has a YouTube channel. You all should check it out. It’s about all things, from baking to tour life.


R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

E: It wasn’t necessarily towards me, but while doing a signing after a show somewhere, a mother of a fan asked Ross to give her the gum he was chewing. We were just like, “uh…no.”


R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which one and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

E: I’m on Twitter and Instagram under @ratliffR5, and new episodes of R5 TV are back on the R5 YouTube channel. R5 TV pretty much is our POV of what our everyday life is like on and off the road.


R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

E: Thank you for listening to our music and coming to our shows. We wouldn’t survive without you guys, and we’re going to keep releasing music, so stay tuned!


Photo Credit: Valentina Socci


Meet Rising Star Jenna Calandra


Hey guys! My name is Jenna Calandra. I’m from Long Island, NY and I’m 22 years old. My passion is music, and I want to be able to inspire everyone around the world.


R: When did you ​first​ ​get​ ​into​ ​singing?​ ​What​ ​made​ ​you​ ​want​ ​to​ ​seriously​ ​pursue​ ​it?

J: I was about eight years old, I was in a class choir in elementary school and I said to myself, “I want to be a singer.” I did plays in fourth and fifth grade, but I wasn’t a really good actress. I just wanted to sing!


R: What​ ​style​ ​do​ ​you​ ​sing?​ ​What’s​ ​your​ ​favorite​ ​song?

J: I sing pop and R&B. My favorite song at the moment is “You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore” by Demi Lovato from her newest album. She is my inspiration.


R: Tell​ ​us​ ​about​ ​your​ ​single.​ ​What’s​ ​the​ ​story​ ​behind​ ​it?

J: My single “I’ll Be” is about finding the truth about yourself and discovering the path of your dreams. Basically, it’s about not giving up on your dreams and instead living fully, falling in love, keeping yourself happy, and doing what you love most.


R: I​ ​also​ ​heard​ ​you​ ​have​ ​an​ ​EP​ ​coming​ ​out​ ​next​ ​year.​ ​Tell​ ​us ​about​ ​it and your recording process.

J: I do an artist development program in Plainview at The Loft Sound Studio, a.k.a. Artist Factory NY. That’s also where I record my music. I have two songs out now, and my third single is going to be out in 2018. Right now, I just want to take my time recording and songwriting for my self-titled debut album, Jenna, which will be coming out in about two and a half years. It’s about my darkest times, chasing dreams, and inspiring messages that I’ve learned from other people. I can’t wait to show the world this record!


R: Who​ ​are​ ​some​ ​of​ ​your​ ​inspirations,​ ​both​ ​musically​ ​and​ ​personally?

J: My biggest musical influences include Tori Kelly, Ariana Grande, and Taylor Swift, but my main inspiration is Demi Lovato. Personally, I like her for who she is personality-wise, because she seems funny and cool to hang out with. She is very talented, and her vocals give me chills every time when I hear her song “Stone Cold” off her recent album Confident (one of my favorite albums). She also inspired me to keep chasing my dreams and keep myself healthy.


R: What​ ​are​ ​some​ ​of​ ​your​ ​future​ ​goals?

J: My future goals are to keep myself healthy, strong, confident, and inspire girls of all ages with my music. I want my songs to help others who are suffering emotionally. I’ve been there, so that’s why I sing and write songs to get those emotions out.


R: Is there any charity or cause close to your heart that you want to raise awareness for?

J: I want to start a charity in the future for people who are suffering with mental illness or who are disabled. We are all humans, and we should be respected as humans.


R: What​ ​advice​ ​would​ ​you​ ​give​ ​girls​ ​that​ ​want​ ​to​ ​pursue​ ​a​ ​career​ ​in​ ​singing?

J: Never give up! You are beautiful, talented, and worth it. You can do anything if you put your mind to it because you’re strong and you can achieve anything. If you are bullied, don’t listen to the haters, because they’re just jealous and they don’t know who you really are inside and out. You are amazing. Keep your head up and listen to your heart!


R: Where​ ​can​ ​people​ ​get​ ​your​ ​music?

J: My single “I’ll Be” will be back on Spotify soon. I had some difficulties with a website that has a distribution with Spotify, but keep an eye out for it!


R: Is​ ​there​ ​anything​ ​else​ ​you​ ​would​ ​like​ ​to​ ​add?

J: Thank you so much for interviewing me! I had so much fun. To all the readers out there, don’t give up on your dreams. Keep smiling and be happy! Have a wonderful day!