How did your interest in music get started?
I’ve always loved music, and at 12 decided I wanted to start writing songs, although I didn’t play an instrument yet and had only sang in my school choir for a couple years. It was something already inside me and just manifested at that age; ever since I’ve been addicted to it. I learned to play keyboard first, then guitar to accompany my songwriting.
Did you sing in church when you were younger? Did your family sing or play instruments?
My grandmother was a singer, piano player and performer. So were some of my aunts and uncles. I never did get to see any of them perform, nor was I really influenced by them to play music. It’s in the family tree and is in my blood, so it manifested itself.
Can you talk a little bit more about who have been your biggest inspirations, either other artists or your family? What lessons did they instill in you that you will carry with you on your singing career?
Musically, I’ve been inspired by so many bands and songwriters. The first band really to spark my interest in songwriting was Counting Crows. Adam Duritz is an incredible lyricist, and the band brought so much feeling to his words. Also, I’m a big fan of The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash and Bonnie Raitt. In my teenage years, I played 80s influenced rock and was inspired to write in the style of Motley Crue, Guns n’ Roses and Blondie. I’ve tried to learn from all different styles of music and songwriters. In life and music, I’m greatly inspired by my sister and manager, Mary Louis. She has taught me about respect, gratitude, ethics and doing good business. She is the reason I am the woman I am today, and she also inspires my songwriting, always encouraging and helping me with ideas.
Can you talk a little about your family and how they inspired you?
The most influential people in my family have been my father, Peter, and my sisters, Mary and Niki. My dad was a very cool guy, and always believed in and supported my dream. Unfortunately, he passed away on Christmas Day 2011. I wish he could have experienced with me the success that keeps coming my way, but I know he is looking out for me and making sure all my dreams keep coming true, as long as I work hard and stay focused, like he taught me. Of course, I talked about my oldest sister, Mary, earlier, and she is definitely my rock. She is always there for me and makes sure I’m taken care of, I am so blessed to have her in my life. My sister, Niki, is closer to my age, and over the years has done everything she can to support my music career and help how she can: sell merchandise, promote my music, was a dancer for my rock band, Hollywood High, babysits my dogs when I’m on the road. We have a very large Italian family, but these three people mean the most to me, and I feel very fortunate to have them.
Have you recorded any albums? How many have you released?
Yes. I recorded and released my first album at 13. It was the first group of songs I ever wrote and was an 11-track album, which was very country pop. I then started writing hard rock music and over the years released several EPs with my rock band, Hollywood High. In 2007, I started a solo project and released my full album called “Southern Comfort.” For every album that was sold, one was sent to a soldier overseas. My most current full album release is brand new, just released in March 2012. It’s called “Dead or Alive” and is available on iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon and my website.
Can you talk a little bit about how your journey began and how it’s led you to where you are today?
My journey has been long, hard, beautiful and remarkable. It started when I was 13. I was born in the Mojave Desert in California. I moved with my oldest sister, Mary, to my dad’s house in Ft. Worth, TX. From there we dove into the music business, recording my first album, putting together a live band and starting to perform live. We were very green and didn’t know a thing about the music industry. Over the years, we learned many lessons, and met lots of people along the way who mentored us and taught us various aspects of the business. At 15 years old, when I was getting ready to turn 16, I decided I wanted to play hard rock music and formed my band, Hollywood High. My idea was a modern-day Motley Crue, with a female front. It was a crazy time! We recorded a music video for my song called “Rock n’ Roll Peep Show” and, from there, started receiving rotation on 97.1 The Eagle in Dallas/Ft. Worth. We started touring Texas, then the southwest, then on to Hollywood. After doing several Los Angeles shows, we relocated to Hollywood, were nominated for Outstanding New Artist at the 14th annual Los Angeles Music Awards and won. We also performed at the event and got some offers from labels. Unfortunately, those labels weren’t interested in me being a rock artist. They wanted to write my songs for me and make me pop, and I had to decline. I am a songwriter, first and foremost, so that means the most to me when considering opportunities. I moved back to Texas after the Hollywood High reign and started my solo project. I started writing a blend of country and rock, which has now developed into my current Southern Rock sound.
I’ve been very blessed with some really cool opportunities. When I first started in music, I worked with a lot of teen organizations, and received awards from Girls, Inc. for my positive work for their organization and received a key for the city of Killeen, TX. I got to open for KISS and Aerosmith in my rock band, Hollywood High, in Dallas, TX. We also received Outstanding New Artist at the 14th annual Los Angeles Music Awards. In my current solo project, I received Honorable Mention in the Billboard World Song Contest 2010 for my song “Doublewide on the Backside.” I also have been asked two years in a row to perform at the NAMM Show. Another really cool thing was my recent five-month residency at the Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Boulevard for an event they created for my music called Southern Rock Brunch. I performed every Sunday morning. Now, I am nominated at two different award shows. The 22nd annual Los Angeles Music Awards has nominated me for Best Country Artist and Country Single of the Year for “Vodka Girls.” The 2013 Artists in Music Awards has nominated me for Best Rock Artist. I feel very blessed and honored to have had so many incredible experiences over the years.
Have you met any other artists? Who’d you meet, and what was the experience like?
I’ve gotten to meet a few great artists over the years, but the coolest experience for me was meeting Steven Tyler at Studio at the Palms in Las Vegas. I was recording my single, “Doublewide on the Backside,” and Steven came into the studio to check it out. I looked up from the sound board, and Steven was in the other room checking out my guitars. He then came into the control room and introduced himself, and said “I’m sorry to interrupt your session.” What a humble and gracious guy. He was very nice, and to get to meet one of my idols not as a fan, but as a peer, is an amazing feeling.
What advice did they give you? If you could give an aspiring artist advice about the music industry, what would it be?
I would advise artists getting into the music industry to first learn all aspects of the “modern music business.” Digital distribution, music licensing, how to make money with your music through these outlets. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to make money on touring/live shows anymore, it’s actually a huge expense. If you’re going to get into the industry, you need to start with a good amount of money, and every bit that you might make needs to go back into your career. It’s not an easy way of life, there’s a lot of challenges you face and heartache because music is an emotional experience, and when you add business to that, it’s a rough balance. Make sure you have good support from your family and friends, and that they want your success as much as you do, or it will break your focus.
Did you have to overcome rejection while making the climb to the studio? Did they make you a stronger person? In what ways?
Since I have played music and done it professionally for 14 years, I have experienced several different types of rejection. It’s impossible to please everyone, and starting as a kid, I grew up on stage and through my songs, so my teenage years were under a microscope. Every time I was rejected, I grew stronger and got better at my craft. If you can’t overcome, then you’ll fall backwards, and eventually your music will fade away. You have no choice but to grow stronger from rejection if you want longevity in the music business.
If you could pick one instance when you were rejected, how did that make you feel? Any lessons you could take from that rejection and tell to someone so they don’t get rejected?
If you are trying to make music professionally for any amount of time, you WILL get rejected. No doubt about it. You have to take everything as constructive criticism (whether it is meant that way or not) and find the positive. You have to have no fear. Feel and express your emotions, but don’t dwell on it and keep moving forward.
I can imagine that as an artist, you’re away from home a lot. How does being on the road affect your relationship with your family?
I, myself, am very fortunate because my sister and I work together as a team, and I always have my family support by my side. But both of us miss our friends dearly. We are very blessed to have amazing people in our lives in both Texas and California, as well as other parts of the country. When in California, I miss my Texas peeps, and visa versa. We talk to all of them a lot, and sometimes they travel to where I am for special shows, etc. So again, I am very blessed. 🙂
How does being an artist affect the holiday season for you? Are you able to take time off to visit family and friends? What do the holidays mean to you?
The holidays are always crazy for us, being a big Italian family!! Even when performing through the holiday season, we always get the chance to spend quality time with our family and friends. We like to jam and play music together, share memories and eat lots of food!! It’s always a positive time of year.
How important do you think down time is for an artist?
I think when you work hard and throw yourself into the business, there’s a point when you have to take a few days off. Stop worrying about your Twitter and Facebook page, and take a second to breathe, enjoy your surroundings, and live “normal” for a bit. It’s the little things that you sometimes forget to recognize when you’re always looking for the next gig, job, big break, etc. The music business is a revolving door, and you have to continuously stay on top of it to stay in the spotlight. So, those few days of recovery are necessary to refresh and get re-inspired.
If you could perform anywhere in the world with anyone in the world, who and where would it be?
Gosh, there’s SOOO many artists I’d like to perform with!! But, the ultimate would be the Rolling Stones in London, I think that would be off the chain amazing! My ultimate fantasy would be to play with John Lennon in a little bar or coffee shop somewhere off the map, just me and him and two acoustic guitars. Jammin’ tunes and maybe write a song together. Maybe in another life.
She’s got a Southern heart, and a Rock n’ Roll soul. Outlaw Southern Rocker, Glitter Rose is from Ft. Worth, TX. This left-handed guitarist owns the stage with her amazing charisma and defining Southern Rock sound. GR is endorsed by TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik, Fishman Acoustic Amplification, WARRIOR Guitar, BAE Audio, Rotosound Music Strings, Moody Leather and Guitar Hands Hand Care. She’s also a preferred artist with C.F. Martin & Co. Acoutic Guitars and Strings.
GR is a veteran in the music industry, starting professionally at 13 years old in 1998. She is an accomplished guitarist, a simply genius songwriter, and has vocals packed with power, grit and originality. Her live show is that of legends, captivating the audience with her high-energy performance and her passionate presence. GR has great love and admiration for her fans, saying “They are the reason I make music. If I can evoke emotion and excitement in one person in the crowd, I’ve done my job. It brings me great satisfaction to touch people with my songs and my performance.”
GR is currently in Hollywood, CA, where she held a five-month residency with the Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Boulevard for an event they created for her music called Southern Rock Brunch. She is a highly respected performer at The NAMM Show and the Dallas International Guitar Festival. She received Honorable Mention for her quirky, tongue-in-cheek “Doublewide on the Backside” in the Billboard World Song Contest 2010. Her new album “Dead or Alive” was released in Spring 2012 and is making waves in the music industry. She is nominated for two Los Angeles Music Awards in 2012 including Best Country Artist and Country Single of the Year with her song “Vodka Girls.” She is also nominated for Best Rock Artist at the 2013 Artists in Music Awards. With the perfect blend of country and rock GR brings to the table, she will be a pioneer in modern Southern Rock, defining a new generation.