If you were to write an intro for “Push Our Luck” before it played on the radio, what would you want listeners to know about the song?
I wrote this song for those who have “pushed their luck” with their parents and curfew. I think most of us have experienced those first time feelings out on a date, and were willing to get in trouble for the sake of having so much fun.
6 Things You Don’t Know About Me:
Oklahoma native. Family support and encouragement throughout your career. Gymnastics. Ventriloquism. Participated in talent-based pageants to overcome shyness. After just a couple of weeks with your first puppet, you began performing in talent shows. Besides developing distinct personalities for your puppets, what is the most challenging thing about ventriloquism?
The most challenging thing about ventriloquism is the ability to make a character come to life. Sure the “keeping your mouth closed” part is difficult but it’s a whole other ball game giving a character mannerisms and animation. Just like a magic trick or an illusion, it’s something that comes with practice and dedication.
“I believe change is a beautiful thing. … Reflect what you love!” Does your Papilio Blumei butterfly tattoo help remind you to stay grounded during difficult times?
My butterfly tattoo is a reminder to me that as people we’re constantly on a track of evolution. My mantra is that I won’t ever let anyone limit me. It’s a reminder that God doesn’t just leave us stagnant, he calls us to and through many things, whether they’re difficult or fruitful.
“Praise God for late night laughs, Texas roadhouse, naps, the sweetest friends, for music, and for His word.” How has your faith helped you find balance between being a teenager and the demands of your career?
My faith has absolutely been a rock for me throughout this rollercoaster. I’ve found it to be overwhelming and very isolating at times, but God has shown me that there is purpose in that. He has shown me that he’s placed me in this industry for a reason!
Performed at the Grand Ole Opry, opened for Fergie at Caesar’s Palace on New Year’s Eve, and starred in your own NBC Christmas Special, and a feature film, A Cowgirl’s Song. What are some of the funniest or most unexpected moments that have happened during your live shows?
I think one of my favorite parts of performing live is the people that come attend. My fan base is very multigenerational, and I love that. But I’ve had my fair share of mishaps, one being my best friend spilling Dr. Pepper on me, soaking my dress 5 minutes before I had to go on stage. Not to mention “puppet” cases flying out the back of the car in the streets of Chicago! It’s always a good time on the road.
Youngest contestant to ever win America’s Got Talent.
Now appearing on AGT’s new series, Fantasy League, performing as a singer-songwriter. What are your career goals for the future?
I’ve always told people that I want to do it all. As of right now, I’m super musically focused. I’m really hoping to grow as a solo artist. Writing and releasing an album is at the top of my list. But I also would love to continue exploring acting! Like any 19 year old, I’m still trying to figure it out.
What is the most important message you want to share with the world?
The message I want to share with the world is that your dream is never too big. If you have passion and drive, you can do anything. Trust God to guide your steps and don’t let anyone else tell you who you are!
Can you share 12 songs that have influenced your life and career?
A Sunday Kind of Love by Etta James
Witchy Woman by The Eagles
I’ll Be Seeing You by Billie Holiday
Gunpowder & Lead by Miranda Lambert
Look At Me Now by Emily King
Lover Girl by Haley Reinhart
All of Me by Frank Sinatra
Nothin’ But A Good Time by Poison
What Are You Listening To By Chris Stapleton
Man! I Feel Like A Woman by Shania Twain
All My Hope by Crowder ft. Tauren Wells
Thats Alright (Mama) by Elvis Presley
Feature Photo Credit: Joseph McClure