You can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can't take the Jersey out of the girl.
I figured I might as well start this blog with a little background about me. If you couldn't tell from my social media posts or exploring my website, I was born and raised in New Jersey. Yes... I know... It isn't the state of choice to be from if you are a country singer, however being from Jersey has had its advantages.
For one, being from Jersey differentiates me from a bunch of other country artists out there. People get extremely curious and wonder what a girl like me could know about country music. The truth is, I have some pretty country roots. One whole side of my family is all in Louisiana (and pretty country if you ask me). Aside from growing up on Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, I spent holidays and time during the summer down south doing what I thought was normal - going to the hunting camp, fishing, eating good ole southern cooking, and sitting around a bonfire in the evenings. It was only when I got older that I realized that wasn't "normal" for folks from New Jersey (unless you live in south Jersey, in which case it totally is!) Either way, it made me who I am today.
Growing up in New Jersey also gave me a lot of the confidence and strength to pursue music that I needed at first. People from Jersey tell it to you like it is. It isn't a bad thing, just the truth. When I was first starting out, I needed people to be critical of me in order to improve. Sure, it can hurt at times, but from it I only got better. It took being harshly criticized a few times in order to gain a backbone and some confidence. Heck, I still get harshly criticized some times, but I don't take it to heart. I take the criticism to mind, improve what I can, and move on. This has been crucial in my musical journey. I can't let a "no" or someone that doesn't like my sound stand in my way, I have to keep moving on with their criticism in mind.
Criticism aside, Jersey fans are passionate about their country music, especially from a hometown girl like me. My fans in New Jersey have been so extremely supportive of me even through my move to Nashville. I think because they know that I am true to my roots and proud to be a Jersey girl despite the stereotypes. Let's be honest, I might be living in a Nashville world, but this Jersey girl still does not pump gas!*