Tell us how you decided to pursue music?
"I think it was music that pursued me. Growing up, I had no intention to be a musician. In fact, I didn't pick up a guitar until I turned 22. According to my mother, I could sing before I could talk, mimicking her every sound. If she would hum, I would hum. Although singing has always been a huge part of my life, it wasn't until I was in my twenties that I joined my first band. Once I started writing songs and sharing them with people, I was hooked."
What do you love most about your work?
"There's nothing better than being onstage, and on a good night feeling the crowd with you the entire time. To have a connection with a group of people you've never met is a very special and romantic experience. That, and collaboration! I'm constantly learning from the people around me and have been fortunate enough to work with some extremely talented people. This summer is going to be a busy one; I'll be recording with Chicago's Shawn Rosenblatt of Netherfriends in June. Then, I'll spend July and August touring with Brooklyn-based band Pretty Good Dance Moves, promoting their newest EP recorded with Sabina Sciubba of Brazilian Girls."
How does Chicago inspire you?
"How doesn't Chicago inspire me?! I grew up 45 minutes outside of the city in Hammond, Indiana. My family took me to the city often, and some of my fondest memories are here with them. I went iceskating every winter on State Street, shopped on Michigan Avenue, attended my first concert in Grant Park (James Taylor!), and when I was old enough to leave my parents' house, I spent my nights exploring all the different neighborhoods. I briefly moved to Austin, Texas this past fall and was incredibly homesick. I missed the El train, architecture, culture, people and, believe it or not, the snow."
Describe your daily uniform or the pieces you wear most?
"I basically live in my BDG high-rise cigarette ankle jeans. They're perfect for cycling in (I walk dogs and cycle to all my meetings during the day time). Lately, night-time calls for patterned tights and a pair of black Oxford high heels, my latest thrift-store find."
What's your favorite local distraction from work?
"Cycling! I'm so lucky to live in a such a bike-friendly city. I've also been frequenting the Garfield Park Conservatory; I've been there at least three times over the last month—it's absolutely gorgeous. A friend and I created a game that we like to play during each visit: We try to see who can sneak into the most photos taken by unsuspecting strangers. I usually lose...my shrieks of laughter are always a dead giveaway."
If you had to eat your last meal in Chicago, where and what would it be?
"It may not be an entire meal, but the oatmeal milkshake from Irazu is on my mind most days...and nights."
If someone recognizes you on the street, what would you like them to say?