“It is a little scary to be so vunerable and talk about yourself so much, but music is therapeutic to me and it’s always been my form of expression and release. I couldn’t help but just open my heart.”

“I thank God for the horrible experiences I went through because it made me a stronger person. It can all work out, as long as you don’t get bitter. I had bitter moments. Betrayal and being taken advantage of by people around me business-wise were the worst times. I was under the thumb of people who were only interested in keeping me doing the same thing. But I’m not blaming anyone.”

“Following my own star has been the story of my career. I had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way. One thing that I’ve definitely learned is how important it is to follow my own heart, my own instincts and that. I can say, it is what betters me every day.”

“Providing a voice for those who may be in a similar situation, who might need that voice is so important. They might not be able to find that in themselves, to get themselves out of that situation and make something positive out of it. Whenever I’m writing a song that’s what I’m doing – making a negative a positive and healing myself in the process.”

“Well, you learn something new everyday.”

“I want to be that voice… and let them know they’re not alone in a situation. I’ve been through so many back-stabbing people and hard times… and if I can still have a smile on my face and see things positively, so can you.”

“First and foremost, like any 17 year-old through those years to 21, I think I’ve learned so much. I’ve been through a lot of things. I’ve had my share of ups and downs, and learned a lot about people – especially from the back-stabbing situations that come with being in this business! I’ve also had some sad times, like the breakup with my first serious boyfriend. So, I think I’ve grown up a lot because of going through everything I’ve experienced, good and bad. But it’s made me that much stronger, and that’s really reflected in the record (‘Stripped’) too.”

“I am completely open to any criticism as long as it’s coming from a good place.”

“Difficulties made me work harder. I think that’s why I became so introverted and focused on my career, you’ve got to make a decision: Are you going to go down with the situation, or are you going to focus and succeed? My dream of becoming a recording artist kept me going.”

“Make negatives into a positive. Be strong. My mom and I were a team and were strong for each other. I have all the respect in the world for a woman who has the strength to take her children and walk away from a situation like that (domestic abuse). All I can say is find help. You’re not alone.”

“Even though I’ve been screwed over by certain people, there’s a time where it’s like, ‘I’m going to show you all.’ And it’s OK, because I’m going to survive.”

“I don’t want to dwell on negativity, because the results are positive, I learned you have to watch out for yourself and be true to yourself.”

“It was a refuge for me from the environment I was in at a time I found my voice and I could release myself of any pain I was going through. Music was amazing for that. Everyone has their own form of escape and any child going through the same experience should find a way out within them. Mine happened to be music and performing.”

“I don’t like to regret anything. It’s unhealthy to think that way, because some of my worst moments are also the ones that I’ve benefited from immensely. I thank God for the bad times, because without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today and I wouldn’t have been able to write songs like ‘Fighter’ or ‘The Voice Within’.”

“The media don’t like that I helped produce my album (Stripped) and that I wrote most of the songs. They don’t like that it’s coming from me. There’s something in society where we bring someone up then want to see them fail, knock them down, make them feel less.”

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