There are no shortcuts–not really. At least every short cut I’ve taken, I’ve had to pay for dearly later on. In some ways I feel like the way my career began was one such “short cut.” At 13 when I started, I had not had a chance to really consider what kind of music I would like to sing, in what language, how I would want to look, what I would like to say… All these things were imposed on me by other people, and I was ok with it, as I was too young to know any better. Yes, I had huge success immediately, but it wasn’t on my own terms. And for that, indeed, I have paid a price.

The reason why I think about this right now is that two nights ago, my current record company ECR Music Group had a very successful event celebrating its relaunch, rebranding and expansion. Just as for me personally, there have been no shortcuts for this company. It has been hard work and dedication over 10 years that has brought the label and us artists here, where we have the foundation to reach for ever bigger and better things and more success.

I just had a candid moment with Blake Morgan (the CEO of the company) last week about our collective experiences in the music business. He told me that at every point in his life and career as he’s advanced, time after time he has found himself to be in the “before”-picture rather than the”after”-picture. This can be a frustrating realization and I’ve felt this way many times in my life as well. But the truth is, in a healthy way we might always feel that way. Certainly I have mistakenly thought at certain times in my career, that I’ve been in the “after”-picture, but life does throw us quite a few curve-balls… What I told him in response was this: “I have never felt this good about being in the ‘before’-picture.” I find myself to be in a wonderful place with my label, on the verge of some sort of greatness.. I’m ready to put the work in, ready to take every step needed to get there, wherever I and we are going. I don’t need any short cuts and I’m quite peaceful right here where I am.

“A shortcut is the longest distance between two points. ”