Today we’d like to introduce you to Barlo.
Barlo, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a little girl, music wasn’t just a sound, it was a place. It was long drives with just me and my dad on the open road. It was a group of four little innocent 8-year-old girls suddenly fierce, bold, and confident; singing over a track on cafeteria stage in front of their elementary classmates. It was my safe haven and therapy as an 8th grader when hearing my mother in distress over a loss over her father.
In 7th grade, I was introduced to poetry. And boy did that struct something in me! I could write, and express myself in a creative way! I began writing many short stories and poems but did not write my first song until my senior year in high school.
Once I graduated, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. Although now it would seem obvious, but back then it wasn’t so clear. Where I came from, saying you were going to pursue music was like saying you planned on volunteering at the local YMCA and give music lessons. It just wasn’t something that anyone has seen before. It wasn’t something I ever have seen before. I did not have a friend, neighbor, or even distant cousin that I knew that had some type of evolvement in the music industry. How can someone from Stockton, CA make a life of music? It just wasn’t a norm where I came from. So I enrolled in CSUN in Northridge, CA and majored in something that would seem to bring financial stability “Business Marketing” even though my heart was screaming music.
College consisted of me using my head to get by, but my heart was far from it. A friend introduced me to a producer and I decided to start recording and writing for fun. It Lit something in me. I found a local church and joined a choir. There, I met another artist. For the first time in my life, I met an artist. Her name was Dani B. Something lit in me like God placed me around someone that actually gets to do this full time. Her name was Dani B. Mentor, friend, and sister. My journey of music starts here. I was invited to sing background, record, and perform.
Two years later, I meet now husband and label owner Tony Billinger. He begins the artist development process with me, which has been the hardest thing I ever had to do. Using life experiences and really digging deep causes you to look at yourself and grow and learn what it means to connect in a deeper way. Being a brand, the recording process and trying new things out of my comfort zone, and being pushed to be the very best me.
We began working on music. Brainstorming the message and what was important to me. I wanted to talk about my relationship with God and my appreciation of all He has been to me. Tony then steps in and says how about we write something that will minister to all people? We came up with “message music” , music about dealing with all seasons of life from a Christian perspective. We felt that all people go through the same thing and wanted to bring encouragement and empowerment that would lead people to Christ. This lead me to write about life and the things that all of us deal with, such as loss, relationships, happiness, pain and anything that affects us mentally and emotionally.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been anything near a smooth road, more like a roller coaster. One moment, you think things are taking off and people are really tuning in, and other times it feels like you are lost with all the million other artists.
The biggest struggle has really been accepting ME! Like really accepting me and not try to be anyone else, but fully embrace what God has placed in my heart. In this industry, it is very easy to compare your music and sound and feel less qualified or question if it will even be liked. I found myself always questioning will my music be accepted.
As God began to show me who I was, the easier it was to embrace my uniqueness and purpose. The more I saw that God really loved me and accepted me, the more I relaxed and saw my music as a gift to be shared. That I had the ability to connect and relate with the next generation, as most are searching for rawness and authenticity. That is something I have always been good at, being authentic. My music expresses that and it is what connects me to my listeners the most; they get me and I get them, we are walking through life together.
What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I am mainly known for my unique voice and authenticity of the lyrics. I’ve been told that my voice is angelic and powerful all at the same time, but the standout is the authenticity that people sense and they connect and relate to. Nothing credited to me as I had an insecurity about my voice for a very long time because I didn’t sound like anybody lol. I didn’t embrace it until I started embracing me, and starting seeing it as a gift.
My music is definitely about life and walking through it, facing it, and dealing with it, but also overcoming it through Christ. It’s my faith that has brought me through many hardships, highs and lows, and my music expresses that.
I am most proud of not giving up. I know that sounds cliche’, but it’s much easier to give up than to keep going when you are tired and discouraged. God keeps me going, purpose keeps me going, encouraging others to keep me going.
I guess what sets me apart is my sound. It’s just different from your traditional Christian or gospel sound. We call it a “kingdom sound”.
- My music is available on all digitals outlets. For purchase, only 99 cents
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @iambarlo
- Facebook: @barlomusic
- Twitter: @iambarlo