Seventeen-year-old Roxie Bardo is an accomplishment machine.
A rising pop star and entrepreneur, Bardo has just released her debut EP, "ROXIE," on which she wrote and co-produced every song.
In addition, Bardo also promotes a vegetarian lifestyle and supports human rights efforts. Her latest single, "Don’t Put Me Down," is an anti-bullying anthem.
Did I mention Bardo is from Chattanooga? She attended the Center for the Creative Arts before moving to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams at the age of 14.
Three years later, Bardo is a nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year for the 23rd annual LA Music Awards.
We caught up with her this week via email to discuss her memories of life in Chattanooga, her philosophy as an artist and what else 2013 has in store.
Recall your life in Chattanooga. Fond memories? What do you miss/not miss? Where did you hang out?
Well, there are a lot of things I miss about Chattanooga—No. 1 being my family, my dad and brothers. I do miss my old high school, CCA, and the amazing friends I had there. Right now, especially, I miss the fall weather, rain and the leaves changing; because in southern California, the weather is always warm and perfect. I lived in downtown Chattanooga before we moved, and I loved the walking bridge, but I definitely don't miss the humidity! I didn't really "hang out" specific places because I moved when I was 14, but I do miss running at the Riverpark and going to the drive-in movies down in Wildwood during the summer with my mom.
I listen to a song like "Crossfire," and my first reaction is "Whoa! Roxie is going to be huge!" How do you keep a level head when you’re 17 and on the brink? What’s the secret, Roxie?
Thank you! I've worked really hard to get where I am, and I feel like this journey has been more about sacrifice than anything. My daily workload is pretty extensive and is very grueling, but I appreciate having the opportunity to follow my passion. I'm proud of my music and the career path I've chosen, but I'd be nowhere without support from friends, family and, of course, fans, which is mainly what keeps me grounded but focused.
You are amazing at personal branding. Any tips for those of us that have a hard time with it?
It's difficult to figure out who you are and who exactly you want to "BE," especially at 17. You have to work at it, and slowly, it will all come together. I began trying to "brand" and "categorize" myself at about 15, and I'm just now getting my image together. With help from my sister, we created Bardo Entertainment as a foundation, and we're building our business platform from that. I recommend just starting somewhere, anywhere; be creative and get those ideas flowing, and over time, it will evolve from experience.
The debut EP came out earlier this year. What’s in the works for the rest of 2013?
Well, I've got an entire album written, and I'm starting the recording process now. I'm hoping to release the first single from the album in December, and the full record will be released next year. The songs are a bit more mainstream, pop, EDM, but still remain true to my unique style. I'm also doing a bunch of shows, some teen concerts and a benefit concert for Pencils of Promise, the majority of which will be in California; but I will be doing a few in NYC in November. I was also just nominated as Female Vocalist of the Year for the 23rd annual LA Music Awards, and I'm so excited and honored to be a part of the event!
Tell me about pho and why I should eat it.
Haha, pho is a Vietnamese soup that is absolutely delicious! It consists of broth, rice noodles, vegetables and meat, usually, but I am vegetarian, so I always get a veggie pho. It was actually voted No. 28 on the top 50 Most Delicious Foods in the world by CNN ... I can't begin to explain my LOVE for pho, and I wasn't introduced to it until this past year. It's easily my favorite food, and I'm thrilled that it's starting to get chilly enough to eat it more often.
Wild card: What’s the one question you’ve never been asked and the answer to that question?
Surprisingly, no one has ever asked me about my favorite song, and I would like to take this opportunity to let everyone know that my all-time favorite song is "Desert Rose" by Sting (and also every single song ever written/performed by Michael Jackson).
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