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2024: Reflecting on 10 Years as a Singer and Songwriter

If you are reading this, I hope 2024 is treating you well so far. This year is an exciting year for me. Besides the fact that 24 is one of my favorite numbers (14 is the other one), this year marks 10 years since I decided to live life for the music and follow the not-so-traditional path of pursuance. I will say, I am happier than ever, but it has been one hell of a roller coaster of emotions, stress, mental health, and physical burdens. If anything, I am a much more powerful, confident, strong woman than I was 10 years ago and I am better for it.

In the past 10 years I learned A LOT. I learned how to play guitar and piano. I learned some simple, but important music theory facts such as how to determine what key I am actually writing in, the names of chords, how to play inversions on the piano, etc (Zzzz). I learned that I don’t have to show skin to get people to listen to me (and that you should NEVER listen to those people who say you do!). I learned that you don't have to belt your head off for every single note to prove yourself as a vocalist. I learned who Cristina F is as an artist, a singer, and a songwriter.

I met a lot of people who came and went. I learned that some people who make you feel the warmest are also the people who will act the coldest. I learned that there’s a lot of sexism and ageism, and that people profit off of your ignorance. I learned how incredibly important it is to know your rights in the music and entertainment business. I learned how little loyalty matters to opportunists. I played big and small venues, packed and empty. I learned that the NYC Music Circuit is one big bullshit exploit of artists. I learned how to be professional, how to give your all when performing, how to work hard and hustle, while still having fun. I also learned that since Reels and Tik Tok, none of that seems to even matter lol!

I have fallen on my face too many times. I was at points so low that I was underground, and every time I was ready to give up, something came along to remind me what I am on this Earth to do. For example, last year around Christmastime I was crying on my bed, wondering what the hell I was thinking to think I could be a performer and a songwriter, making music people would like. I was imagining putting every instrument, writing pad and piece of equipment into a closet, locking the door, and looking for a 9-5 job, settling for ease, security and stability in my life once and for all. It was the scariest image, and my heart was broken. In that exact moment I received an email from a DJ at a radio station in Sioux Falls, SD who opened my email I had sent about “A Christmas Kiss,” and told me he was breaking the rules and playing my song on air that evening. It was this moment that reminded me I am good enough and to never give up. One year later “A Christmas Kiss” was in full rotation on that commercial radio station for the holiday season. 

You don’t get a lot of validation in the music business, and when you’re at my level, you don’t get paid when you work. I don’t get paid every time I finish a song. I don’t get paid every time I post myself singing on instagram. I’m not doing it to go viral or to get attention. I’m not even really doing it because I want to. I’m doing it because I love it and I need it. I have to write a song. I have to write 100 songs. I have to sing and I have to perform. This is just who I am. There’s people in my life who think if I haven’t gone on The Voice or American Idol, or if I haven’t signed a record deal or gone viral by now, I just haven’t succeeded and should move on. But I have succeeded. I succeed every single day. I am living the life that I want to live. I take the risk every day to be free to write and perform. I know not many people could do what I do, and I know I could not do what they do either. Many times in the last 10 years I have imagined what my life would be like if I just gave in to the corporate world, gave 40+ hours of my life a week to work for someone else’s vision, to have a lot of money and financial stability. It sounds like freedom, in a prison. It’s just not for me. I know the path I chose is long and unpredictable, but I can’t picture my life any other way. I have been trying to find a back-up plan since I was 18, and I still haven’t found it yet. I think this is the part where I want to say, I am doing just fine.

Shout out to a man named Jeeves who once told me “don’t deprive the world of your voice.” Thanks man, you’ve royally messed me up. Ha! I’m kidding, but I will never forget where I was when those words were said to me and how much it resonated with me. I recently met a woman in a bakery who once was a dancer in the business. She gave me an important piece of advice that doesn’t just apply to musicians. She said to always be true to yourself and always be honest because it goes further and people will notice. Oh, and never tell anyone your plans! Not for one minute would I want to be any other way. 

If you’ve made it to this point, thank you for reading. Thank you for continuing to listen to my music, sharing my music, supporting me, and coming to hang out at my shows. I hope you can continue to hang around because I’m going to continue giving the world my voice (wink face)!

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