On October 8, 2005 my parents took me to my first “official” concert. It was to watch The Eagles, who were on their Hotel California Farewell Tour. I was 19 days shy of turning 11 years old and the only song I really knew of The Eagles was “Hotel California.” I remember walking into the Staples Center, in awe of the amount of people that were in the audience. I had never seen that many people in one place. That was the first of many concerts I would go on to watch at the Staples Center.
From watching Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers up in the nose bleeds at 12 years old to having VIP seats for John Mayer. I just about sat in every section of that incredible venue. One thing remained the same though every time I went to a concert at the Staples Center. I would look out to the audience, regardless of where I was sitting, and I would imagine the audience being my fans, at my concert. I dreamed and dreamed of singing at the Stapes Center.
Fast forward to January 14th, 2019, a little over 14 years after I went to my first concert. It was a day just like any other. I was recording a cover for Instagram (ironically it was “What Dreams Are Made of” from the Lizzie McGuire Movie) when I got an email asking if I’d be available to perform the National Anthem at the Laker Game the following night.
I really can’t explain what was going through my mind when I stepped onto the Laker Court Tuesday night. I remember my heart beating fast, I remember being in disbelief, I remember closing my eyes and taking a deep breath before letting out the first note. I remember looking out into the crowd and letting my voice do what it wanted. Then, I remember putting my hand up and hearing a roar, unlike anything I had heard before. In that moment, hearing 20,000 cheer, singing my country’s National Anthem for a team I grew up loving, I think was the happiest I had ever been.
I’ve worked really hard and have come a long way since October 8, 2005. I’ve performed at concerts where there were literally two other people in the room and they were my parents, I’ve written and recorded music that wasn’t the greatest, I went to and graduated from college, I’ve toured all over Germany with my University Choir, I’ve worked with incredible songwriters and musicians and developed my sound as an artist. I’ve even gone to the Grammys!
Even after all the highs and lows, I’m really just at the beginning of my journey with a long way to go and I'm taking it step by step.
If there is anything the past week and a half has taught me, it’s this:
Work hard. Go for it. Filter the voices you listen to and then filter them again. Let go of all negativity. Dream big, dream endlessly, just dream.
Because remember….the crazy thing about dreams? They can actually come true.
Natalie K <3