By Estela Caballero, Chief Dreamer & Star Gazer at 4utu.wordpress.com
Last week I introduced Anjelina Jalomo and her musical talents to the WordPress world of Bloggers and Blogueras. Anjelina is only the first of many Rising Stars stories to come this year. I’ll be spotlighting the kind of journeys that might just be the thing that helps you realize you too are stronger than you think. Here’s what I believe– the days when someone had a dream, relentless drive and talent needed to wait for a stranger with the right industry connections to tell them they were good enough are gone. Here’s what I know– the applause of a neighbor or support from co-workers as you belt out the best karaoke ever seen can take you to places unknown. In Anjelina’s case, it was a car wash…..
Tell us about you. Where did you grow up? What’s something very few people know about you? What was your life like growing up?
I was born in Seattle, Washington and raised in little ol’ Warden, Washington. Growing up in a small town has its pros and cons. Some of the pros are we were a tight knit community with awesome town celebrations such as parades and community day festival. Everybody knowing everybody can be a pro and con too!.
Something that very few people know about me is that I was adopted as a newborn. After I was born in Seattle they transported me to an adoption agency in Wenatchee. By this time the paperwork was already in motion for me to be adopted by Eduardo and Maria Jalomo. They were the best parents a kid could ask for. I was daddy’s girl. My dad wanted everything for me. I guess you could say I was a little bit of a spoiled brat.
My folks were not rich but I had every toy I ever wanted and then some! I miss my dad very much. He passed in 1999. His music influence on me include Steven Jordan, Los Cadetes de Linares, Los Tigeres Del Norte and Texas Tornados just to name a few. I wish he could see how much I have done with my singing talent. I know he would be proud. Hell, he was proud even before. I was daddy’s girl growing up, it was great. There is a park across the street from my home where I spent every summer playing on the swings and monkey bars, playing in the mud, running through the sprinklers and pretending that the cement table and bench was a spaceship– me and my adventures. I had a wonderful childhood!
When did you first know you wanted to be a singer?
I have been a singer since I was five years old. I remember being the loudest singer in my kindergarten class and the most passionate. I also remember the music teacher making a comment to my kindergarten teacher “boy she sure can sing.” But I believe it wasn’t until high school that I would begin to think maybe I could be a professional singer. Throughout middle and high school I was always singing on the bus to get us pumped for sports games. I of course began singing the National Anthem and I loved it! I was always being told what a marvelous beautiful voice I had. So that kind of pushed me to consider maybe I have something. Well in 2001 I auditioned for my very first lead vocals for a local band. As I’m sure I don’t have to tell you I nailed it and got the part. And on my first performance I saw the reaction of the crowd when I sang and it was then I confirmed I wanted to be a professional singer. I wanted to bring that enjoyment of music to people’s faces every time.
We all know the road to fame is tough and people that made it take many years to become an “overnight success” have taken years to get there. Was there ever a time you almost abandoned your dream or gave up?
There was never a time where I wanted to give up. But there were times when I slowed down because of financial reasons and I would put my singing on the back burner but never stopping. Whether it be karaoke contests or singing with a live band or auditioning for The Voice I have never stopped.
What advice would you give to the youngsters that are standing in the crowd when you sing and tell their parents they want to be you when they grow up?
My advice to youngsters in the crowd with the same dream I had when I was younger would be to start now. If that is truly what your heart desires then with hard work and faith it will happen. And I would tell the parents to be there and support them as much as possible.
What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you during a performance?
I think the funniest thing that has happened to me on stage so far is almost falling flat on my ass! I was helping a friend open in Sunnyside for a big band from Texas. So as you can imagine there was a *-bleep*-ton of people! I was dressed to the T looking like a shining star and wearing my stiletto high wedges or my “death traps” as my boyfriend likes to call them. As I was singing I almost bit it twice tripping over some stage cables and the people in front witnessed it and were smiling at me and I smiled back. Luckily I was able to gain my composure both times. It was cute and funny!
You always seem so confident. You put out a strong chica vibe. Have you ever had stage fright? Tell us that story.
I guess singing in front of my classmates throughout school K-12 diminished a chance for stage fright. I was always singing. At school dances, in class on the bus– I was always being asked to sing and I didn’t mind sharing my talent.
I’ll never forget the very first time I sang the National Anthem for a home football game. It was more intense because most of the little town of Warden was there and I did not want to make a mistake. I’m not going to lie I was nervous. The game commentator, who was also my U.S. history teacher, looked at me and said “Don’t be nervous kid. You have a beautiful voice and nothing to worry about. Take a deep breath and let them have it.” I took his advice and took a deep breath and instantly I was calm and confident. I handed in the best first time National Anthem at a hometown game ever. Well, in my opinion of course!
You recently took a big step in your musical career. You auditioned for The Voice. What was that experience like?
Auditioning for the voice was such a gratifying experience for me. Being with 5,000 other singing strangers at the convention center across from the Staples center in Los Angeles was awesome! It was not what I expected. Well to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. This was a huge enormous step for a small town girl like me. As I walked in with confidence I felt a little nervous. As soon as I saw all the individuals of all ages singing and laughing comforted me and
made me realize I was just like them and they were just like me having the same common goal. You had to enter alone. Only minors were allowed to be accompanied by one parent. The convention center was ginormous! Everybody was singing and practicing their songs. I was like OMG this is where I belong! I was so grateful for all the people who supported my fundraisers and helped organize them. Without those wonderful people I would not have been able to realize that wonderful experience.
What five songs always make the playlists on your iPod?
Danza Kuduro by Don Omar
Hysteria by Def Leppard
Till I Collapse by Eminem
I’ll Be There For You by Bon Jovi
Bailando (Spanish version) by Enrique Iglesias
What advice do you wish someone would have given you when you were younger?
I wish someone would have told me how book smart I was and to encourage me to go to college, maybe even a university. I wish I could have experienced that part of life. But instead I went traveling and went out to try and find my place in the entertainment world and meet new people and see new places. I would like to believe I would have taken the advice and encouragement to go to college.
Aside from your talent with music, I know from firsthand experience working with you that your skin, make up, fashion choices and hair are so good they make people want to hate you. Were you always so glamourous?
Ha ha ha! I was not always so glamorous although my skin has always been good. Believe it or not I was a tomboy up until my senior year. I always wore t-shirts jeans and sneakers. You would have never caught me in a dress in those days. I played sports all through middle and high school. All of my friend were guys. And they considered me one of the guys. I just didn’t really care for the girls in my class. They were all the same. Make up and boys. I just wanted to have fun play sports and enjoy my high school years.
I didn’t give two -*bleeps*- about make up, boys, fashion or popularity. As I mentioned before it wasn’t till my senior year of high school that I started to dress more like a girl and experimenting and finding my sense and style. I started wearing make up. Before you knew it I was dressing and wearing make up like a diva. Of course it didn’t happen overnight seeing as I had many years of being a tomboy it was a transition that took a minute.
It’s a small world, so small that Anjelina and I would find ourselves working together in unrelated industries twice. The first time for a clinic and the second time at a potato processing plant. At both places I saw how she mesmerized people when she would begin to sing. The only thing more beautiful than her singing is her laughter. On those days it seemed like the shift would never end, Anjelina would do impressions of different actors. No matter what happened that day, it would all be fine after she did Al Pacino from Scarface. I can’t even hear the word chinchilla now without busting up– laughing so hard my stomach hurts.
Who doesn’t have a list of songs that would be the soundtrack to your life if your story ever made it to the big screen? Check out Anjelina’s YouTube and leave your special request. Tell her why a certain song is so special and who you want to dedicate it to. You have a good chance of hearing Anjelina singing your song on her weekly show. Anjelina is a Rising Star– the rest of the world just doesn’t know it yet. If you want to be featured on Rising Stars to Watch in 2015, leave a comment telling me about you and your story. I want to hear from business owners, volunteers that are changing the world– starting with their own community, tattoo artists, home chefs that could put Rachel Ray to shame– from you. I want to hear from you. Keep reading for a glimpse of two stories coming soon.
Benita Matheson, a woman that just placed a big bet on herself by opening her own business that may or may not have been inspired by the Walking Dead… you’ll have to watch for her Rising Star to find out for sure.
Hope Moon, another Rising Star that doesn’t let a disease that stops many in their tracks slow down her mission–keeping cyberspace sounding like a place you want to be with her radio show.