i cried me a river all the way to a standing ovation

I've always had a passion for singing. As a kid, I would watch American Idol and  always believed that Simon Cowell would say 'yes' to me. (And let's face it- he would.)

I had no idea how to get started in the entertainment business, but I would just sing my heart out in the car... and my mom would tell me that I sounded terrible!  She was lovingly speaking the truth. At this stage of my life I was so confident that Beyonce herself could not hold a note next to me. My mom saw how serious I was, so we decided to check out local voice studios. We looked at a couple in the area and they were ridiculously expensive for a low-income family that just wanted to test this out and see if singing was for her (me) or not.  I mean, I already knew it was for me. It was my mom that needed convincing! 

We stumbled across this little place called Destiny Voice Studio and MAGIC happened. Actually, a catastrophe happened in my first lesson, and the natural disaster of nature's choice was my voice. I decided to sing 'Beautiful' by Christina Aguilera and for once in my life, I heard what my mother heard... anything but beautiful!  Absolute screeching. I was pitchy, flat, off key and could hold out a note for as long as you can touch a hot stove (aka-I couldn't). The dose of reality made me sad, but I was not going to give up on this dream. I just found myself singing all the time, practicing over and over with the artist in the car, in the bathroom (you're welcome family)... everywhere. I put on full-blown concerts on Saturday mornings while cleaning. My audience of toilets and dishes loved me. I went into every voice  lesson with a goal to check off one song from my list-- to master it completely.

A few months after this journey began, I had the opportunity to perform at our school talent show. My performing and stage presence was decent because I had quite a bit of experience singing at church. I chose 'Cry Me A River' by Ella Fitzgerald, because I felt like the song would highlight my strengths, which were lower notes. It wasn't until I looked up and saw the whole crowd standing up and clapping that I knew I had actually done it. I was no longer a screecher or terrible singer! At the end of the show people came up to me and said how blown away they were and how much they enjoyed the performance.  I felt like an iPhone in a room full of Androids and everyone wanted to see ME. In that moment I knew that singing was for me and that I was closer to my dream of being the next Beyoncé. Thank you, Sarah, and Destiny Studio for everything. Teaching me, molding me, believing in me, instilling drive and determination, and giving me music vocabulary so that I can converse freely with other musicians. Thank you most of all for seeing my potential and never giving up on me. 

Abigail Achiri is 19 years old now and a student at Texas A & M University. In addition to singing for anyone who will listen, she is also an actress and represented by the Kim Dawson Agency.  Her passions (in no particular order): JESUS, Tori Kelly, pizza, smiles & hugs, Demi Lovato, sarcasm, and discovering undiscovered music.