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Petaluma songstress hits a high note

As a toddler, Petaluman Jessica Barron wasn’t afraid to belt her “ABC’s” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” while her mom shopped at the grocery store.

Fast forward to 2016, and the 21-year-old nursing student has signed with Tambora Records International LLC, released her first single “No Puedo” and wrapped up production on the song’s music video.

Her success was sudden - last December, she started an Instagram page to share videos of herself performing, and the following month, the Arizona-based company that focuses on producing radio-friendly music with Latin, urban and multicultural influences reached out to her about working together, she said.

She signed to the label in March, and though she’d never imagined she would be discovered though social media channels, she’s looking forward to the future. “No Puedo,” which is intended to be a female empowerment anthem, debuted July 22, and she plans to release two more singles during the next year, she said.

Her mother and manager, Susie Barron, said she’s impressed with her daughter’s accomplishments.

“I am incredibly proud of my daughter,” she said. “She has gone above and beyond anything her father and I could have ever imagined for her. I have no doubt that she is going to continue to shine in all she does in the future.”

Growing up in Petaluma, music echoed through the Barron’s home, with singers like Selena Quintanilla, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey on the boombox regularly. Barron said her interest in singing grew even more after she was inspired by Kelly Clarkson’s story on the show “American Idol.”

She participated in choir in elementary school and sang with the children’s choir during Christmas mass at St. Vincent de Paul church in Petaluma. But, it wasn’t until her sophomore year in 2010 that Barron sang her first solo in public.

“Before that I was a shower singer,” she said. “I sang in the house, but I never sang in front of people unless I was in a group.”

At 15, Barron was a cheerleader for the junior varsity squad at St. Vincent de Paul High School, and before one of the football games, she overheard that the singer slated to perform the national anthem wasn’t at the game. Barron wanted to step in, but she didn’t know all the words, so she took it upon herself to learn the lyrics in case the opportunity arose again.

When the singer failed to show up a second time, Barron performed instead, and ended up singing at most of the home games the rest of the season.

She said her cheer coach Debbie Abrao and choir teacher Gio Benedetti pushed her to pursue her music career, adding that Benedetti gave her a piece of advice she’ll never forget.

“The one thing I will always remember that he told me on my last day of senior year was, ‘Don’t let anybody ever tell you that you’re not good enough (at singing) because you are,’” Barron said.

Currently, the sophomore in the Dominican University of California’s nursing program balances her classes with her music, attending school Monday through Thursday and devoting the rest of her time to singing. She’s working on the lyrics for her second single and she sings in a duo with Eve Gmeiner at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday mass at St. Vincent’s. She also performs at Valley Orchards Retirement Community during the holidays, she said.

Known to her friends as the “singing nurse,” Barron said music plays an integral role in her life.

“Music has always been what I turn to through the good times and the bad,” she said. “As for Latin music, I particularly like the type that has a fun, upbeat vibe to it. That is the type of music I turn to when I’m in a happy, feel-good mood.”

In the future, she hopes to release an album, but for now, her goal is simple.

“I want people to feel good when they listen to my music,” she said. “My whole idea is to put personal experiences into my music so that people who have gone through the same thing can be inspired.”

For more information, visit jessicabarronmusic.com.

(Contact Nicole Santos at argus@arguscourier.com)

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