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Conversations with Janie Balderas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janie Balderas.

Hi Janie, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
My journey starts at my hometown in the State of Texas!

I was that little girl with a big dream!! I would stand in front of the mirror holding a brush or a toy pretending it was a microphone. At church I would sing at the top of my lungs without a care in the world. I’ve always had a passion for music at a very young age, from singing in the choir, playing the trumpet, performing in mariachi, and singing on the church worship team so music has always been a part of me.
This is where it all began. Nashville Texaco Country Showdown was holding auditions in Austin, Texas and I submitted my audition. I was notified a few days later that I was selected as a contestant and was so excited that I taught myself to play guitar that week, I was determined to learn.

Competition day arrived and as I walked into the venue I saw the artists with fancy guitars with all the bells and whistles, their guitar straps even had their names embroidered on them while mine was the generic nylon strap, you know the one that comes with the guitar in the box. But the only thing that mattered that night was playing and singing my heart out.

The venue was packed and 3 judges sat in front of me, once that spotlight was on me it was showtime, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I had just been playing guitar for a week but I had a goal and was determined to do this, although I have to admit I had quite a few butterflies in my stomach.

I honestly could not believe I was standing there, just me and my guitar fixing to make it happen in front of judges and a packed venue for one of Nashville’s largest competitions. At that moment I was that little girl but not singing to the mirror this time, I had a crowd. Three artists made it to the next round that day and I was one of them, talk about a humbling experience.

The next round we had to write an original song and compete with the winners of other cities. I ended up writing “Red, White and Blue”, in honor of my biological father, a Special Ops Armed Forces Veteran whom I’ve never met so the song had a story behind it.

People danced, cheered, applauded and once I was done I walked down the steps a little emotional with a sigh of relief. I was thankful for the opportunity because it gave me confidence and I realized the next step for me was forming a band and writing more music.

I had volunteered for SXSW which is one of the largest festivals in Austin and they offered me a position as a stage manager for an iconic venue in downtown Austin. I learned so much and I loved being around the music so this definitely helped me with my career and the start up of my band.
Playing Rodeo Austin outdoor stage and Rodeo Austin 100x Club definitely gave us exposure and a platform. This also prompted me to get in the studio and record my song “Sweet Memories”.
That same month the Mayor of Austin proclaimed March 28th as Janie Balderas Day in which we were invited to perform my song “Sweet Memories” at City Hall.  We also performed it on Good Day Austin, Balcony TV, and a live video at the iconic Broken Spoke in Austin, Texas for Songwriters Across Texas TV show.

Fast forward a few years, I’m playing even more shows and honored to be invited to sing the National Anthem for PBR, baseball games, concerts, special events, and Rodeos, I have always wanted to sing our National Anthem and that part of my dream has become reality.

We’ve now been playing the Texas Country Music scene at Honky Tonks, Dance Halls, Rodeos, Festivals, Bars, Weddings, and other venues. I’ve also had the opportunity to play at the infamous American Pickers TV show at  Antique Archaeology in Nashville which was an amazing experience.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I can honestly say this musical journey has had its obstacles and challenges.
I’ve had my share of tears but I’ve learned to pray, keep thanking God and just keep working hard to keep the dream alive. I’m learning that when one door closes another one opens and usually that open door is better than the one that closed.
You just have to dust your boots off and get back on the saddle. Everything I’ve gone through makes me stronger, it’s like a stepping stone to the next level. I saw my mom withstand the toughest times and she never gave up.
She was a preacher and entrepreneur building her restaurant from the ground up so watching her in that element has taught me to shake it off and not give up.  Hard work and determination, if you have a dream, chase it!
My piece of advice is to always stay humble and kind, always remember the people who helped you along the way through your journey.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’m a country singer/songwriter and recording artist in the hill country right out of Austin, Texas. I’m also a National Anthem Vocalist and honored anytime I am able to sing our National Anthem or God Bless America. 

Last year,I released a song “Busted’ to radio and all streaming platforms and it charted on the Texas Country Music Chart and in the top 10 on the Texas Internet Radio chart. In April of this year, I released my latest song “Whiskey and Jesus’ to all streaming platforms. This song is also nominated for Single of the Year by the Josie Music Awards taking place at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville October 23rd.

I am so excited for this awards show and walking the Red Carpet at one of the most iconic places in Nashville! Humbled to be nominated in 2 categories: Single of the Year and Songwriter Achievement. I’m a 4x JMA nominee in various categories: Country Rising Star of the Year nominee, 3x Country female vocalist of the Year nominee, Single of the Year nominee, and 3x Songwriter Achievement.

Philanthropy plays a huge part of who I am and love to give back when the opportunity comes up. I’ve played at charities and benefits and always feel honored to be a part of a cause. This year I was invited to play softball on the team roster for the Celebrity Softball Classic in Arlington, Texas and it was an epic and heart warming event.

We were playing to raise money for 2 organizations, Save the Brave and Vets 4 Child Rescue. The positive energy, enthusiasm, and everyone working towards the same goal was so amazing. I have truly made longtime friends and thankful to be a part of this incredible event in which most of us call a family reunion, can’t wait until next year! If you would like to make a donation or would like info please visit www.celebritysoftballclassic.org

I’m also currently reading a book “Stop Whining, Start Winning 2.0 workbook edition” by Tim Klund and it has really made an impact on my life, it’s a great book/workbook and I highly recommend it!
Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I would like to thank God, he placed that passion for music in my heart when I was a young girl. It got me through some rough times through the years and music has also been healing for my soul.
Huge thanks to my Rock Star husband who is my best friend, my rock, sound engineer, biggest fan and wears so many more hats in this business. When we heard my song on the radio I saw his face light up and saw how proud he was, it was a milestone we both shared together and I’ll always remember that day. Thank you for being supportive of all the late-night gigs, driving miles to get us to our show and my spontaneous 3 am songwriting.

Thank you to my AMAZING kids who always believed in me, you are also why I do what I do. Your encouragement and love keeps me going and your support is appreciated. Don’t ever give up, fuel your passion and chase your dream, you can do it!

My mom, she was one of my biggest fans and always supported me in music. She gained her wings almost 2 years ago fighting Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer and her favorite song was “Amazing Grace” so in her last days I would hold her hand and sing it at her bedside. I miss her everyday and wish she could see the amazing things happening, I know she would have been proud.

My sisters, always encouraging me and cheering me on. Thanks for all your support and always being there when I needed someone to talk to, even when it was 2 am.

Josie and Tina Marie Passantino, y’all have given Indie artists a platform to be recognized and I am so appreciative of the hard work you do to make the JMA show a huge success. I’m honored to be a part of the JMA family and thank you to the JMA panel, I know you have your work cut out for you every year but know you are deeply appreciated. I can’t wait to see y’all in October!

Thank you to all the radio stations spinning my songs and all the venues that gave this small town girl a chance to share my music. To the people I have networked with and crossed paths with, thank you. The musicians that have played gigs with me, I am thankful to have you on stage with me making music and putting smiles on faces.
My fans and friends! Thank you for being with me on this journey and believing in me, y’all made this possible by being an amazing support system. Appreciate y’all!!

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