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Meet Trailblazer Courtney Govan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Govan.

Courtney, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Hello, San Diego! I am 23 years old, and I am a singer/songwriter. For as long as I can remember, music has been my outlet for artistic expression and emotional release. I grew up constantly wanting to share my talents with everyone I met because it made me happy. My earliest memory of songwriting started when I was a little girl. I remember writing little songs for my parents when I knew I was in trouble because I thought it would soften the blow a little bit. As a young teen, I spent my summers at a theater camp called Camp Bravo, which was an amazing outlet for me to create and grow in a safe and judgment-free environment. Camp Bravo was my first exposure to theater as a craft and as an ensemble-driven experience. I started to feel my confidence grow, and my passion for the arts just exploded!

I got my first taste for performing in theater when I entered high school at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace. Although theater was not a widely expanded part of their curriculum, it was the perfect place for me to start figuring out what I wanted to do in the Arts. As I got closer to college, however, I didn’t know what I wanted to pursue as a career. I didn’t want to neglect the part of me that wanted to be a singer and songwriter but I also didn’t want to ignore this newfound love of theater.

I finally decided that I wanted to try studying theater, so I went to college at the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and got my Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Musical Theatre; but I promised myself not to stop writing music! My time in college challenged me to limits I didn’t know I could reach. While I was in school, I had countless opportunities to perform my music and collaborate with my incredibly talented classmates. During those four years, I self-released my first single “Shadow” on iTunes and Spotify and I was the opening act for Jesse McCartney’s “Kaleidoscope” College tour, where I got to perform that song. It was truly one of the most magical experiences. Finally, the level of professionalism at my school is something that I will credit my work ethic for the rest of my life. To all my peers and professors, thank you.

When I graduated from college, I found myself at a crossroad. I loved theater but I realized that my passion lay with writing. Theater taught me so much about myself and gave me a level of self-actualization that I never thought I would get to, and my goal is to share that knowledge with my audience.

I haven’t stopped writing music since I got home and I cannot wait to finally share with everyone all my blood, sweat, and tears, served up on a silver platter -in the form of an EP. I am also performing everywhere I can around San Diego! Recently, I performed for NeoSoul Night at the Atomic Nightclub in the Gaslamp District downtown, and at the Little Italy Farmers Market. I also recorded a feature on New Age Artist DTO’s junior album.

I am so excited to be grounding myself in my beautiful home of San Diego and creating music for my community. It took me a long time to get to this point, but I am finally home and hitting the ground running!

Has it been a smooth road?
I’m just gonna say it, nothing in life is ever going to be easy. If it’s worth you fighting for, you will get there, but it will not be easy. I am just beginning my professional journey right now and I have to accept a lot in myself as an individual to mentally prepare for the life I am entering.

The hardest thing that I had to face was not tearing myself down during the process. As a plus size woman, or better yet -as a woman, I grew up extremely self-conscious of my weight, the way I dressed, and the way I looked. Every weird glance my way or an expression taken out of context could have ruined my day. I grew extremely sensitive to criticism because I always took it too personally; It was as if any criticism, even if it was constructive, was a personal attack on me as a person. I realized very quickly into my college process what I was doing to myself, and it needed to stop.

I honestly hate giving advice because I know that not everything is going to work for you, but I can honestly say there are a million things that you can do to build yourself up right along with your confidence. For me, it was wearing a bikini for the first time, wearing a crop top because I WANTED to, cutting 11 inches of my hair off because I didn’t need to hide behind it anymore, embracing my body for what it is because She is beautiful and I don’t give a f***what anyone else has to say about it. There are so many things that we can do to take our lives back, and it all starts with you. Live your life for you and surround yourself with people who love you. Build up the people around you  and, as my mom always says, “other peoples opinion of you, is none of your business.”

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am an up-and-coming singer/songwriter, currently working on my first EP (Extended Player). I always say that I hate classifying my sound into one genre, but if I had to pick, I would say that it is more Alternative Pop with EDM influences. Think Kygo or Lennon Stella. I still have a while to go before its out, but I hope you’ll come along for the ride with me.

The thing I am most proud of as a singer and writer is that I don’t try and sugar coat my feelings. If a song ends up being heavy or sad, I’m not going to hide that. I have a method for handling my emotions. I call it the “give it a day” approach. If I am feeling some type of way, I don’t try to push it down and move forward. I give myself a day to acknowledge how I am feeling, and If I get a badass passionate song out it, even better!

As for what sets me apart? This is going to sound cheesy but there is only one of us in this world. Sure, we all have things in common and extreme similarities, but the life I live and the stories I tell will only be told my way once, so I guess I better make it count.

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Never stop. Let yourself have those bad days when everything seems unclear, but that next morning, brush your hair, take a shower, get your self an iced coffee and keep moving forward.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
KateAlleyPhotography, JedzantPhotography ig: @thisguyjayjay

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