For Boston-born singer songwriter Vanessa Pottiger, music is more than just self-expression. At the core of every song is a deep desire to help her audience understand the unseen truths of the world, to see beauty and to live a life of love.
Growing up as the oldest child of two evangelical pastors, Vanessa was surrounded by discussions of spirituality, heaven and love. She found that the stage on Sunday mornings was where all three of those ideals met, and she wrote as a six-year-old in her journal that she wanted to be a singer and a teacher when she grew up.
After moving to the Philadelphia suburbs as a teenager, she discovered poetry and songwriting as a way to cope with the feelings of being different and misunderstood. Knowing that the stage was her home, she studied Music Performance (Vocal) at the University of Valley Forge, all the while privately studying world religions, theologies and dogmas, still searching for patterns within the threads of the complex tapestries of ancient ideology.
After graduating, she began teaching voice, piano and songwriting lessons, and became a mentor for many of her students after hearing their stories of bullying, abuse, violence, depression and suicide. Teaching brought deep meaning, but hearing her students stories stirred up a desire to change culture on a larger level. And she believes music has the power to do that.
A diagnosis of vocal nodules as well as laryngopharyngeal reflux caused Vanessa to doubt whether becoming a performing artist was even possible. But after a year of rest and healing, Vanessa could no longer silence the voice that was struggling to be heard. From this place of silence, her first single "Sugar Don't Make Me Lie" was written.
Despite the upbeat tempo and the song's danceability, Sugar Don't Make Me Lie is a heartfelt song about the desire to break free from normalcy and routine, with lyrics that shift between insecurity and confidence about taking steps into the unknown. The song was recorded at Real Recording Studio in Bethlehem, PA and was produced by Matt Dougherty. The single is available on all major platforms.
Vanessa's desire in moving forward with her music is that her songs will open a door to meaningful conversations with millennial and gen z women about love, spirituality, self-discovery, sexuality, abuse and freedom.
"As much as I love Sugar [Don't Make Me Lie], I have some other songs that wrecked me to write, and I know will speak to other women who have gone through the experiences I've gone through. Life is complicated and messy and gorgeous and sickening and wonderful, and I want my music to speak to not only the loveliness of life but its horrors."
Vanessa is so excited to be a part of the Celebration of Music and hopes to inspire others to passionately pursue their dreams.
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