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Want to be a star? Keep pushing

Q: I'm 16, have a great voice and have got my look together. I've been taking singing lessons since I was 7, and know that I want to be a star. What advice can you give me? A: Well for starters, one of the things I did was focus on writing. I also focused on learning a lot about production and arrangement. If you are musical, be as self-sufficient as possible so that people can't manipulate your sound. The more self-sufficient you are, the more power you have.

My mother and I sat down and we put demo tapes in envelopes and sent them to everyone; it's a numbers game. Send them to entertainment attorneys, because they are key in helping people get record deals, and also to the record labels themselves. Be relentless. If you don't have musical ability I would suggest study it, especially voice. Technique comes in handy when life gets grueling and stressful because, once you get further along in your career, you don't want to ruin your instrument.

Q: What should I look out for once I do make it into the industry?

A: Just know that getting the deal is when the work really begins. The deal is not the victory mark, but the tip of the iceberg. Focus on the craft of music more than the fame. If you get caught up in the fame and the perks of the business, you will probably end up losing sight of why you got in the business to begin with, which should be the music.

Coming April 11: Soap star Ricky Paul on how to become a daytime drama star.