In the midst of a room that bustled with students and noise, juniors Brianna Graham and Jacob Barba would fill the air as they sang “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off,” by Ella Eyre, both enveloped in their rehearsal, absorbed by one thing only: their song.
Both Graham and Barba have been rehearsing for roughly three weeks this specific song in preparation for their Air Guitar auditions, a song that both feel a connection to. The duo ended up winning first place.
“I’ve been in similar situations where the dude wants me for sexual reasons, and I’m just like, ‘I don’t want that, I want something romantic, I want more than just being used as a tool,’” Barba commented. Graham also agreed, having “felt that connection also, especially as a woman.”
Although they’ve continuously rehearsed in preparation for their audition, both have had roots in singing and music that extend beyond to their childhood years.
“I’ve been singing since I, like Jacob, could talk, and I used to do a bunch of talent shows with my best friend Tiana,” Graham recalled. “My grandpa got me voice lessons as a Christmas present actually about a year ago, so I’ve been able to take those and I’ve been pretty much singing with Jacob at school often a lot.”
“I’ve been singing since I was two, never had a formal lesson in my life sadly, because I can’t afford it, but I’m self-taught on everything when it comes to that,” Barba said. “I’ve worked hard to get where I am, I’ve had the show choir to help with that too.”
Graham and Barba were both inspired by various reasons. Graham was inspired by Hannah Montanna, and aspired to reach her level of talent. Barba has had music ingrained in his family, finding music as his “one outlet,” as he also remarked that singing “cheered me up the most.”
Barba has also performed around Ventura, singing in small shows, or with communities around the area, to get his voice heard. He hopes to perform more, and Graham also hopes to perform outside of school.
Over the years, the two have been able to create memories thanks to their passion.
“There’s too many memories of me singing, I’ve had past memories with [Graham] at the school I find to be one of my best, and then there’s the first show where I actually had a solo,” Barba recalled.
“I think my best memory was in middle school, the end of my eighth grade year when I ended up being kind of forced into performing in front of everyone, I ended up singing “I Want You Back,” by Jackson 5, […] I think that was my best memory because it kind of got me out there and started helping me to pursue my actual dreams and got me to be more outgoing with everything.”
“I think my best memory was eighth grade graduation, me and my friend Tiana sang one of our goodbye songs for all the eighth graders and I just felt it was really emotional for everybody then,” Graham said. “It kind of hit us, ‘Oh my God, we’re going to be freshmen,’ it was kind of scary, but it was good at the same time.”
Background Photo Credit: Gabrialla Cockerell / The Foothill Dragon Press