Justin Bieber taught Destiny Rogers to play guitar.
Not many 12- year-old Lodians can say that, but it’s true — although, it was with the help of a not-so-little website known as YouTube.
Rogers found Justin Bieber, the blonde teen sensation, online when she was about 7 years old. She watched the videos he posted, thought he was an OK singer and then forgot about him. A while later, she found him again and thought, “That kid’s pretty good!” She was inspired.
While he was becoming famous, Rogers started following along with his YouTube videos, singing his lyrics and learning his strums.
“I kind of picked up my guitar and would copy his fingers,” she said. “I never really knew the guitar; I would just play it.”
Now, Rogers is working toward her own career as a musician, singing cover songs and playing the guitar for crowds at places like the Lodi Farmer’s Market and at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
Singing for crowds is what excites Rogers. Recently in Lodi, a small crowd gathered around the singer as she performed top hits by her favorites artists like Bruno Mars and Katy Perry.
Once, while performing for a crowd during a visit to Santa Monica, a woman asked her for her autograph.
“I know you’re going to be famous one day,” the woman told Rogers.
Even at 12, Rogers, who has met with record labels and is in the process of hiring a manager, is keeping her eye on her goals of becoming famous.
A big stage in Brazil or Italy. Her guitar. A full band. That’s what Rogers is hoping to have soon. When she gets on stage, she feels confident and comfortable.
In the recording studio, she is a perfectionist.
“She’s a very determined girl,” said Rogers’ mother, Grace Rogers.
In the studio, Grace Rogers says Destiny is aware when a line sounds flat or needs to be reworked. She may spend ten minutes on one part, but that also keeps her songs from needing a lot of editing.
When she’s not playing, Rogers skateboards all around her neighborhood and Lodi. Street Signs, a skateboard compan, sponsors her passion.
She also spends a lot of her time on YouTube, where she posts videos of herself singing cover songs. Recently, she recorded a music video on the streets of San Francisco, playing and singing Jessie J’s “Pricetag.”
For Rogers’ family, the year has been a whirlwind that started with voice lessons through Burbank Voice Academy. Grace Rogers says her daughter has blossomed this year, and they are excited for the future.
“This year, we went hard. There’s no stopping now,” Grace Rogers said.
Contact Lodi Living Editor Lauren Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.