This summer I went into my MTrain Tour with rough cords. When they hemorrhaged, I canceled some shows, but in the middle of the tour, I got bronchitis. My doctor said, “You have to stop.” I was devastated. I spoke to Sam Smith, who told me to get surgery — that I would feel and sing better afterward. My manager promised me that it would not end my career, and my fans were so understanding.
The surgery was quick. My parents were in the room along with Dr. Nasseri and his wife, who is an anesthesiologist. They have become my Los Angeles parents. Post-surgery, Nasseri put me on two to three weeks of complete silence. My mom stayed with me the whole time, taking me to painting classes. It was tough to eat: no spicy or crunchy foods, no dairy. I drank a lot of Throat Coat tea with honey, which is the bomb. But the hardest part was living with my two brothers. Every time they would do something funny I would try not to laugh. Some mornings I would run into Dr. Nasseri’s office to check my vocal cords because I had laughed too loud the night before.
Four weeks after surgery, I started seeing Eric Vetro, a vocal coach in L.A. I had never had professional training, and I’m now learning how to breathe properly. Eric got me singing in a place that I have always wanted to be — really high and pretty. I’m singing better than ever, which you’ll hear now that I’m promoting my song for the Peanuts Movie soundtrack, “Better When I’m Dancin’.” It is inspired by my fans, who make me feel like a star on that stage.