Flagler student becomes pop singer

By Lawrence Griffin | gargoyle@flagler.edu

Flagler alum Paige Marie Garrity, 19, is living her childhood dream as a rising pop star, preparing to release her debut mix-tape next January.

“I knew from a very young age that performing was what I wanted to do…When my friends would come over, we would get all dressed up and put on shows at my parents’ dinner parties,” Garrity said. “I wasn’t a shy kid, I loved being the center of attention when it came to the ‘spotlight.’  I would choreograph routines to Britney Spears, N’Sync and Christina Aguilera and beg for my friends to perform them with me, even when they didn’t want to.”

Garrity first became interested in music at age 6 when she first heard Brittany Spears’ “Baby One More Time” on the radio, and bought the CD. “After I heard her music and saw her perform on TV, I knew I wanted to be a star like she is,” she said. Soon after, she started taking dance lessons at an academy and her first big break came when she auditioned for the American Idol spin-off, American Juniors.

She came to Flagler College in 2008, where she changed her courses of study several times, starting out with psychology and pre-law and switching to business and accounting. Her last major before she left the school in 2010 was communications with a minor in advertising.

English professor Elizabeth Robbins recalled having Garrity in class. Robbins said that even then she was professing ambitions for becoming a singer. She had her do her final research paper on the music industry, allowing her to weave the research into her own story about cutting a demo and trying to get it on the market. Garrity’s paper showed much knowledge about the music industry, Robbins said.

“I knew by the end of the class that she had the drive and ambition to make it happen. What I didn’t know, as I had never heard her sing, was if she had the talent, and so I’m very pleased to know that she certainly does have the talent and she’s making her dreams come true,” Robbins said.

Flagler senior Melissa Goldberg met Garrity while they worked together on a project for their Principles of Electronic Media class. “We were grouped together to come up with a ‘hit’ TV Show for a huge class grade,” Goldberg said. “During group meetings, she always talked about her singing and record deals and would send me previews of her songs.” Garrity worked hard to perfect every detail of the project and the two have kept in touch ever since.

Garrity is remembered by Speech Communication teacher John Lynch as a good student and a good person with excellent attendance and a lot of energy. Lynch remembers the class final when she said that she could sing in front of thousands but still got nervous doing a speech in front of 20 — “So she did a song for us for her final,” he said.

Much of Garrity’s motivation comes from within. It makes her feel good to know she can share her secrets and feelings with her fans through her music and have them still adore her. She believes that performing is what she was put on Earth to do.

Garrity’s decision to leave college and become a singer is one that she considers to be the best decision she has ever made.

“My advice? Never take no for an answer. Consistency is key. In this industry, no one takes a slacker seriously,” she said. “Never be afraid. Confidence – wear it like make-up. Haters are inevitable; they’re everywhere you go. Don’t let them define who you are. It’s your art, and it’s beautiful. With a lot of work, and a little luck, it’ll happen for you.”

Her debut mix-tape Diary of a Broken Hearted Girl will be released in January of 2011 and she plans to release a mix-tape every month.

With a little luck, a lot of talent and a lot of good hearted people behind her, Paige Marie Garrity has made a name for herself in the entertainment world and is growing as an artist and a person every day. She is working on a program to help young children get into the singing and performing world and she is enthusiastic about writing new songs with different artists of every genre from soul to pop. Her story remains a positive statement to everyone who ever wanted to chase a dream — just go for it, as Garrity said, “Follow it to the end and do not give up, because it just might pay off someday.”

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