Vanessa grew up singing with her family. Raised by her grandmother, she enrolled in piano lessons at age five and competed in her first competition in fifth grade. She moved in with her mother at age 13 and began taking songwriting seriously. After being diagnosed with endometriosis, she was hospitalized monthly and poured her heart into music. In 2011, she lived in Beijing, performing six nights a week at the LAN Club, and later toured the world on the Holland America cruise line for five months with the B.B. King's Blues Club All-Star Band. For the past 11 years, Vanessa has made money strictly from gigging and touring.