BILLINGS — The name Juliette Angelo may sound familiar, as the 24-year-old singer has been making a name for herself in Billings after being in town for less than six months.
Her name may also sound familiar from her past career, starting off performing in Broadway musicals at just eight years old in New York City, then launching an acting career in Los Angeles, California from ages 13 to 21.
“I was never allowed to just fully be a kid. Get dirty and, you know, everything was hidden. Everything was a secret, and I was exposed to so many horrific things so young,” Angelo said recently. "As a kid, I was never taught safety. How can you be when you’re in a household full of the people they’re telling you to avoid? The people your parents teach you to not go near, or trust, are the people I’m growing up with.”
Angelo describes that time in her life as traumatic. Being told how to look, how much to weigh, and what to think and feel were just a few examples she provided. While she still doesn't feel ready to fully share everything that she experienced at the hands of her parents as a young actress, she has started to tell part of her story through the music she now shares.
“It’s very healing, and I never wrote any of my music initially for anyone to hear it. It was really just a way to cope and process,” she said.
Angelo started writing poetry at a young age. She took those poems and turned them into her songs, recently re-releasing her first album, "Fields of Tennessee".
"What you hear is what you get. That’s what I really always wanted to have about my music, is what you hear live is what you can listen to on the ride home,” Angelo said.
But what landed a former actress in Billings? She said she was running from her past.
After a few years of moving to different cities, Angelo decided to make the drive from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Billings. Angelo said this is the most planned out move she has had in her adult years. Having a place lined up to stay in Billings was much different than her previous moves.
Before Billings or Albuquerque, Angelo was in Nashville, Tennessee, battling with an addiction that stemmed from her childhood. She attempted to end her life while living in Nashville.
“I’ve attempted suicide, and I was done. You know, the last night I drank I was done with my life. I didn’t want to exist. And I have a dog and I even felt like that with my dog,” she said.
It was her dog, Mac Miller, that launched her journey to sobriety because of that last night that she drank. She was put into the hospital for a short amount of time and left her dog alone.
“I had never left him overnight before, and I left him overnight during a thunderstorm, and when I came home he was crying in the corner. I said, 'Okay this doesn’t just affect me anymore.' Let me just take a break,” she said.
That was a few years before she moved to Billings. She has now been sober for over two years and said she is grateful to be in the state because it is the first time she has felt safe.
“Montana, getting here, allowed me the security to just sit with myself and understand that I am deserving of a good life. I can have a peaceful life. Just because I grew up in chaos doesn’t mean I have to forever exist in chaos,” she said.
Now, Angelo is focusing on her music career. After only having her first show less than a year ago, the artist has rapidly gained popularity. She opened for Carly Pearce during MontanaFair this summer and now has her own show coming up at the Pub Station on Nov. 17. Doors open at 7 p.m. and Angelo's show starts at 8.
“If I can help the next person, if I can help a child or at least just bring some awareness to what might be going on, that’s what matters the most to me. My music is my peace and freedom but there's also a reality to my childhood and the industry that’s just not talked about enough.”