GREENVILLE — Ohio native and Greenville High School graduate Sereena Barga may be on the verge of hitting it big in Nashville.
Barga released her debut single, titled “You Love Me,” this past month. The song has seen positive feedback online, with more than 19,000 streams on the website Spotify. Barga was born and raised in Darke County and moved to Nashville after attending college to pursue a career in music.
“I loved growing up in Darke County,” Barga said. “I was raised on a farm out in the country, and I mean way out, to where my brothers and I could light off fireworks on a Monday afternoon in the summer and no one would even hear them.”
Barga lived about a mile down the road from Palestine, in western Darke County. She graduated from Greenville High School in 2010. Her musical influences were diverse when she was growing up.
“I was raised on rock music, Elvis Presley and talk radio thanks to my parents,” Barga said. “Country music came later, and I believe it’s because of the country life I lived in Darke County. The lyrics and melodies seemed to fit my lifestyle, so I could relate. I remember hearing Shania Twain for the first time when I was little and telling everyone I was going to move to Nashville and be a big star because I wanted to be just like Shania.”
Barga later graduated from Ball State University in Indiana with a degree in public relations and finance. It was then she decided to relocate to Nashville to pursue a music career. That career hasn’t necessarily followed the path she originally anticipated, however.
“When I went to college, I started writing more music and lyrics, mostly country songs, but for some reason, they weren’t resonating with me,” Barga said. “It wasn’t until I made the big move to Nashville that I realized country music wasn’t really my style. I love country music, but I didn’t think that I, personally, could make good country tracks. Everyone always told me my voice was more soulful, more R&B-like.”
After graduating from Ball State, Barga moved to Nashville and got a job working as a publicist for Christian artists.
“I relocated to Nashville four years ago,” Barga said. “The first three years were rough, and I hated it. I knew only two or three people when I got there, and they were always busy, so I had me, myself and I to keep me entertained. I also had no idea how to even start my music career.”
Things have changed drastically for Barga in the last year, however, and she thinks it’s because she finally dedicated herself completely to pursuing a career in music.
“I made things change. I took control of my career and told myself I was going to do this,” Barga said. “This past April, I quit my corporate job and made music my main gig. I started bartending on weekends and doing some freelance graphic design and marketing work on the side to pay the bills. I’ve been writing and recording all summer, and thanks to that I have so many songs I’m excited to release this coming year!”
Barga credited her fans, including those back home in Darke County, for giving her the strength to persevere.
“I’m not currently signed with any major record company,” Barga said. “I’m doing this all on my own. My fans are my biggest supporters, and I’m so grateful for everyone back home in Darke County and Indiana. They are my motivation to keep writing and recording. I cannot thank them enough!”
The music video for Barga’s debut single is set to be released Friday. She plans to release another single, titled “VIBES,” in October, and has four shows in Nashville booked during October and November.
“My big goal is to tour all summer next year,” Barga said. “I want to play at festivals across the country. That is what I see is next for me. We’re going to keep writing and making good music, meeting new people, hopefully inspiring people and just keep living the dream.”
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. To join the conversation and get updates on Facebook, search Advocate360. For more features online, go to dailyadvocate.com.