Whitney Woerz is living out literally everyone’s wildest dreams. After being judged in middle school for pursuing what she loved over what was “the cool thing to do,” the 16-year-old is shutting out all the haters and building her chosen career.

Whitney released her first EP, Behind the Smile, in November 2015. Now, her second EP is coming out later this summer! We got a chance to chat with the singer-songwriter and hear all about what’s in store.

J-14: Your second EP is coming out later this summer – what has the reaction of “Idea of Her” been like?

Whitney Woerz: The reaction from “Idea Of Her” has been overwhelmingly positive! It has almost 5 million views on Youtube in 4 weeks! Fans LOVE it and so many new supporters are finding the song and then listening to my other music. People also love the message of the song.

J-14: What do you hope listeners will take away from “Idea of Her”?

WW: I want people to watch the music video/listen to the song and walk away feeling comfortable in their own skin and proud of who they are.

J-14: Have you ever struggled with going to school and juggling your career at the same time? Were there ever instances of getting bullied because of it? How did you deal with that?

WW: Juggling school and my career is challenging but I manage. When I was younger, in middle school, people only played sports. Singing, acting, or anything to do with performing arts was considered “not cool.” I was made fun of for liking singing opposed to sports which really sucked, but I told myself that I was better than them and that I’m doing what I love. Once I moved to New York and started going to school at a performing arts high school, that went away and now everyone is SO supportive.

J-14: If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

WW: I would tell myself to not care what people think. In my old town everyone looked the same, dressed the same, and acted the same which I tried to fit into. I stifled my personality to get people to like me and I wish I could go back and just be myself! That’s what I do now and I’m so much happier!

J-14: What artists did you listen to growing up and how has that may have shaped your taste in music?

WW: I grew up listening to Broadway music and that got me into performing at a very young age. But now I listen to alternative music.

J-14: What are some songs that you can’t stop listening to right now?

WW: Whenever it’s summer, I always have The Strokes on repeat. I’ve been listening to a lot of Childish Gambino and Rostam, the piano player of Vampire Weekend.

J-14: What advice do you have for aspiring young singer-songwriters?

WW: I always tell aspiring artists to not be afraid to put out content. Start a Youtube channel. I started posting covers on Youtube a few years ago and they blew up! You never know who will see it!