A Musical Dream Come True

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Lisa Bonotto/ Photo by Mark Warner

A year and a half ago, Lisa Bonotto’s lifetime dream of becoming a professional singer and songwriter finally turned into a reality. “It has been an amazing year and a half,” said the mother of two who lives in Holt. With six songs featured on a recorded album, Bonotto’s voice can be heard on radio stations across the country. If you’re more into a live performance, you can catch Bonotto with her duet partner, Mike Skory, every Thursday night at The Exchange in downtown Lansing. Thanks to her parents’ musical background, Bonotto’s interest in music started young. Originally following her love of music and attending a performing arts school in Louisville, Ky., Bonotto changed schools, and her main focus when her family moved to Michigan. After graduating, she pursued a teaching degree at Spring Arbor University with a minor in English. Still, her musical dreams didn’t fade. In 2009, when Bonotto was asked to serve on the Jazz and Blues Fest committee in Old Town she met Skory. They began working together and shortly after began performing at small summer concerts. Bonotto said that she owes her musical break to Skory, who is well known in the Lansing music scene. “He saw potential in me and believed in me,” she said. Today, Bonotto spends three to four days a week rehearsing with Skory. The beginning of her week is spent analyzing the goals for the next few days and planning out marketing strategies. The majority of her performances take place in the evening, which leaves her time during the day to rehearse and write. When asked if she would go back and choose this career again, Bonotto immediately said, “Of course!” So far, Bonotto said the proudest moment in her music career is the first time she saw her album come out. Her lyrical inspiration arises from virtually anything — personal experiences, emotions and even one line hooks. She said that the best part about her job is “getting paid to do what you love to do.” Bonotto said she still feels amazed when she hears songs that she composed and is featured in, being played on the radio. Of course following your dream isn’t always easy. “It takes more work than what meets the eye, it’s not all fun and games,” she said. “There is more to what I do than just getting up and singing well.” Bonotto is grateful for her supportive family at home. Her husband, David, attends the majority of her shows along with her mom. Bonotto also said that her two sons are very supportive and have picked up some of her musical talents. “They’re thrilled to see me doing what I’ve always loved to do,” she said. And while it may have been a long road, Bonotto said if her new-found success proves anything, it’s to never give up on your dream. “You’re never too old to try your hand at it or pursue what you love to do,” she said. Bonotto hopes to continue her music career and eventually expand her band. When she isn’t performing or writing songs, she enjoys spending time with her two sons and husband of 27 years at her Higgins Lake cabin. Bonotto continues to remain passionate about the music that she is writing and performing. “I’m the kind of girl that if I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it well, not just halfway,” she said.
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Tags: Careers, Exchange, Holt, singer, songwriter

Danielle OBrien

A senior at Michigan State University pursuing a career in communications and public relations, Danielle enjoys cooking, traveling and all Middle Eastern food.