Before going to any performance, Flo Petite grabs two things: tea, and a sticker coated journal. 

Petite then takes those items — and whatever else they need for their setlist — into Baby Blue, a tofu-loving minivan close to retirement, equipped with its own “I heart tofu” sticker. 

Petite, a singer-songwriter and recent alum from the University of Maryland’s English department, has been engrossed in music since she was first enrolled in piano lessons in her childhood. Now, she performs across Maryland and the United States.

“For me, music is just a big sense of comfort, like a nice, big, warm blanket,” Petite said. “I would like my songs to be like that for someone else.”

In their musical journey, Petite looked up to their older, artistic friends to grow as a musician. Petite has since gone on about five tours and released 10 to 12 singles and a debut EP, titled “Soft Wrinkled Feelings.”

Although Petite’s music is a combination of various kinds of sounds and influences, she classifies herself as a “crunchy singer songwriter.” She takes a lot of inspiration from the ocean, she said.

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“It’s a very wild thing because when I have a song and I’m alone in my room writing it, I’m like this is my song,” Petite said. “When you release it, it’s almost kind of like setting your child free into the world.”

Petite is not the first of their family to have a musical inclination, however.

Her great-grandmother, who shared Petite’s first name, also shared a love for music. Petite’s great-grandmother once sung opera, and to Petite, her great-grandmother’s musicality passed down with her name. 

“I like to kind of synthesize my name sometimes,” Petite said. “[I] think about [my great-grandmother] be like ‘Ooh, the musicalness has been passed down with the name.’”

Petite has performed at the Songbyrd Music House as an opener for various artists, including Sydney Sprague in early December.

Petite has also performed at other concert venues in the Washington, D.C., area, such as The Pocket and DC9 Nightclub. She crossed state lines to perform in Omaha, Nebraska and San Diego, Petite added.

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Moving forward, Petite said she looks forward to continuing to grow in her musical journey. She hopes to release her first album in 2024, become financially sufficient and grow a larger fan base. 

Despite this, Petite said she is happy to perform.  

“I get a lot of joy from just performing,” Petite said. “It feels like a dream come true, you could say.”