"My goal is to create art that moves people deep inside their souls, brings love to light, and enhances the beauty and power of emotion."
MUSICIAN SPOTLIGHT IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… a little girl with a beautiful singing voice was too shy to sing in front of anyone. She would go into her bedroom, close the door, make her parents stay outside with their backs turned to the door, and she would only whisper the songs. True story.
Okay, so it wasn’t that long ago and it was right here in the Upstate. Of course, you wouldn’t know about her performance anxiety now, as she has become a seasoned professional at only 19-years-old and is very comfortable being on stage. This is definitely a good thing as she performs constantly throughout the year, and all over the country.
Meet Ms. Kylie Odetta.
It’s hard to imagine that someone so young is already so experienced in performing and recording, but Kylie has 11 albums available on iTunes and her 12th is debuting this month. She describes her musical style as singer/song writer with a hint of jazz. Not just pop, not just jazz, but a beautiful mixture of both into a sound that is smooth and unique.
The journey to this style has been a varied one. The evolution of Kylie’s musical style has gone from country to pop, with a brief experiment in electronic pop. She started writing songs that dealt with more dramatic subjects at the young age of 11 or 12. Her voice, sounding much more mature, was suited for the style, but would often surprise her audience with a maturity beyond her years.
Last year while recording the EP “High Dreamer”, one song stood out. It wasn’t even meant to be on the EP, but everyone who heard it agreed that the style was definitely Kylie. Everything about the song felt right, vocally and stylistically. Kylie describes “High Dreamer” as a defining project because she had finally found something that fit her voice and creative personality.
Kylie’s music has become the family business. Her mom and dad have backgrounds in marketing and advertising. Through some trial and error, they have found a marketing style for Kylie that reflects her personality and musical style. “You have to look at yourself as a product. How can I brand this person to be marketable, but not in a false way? How do you brand yourself truly?” says her mother Lori.
Odetta Publishing, as it is known, is very pleased that business is continuing to grow. Shows, album sales, and merchandising are all up and continue to be profitable. Scheduling shows is now a combination of Odetta Publishing soliciting venues, and venues soliciting Kylie.
Kylie’s friends are very much used to having a celebrity in their midst. She says they think nothing of it, and she’s grateful to have friendships that don’t require her constant presence since she travels most of the time. “I like that where you can just get back together after any amount of time and it’s like you never left.”
Kylie has opened for big names in the music industry such as Gavin DeGraw, Colbie Callait, Mat Kearney, Austin Mahone, and Kelly Pickler. This has provided her with much needed exposures and the possibility of performing in larger venues. However, Kylie prefers smaller, more intimate settings for her shows, which she feels are more suited to her musical style. Finding those types of venues are not easy, though.
Kylie is also very proud of the “Dare To Dream” tour which allows her to speak to kids about bullying. She admits that she was bullied as a child, but thankfully she didn’t let that stop her from pursuing her musical dream. She encourages kids to embrace their differences and not to let anything stop them in life. And kids are responding to the message. Kylie gains an average of 200 new Instagram followers after every school appearance, and she often gets messages and emails from students who are inspired by her story and her message.
If you’d like to hear Kylie’s music or attend a performance, please follow the links below. She has a variety of merchandising options available as well. She even hinted at a vinyl album possibly in the future. And don’t forget to attend the EP Release party for her new album “Undertow” due out on May 20. "With this EP, I wanted to celebrate and recognize the undertow that comes inevitably with being ALIVE and being in love." Kylie O
Heather Kitchen, Editor-In-Chief
Heather is the editor-in-chief of Upstate Exposures Magazine. She is also the owner of Heather Kitchen Images professional photography based in Inman, South Carolina.