Thousands of people hold the ambition of becoming known for doing something that they love. A lot of these people let their dreams slip away as they think that they aren’t good enough to make it. Kayla Castellano isn’t willing to let that happen.

Kayla has been singing since she was seven years old, and her first performance was at the Masque Theater in Temple Terrace, FL, taking on the main role in the play Annie. For as long as she can remember, it’s been her goal to live the music dream.

Junior Kayla Castellano performed the national anthem at the Homecoming pep rally last Friday. (Photo courtesy of Evan Abramson)

Kayla writes her own songs and has entered several competitions, including the Italian Idol in Ybor City in 2008 and 2011, and managed to win first place both times. She made it through the first three rounds of the X-Factor before being cut, and is hoping to audition again in May 2013. A lot of her time is taken up with writing music and recording, and she’s hoping to have an album out as soon as possible.“I want to do this for the rest of my life. It’s the only thing I can think of,” said Castellano.

“I’m working on a recording this Friday, and there’s a radio station that wants to hear my music played,” said Kayla. “I’m sending a CD to California and that’s what I’m going to try to [get recognized for]. Hopefully I’ll have something out on iTunes in the next year or so. It takes a while to get everything together.”

Kayla wants to sing country music and when asked about her inspirations, said she looks up to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. She likes to listen to the stories of people who have become successful and she tries to follow in their footsteps. “It helps me to figure out my own goals and my career,” said Castellano.

Last Friday, Kayla sang the national anthem at the Homecoming pep rally, where we were able to witness her grand vocals during a fantastic performance. “During the day I was [nervous], but there wasn’t a nerve in my body when I started singing,” said Castellano. Kayla went on to explain how her method of getting herself in musical mindset is to pray, God being one of the biggest things in her life. She also drinks a lot of tea and honey before a show to help her vocal chords.

Although making it as a solo artist while juggling schoolwork is unbelievably tough, Kayla has made it clear that nothing can break her resolve. There’s no doubt that her voice and talent will get her far, and hopefully we’ll see her living her dream onstage in the future.

A message from her to those trying to overcome the pressure of the music industry:

“Nothing’s impossible, and everyone has that chance.”

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Below is the full transcript of the Oracle’s interview with Kayla Castellano.

When did you first start singing, and where was your first performance?

I started singing when I was seven, and my first performance was at Masque Theater in Temple Terrace, FL; I played the lead role of Annie.

Are you involved in drama at school?

No, I was in freshman year, but theater’s not really my thing, I want to be a country singer.

How do other artists influence your own performances?

I love listening to their life stories because they really inspire me. I like hearing what they did to become what they are today and I try to follow in their footsteps. It helps me to figure out my own goals and my career.

Who are your biggest inspirations?

Well, I’m kind of my own person, but if I had to choose I’d probably say Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood.

So you were great at the pep rally on Friday, were you nervous?

During the day I was, but once everybody started coming into the gym, I thought, “This isn’t too bad.” There wasn’t a nerve in my body when I started singing.

Do you get nervous often?

Not really. The more I sing in public, the less nervous I get for the next performance.

How do you prepare yourself before a show?

I drink honey, tea, and I steam, which is when you boil hot water and cover your head with a towel, and it opens up your vocal cords. But I mostly drink a lot of hot tea and lemon.

Is there anything you tell yourself before a performance?

I pray, and I think that’s the only way I can get through things, because God is one of the biggest things in my life.

How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

I just smile and try to get through it and do better in the next phrase. I try to totally forget about it.

How much time do you dedicate to your music?

I write my own songs, so I’m writing all the time. I would say I spend about three or four hours a day working on material and trying to make things better.

What kind of competitions have you entered, and have you won any?

I entered the Italian Idol in Ybor City in 2008 and I won first place for the musical district, and last year and I won first place for high school districts. I also auditioned for the X-Factor, and I got through the first three rounds, but they had too many people so they had to cut me.

Are you thinking about trying again?

I am, I’m trying to get all of my material ready for the auditions in May.

Is this what you want to do for the rest of your life or do you have other aspirations?

I definitely want to do this for the rest of my life, it’s the only think I can think of.

It’s pretty difficult to make it big in the music industry nowadays and there’s a lot of pressure. How do you go about overcoming that?

I think about the effort that people put in every day, and how they got to where they are now, and I feel like I could do the same thing. Nothing’s impossible and everyone has that chance.

So do you plan to have an album out anytime soon?

I’m working on a recording this Friday, and there’s a radio station that wants to hear my music played. I’m sending a CD to California and that’s what I’m going to try to get recognized for. I started on an album last year but it didn’t work out because of the producer I was working with. Hopefully I’ll have something out on iTunes in the next year or so. It takes a while to get everything together.

What are your songs mostly about?

Mostly about my day to day experiences and what other people have to overcome on a daily basis.

What are your expectations for your musical career in the future?

I want to get to where I can perform shows every night and be on tour, and just live the music dream. I want to be able to get awards and be recognized.

Nataly Capote / Chief Copy Editor

 

 

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