Osoyoos teenage singer-songwriter thrilled first CD is ready for release
Kayla Dawn Turnbull’s personal philosophy in life is to never give up, as she has had to overcome her fair share of difficulties during her 18 years.
So it’s really no surprise that the talented musician’s first CD would be called Never Give Up, which is one of the 11 self-titled songs the Grade 12 Osoyoos Secondary School student has produced for debut release.
Turnbull has had to overcome being hearing impaired and other physical problems, yet remains one of the most optimistic, pleasant and positive teenagers you will ever meet.
“The message in almost all of my songs is to remain strong and that you can overcome anything if you put your mind to it,” said Turnbull, who is ready to release Never Give Up this coming Friday. “There are always going to be roadblocks in life, but I believe you can overcome almost anything with a positive attitude and that’s the main message I try and get across in my music.”
Turnbull invited local business owners who have supported her career; family and personal friends to a CD launch debut party Thursday evening at the Osoyoos Sailing Club.
The recording was produced by local teacher and fellow musician Miles Derksen, who has known Turnbull for three years since she first signed up to take a music course at the Osoyoos office of You Learn, where Derksen has taught for several years. Derksen co-wrote one of the songs on the CD called Quick Fix.
Derksen had seen Turnbull play some of her music around town at various venues over the past couple of years and about a year ago they decided she had written enough quality tunes to produce a CD of original material.
“Kayla really didn’t show me or let me listen to any of her original music for the first little while after we met,” said Derksen.
Eventually, Turnbull introduced him to a song she wrote called Into the Wild and it blew Derksen away.
“My wife heard the song and she was in tears,” he said. “I knew then that this girl had something special and I was hoping eventually in the back of my mind that we could work together on a special project.”
Turnbull recently entered that same song into the CBC Searchlight contest, where is made the top 25 in a regional competition in the South Okanagan.
After Turnbull played a couple of Christmas concerts organized by Derksen at a local church, they agreed Derksen would help record Turnbull’s debut release.
They have been working together at a local recording studio for more than 12 months to complete the recording.
Turnbull said it’s thrilling to be on the verge of releasing her first CD at the tender age of 18.
“I’ve been writing songs since I was a little girl … and being able to put together an album of my songs is something I had always hoped for,” she said. “Like many other musicians, I want to get my music out to the world and now that it’s happening, it’s pretty exciting.”
Turnbull plays guitar and ukulele on Never Give Up, while Derksen plays piano, accordion, drums, bass and uses digital sampling to introduce strings to some of the tunes. The mastering studio owner who mastered the final CD was so impressed by the quality of sound and musicianship that he gave Turnbull a discount on the project, said Derksen.
“The record sounds really good … it turned out even better than I could have imagined,” said Derksen.
Turnbull is hoping to play several gigs in Osoyoos and around the South Okanagan this summer, including a gig in Gyro Park during Canada Day celebrations.
She is hoping to attend Okanagan College in the fall for one year before hopefully gaining acceptance into the music therapy program at Capilano College in North Vancouver in the fall of 2015.
“I want to be able to improve the lives of others using music and that’s why I’m so interested in music therapy,” she said.
Turnbull has also been named an ambassador for the Canadian Hearing Society and will be writing a blog and playing the occasional concert to support that organization.
Turnbull is selling her CD on her new website, which can be found at www.kayladawn.ca. The CD is also available at Osoyoos Home Hardware, JoJo’s Café, Wander Café and Wander Home.