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Talented Osoyoos teen almost ready to release her first CD of original tunes
At the tender age of 18, Kayla Turnbull has already decided that, one way or another, music is going to be her life.
The talented Osoyoos teenager, who wrote her first song at age 11, has worked hard the past several months preparing to release her first album of original tunes.
One of those tunes, called Into the Wild, has been entered into the CBC regional songwriting competition called Searchlight, which is trying to find Canada’s best new artist.
That first portion of the contest, which will see 25 songs advance to the second round, wraps up this coming Sunday, April 6.
“They pick the top 25 songs from the region to move on and I need people to vote for me to have any chance to move on,” said the Grade 12 Osoyoos Secondary School student.
Turnbull’s love of music was instilled into her at a very young age as her mother Bonnie played piano and performed for several years, while her father Gord played guitar.
Kayla and her two brothers all took piano and guitar lessons as young children. Her brothers didn’t share her passion for music, but Kayla had enough enthusiasm for the entire Turnbull clan.
“I could tell Kayla’s love of music was far more advanced than her brothers,” said her proud mother.
Kayla is well known in Osoyoos as she regularly sings the national anthem at Osoyoos Coyotes home games and has performed at Market on Main, the annual Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life event, the Osoyoos Secondary School graduation ceremony, two concerts held last year a the Osoyoos Christian Centre, several local weddings and at numerous local seniors homes.
After writing her first song at age 11, Kayla has gone on to write dozens more and is hoping to have 10 to 12 original tunes on her first album, that will be called Never Give Up.
“I’ve written enough songs for at least two CDs, but I’m trying to narrow that down to my best tunes for my first release,” she said. “I’m working hard to try and get it out sometime in May.”
Local musician and good friend Miles Derksen, who has a home recording studio, has helped Turnbull record several of the songs that will appear on her first CD and helped fund the project as well, said Kayla.
“I could not have done this without his support and friendship,” she said. “He has been amazing. I’ve found out the hard way that it’s very expensive to put a record together, but Miles has supported me financially and in so many other ways.”
Several of the songs that will appear on the CD send a positive message about overcoming odds, she said.
“I have one song called Special that sends an anti-bullying message and the title song Never Give Up is about sending a message that you can overcome obstacles in your life with a positive attitude,” she said. “I’ve had to overcome a lot of things in my life, including serious physical limitations, and I believe in the power of positive thinking and this translates into the songs I write.”
Local music fans can vote for Kayla’s tune Into the Wild by going online and visiting www.music.cba.ca/#/artists/kayla-dawn. You can vote 10 times per day on any electronic device.
While she would love to pursue a career by writing and performing original tunes, Kayla also hopes to pursue a post-secondary career in music therapy at Capilano College in North Vancouver in a couple of years.
“I’m going to go to Okanagan College next year and take a few courses to learn about college life on my own, but I do want to pursue my Masters degree in music therapy at Capilano,” she said. “I really do believe music is a great way for people to overcome challenges and music therapy is a growing field that I think I will be able to pursue to help a lot of people.
“No matter what, music is going to be my career choice. I dream of being able to perform and travel the world by playing music, but I also want this music education to be able to help people.”