Kalispell singer is realizing a lifelong dream

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Kayla Adams performs during the Northwest Montana Fair at the Flathead County Fairgrounds Aug. 15, 2012.

All Kayla Adams ever wanted to do was sing.

Now, at the ripe old age of 22, she is living her dream as a full-time musician in the Flathead Valley. In the last month, she opened for country music superstar Rodney Atkins at his concert at the Northwest Montana Fair and recorded a three-song demo in Nashville, Tenn.

Adams got her start as a child, singing along with country radio stations.

“As I got older, I realized singing was really the only thing I wanted to do,” she said.

That led to voice lessons and joining the school choir, said Adams, who attended Columbia Falls and Flathead high schools. Then, after she graduated from Flathead High in 2008, Adams went on tour with Captive Free, a musical group with Youth Encounter, a Minnesota-based nonprofit Christian ministry organization.

Adams was with the group for a year before leaving to attend Belmont University in Nashville. But after a few months at school, Adams decided the four-year university route wasn’t for her — at least for now.

“I would’ve just graduated this spring. I didn’t want to be in school all that time,” she said. “And in music, a bachelor’s degree is only good if you want to teach. I decided if I get to the point where I want to teach, then I will go back to school.”

Adams wanted to learn how to launch a full-time music career as soon as possible, which led her to enroll in a unique school in Los Angeles.

Instead of traditional courses and classrooms, the Musicians Institute focuses on the practical side of music. Adams studied voice and guitar in a variety of specialized classes.

“There aren’t desks. Every classroom has a stage with a [public address system], drums, chairs and music stands,” she said.

“You learn vocal technique, anatomy of voice, how to take care of it. There are classes on different styles of voice: rock vocals, country vocals. There’s a class on how to play with a band.

“It’s just singing, nothing else. No history, nothing like that.”

Adams spent a year at the school and then moved back to the Flathead Valley to put everything she had learned to use. At first she had a day job, but eventually she quit to devote herself entirely to her music career.

“It was kind of a leap of faith,” she said. “Quitting was definitely a little bit scary. But I didn’t have the time to give to music.”

Playing full time has proved a good move. Adams was busy performing several times a week all summer. At the end of August, she played almost nightly to raise money for a trip to Nashville to record a three-song demo.

“It went really well,” Adams said, adding that she will have the mastered tracks in about a week. “I got to listen to the songs, and everything sounds super-amazing. I’m really excited about it.”

When the demo is ready, Adams plans to hold a demo release party in Eureka. The digital files also will be available on her soon-to-be-relaunched website, kaylaadamsband.com, for those who sign up for her newsletter.

Those tracks will have to tide fans over for the next month or so. Adams said she plans to rest her voice for a couple of weeks before going on an acoustic tour in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Eastern Montana at the end of the month. She will be back in the Flathead in early October.

In the meantime, fans can keep in touch with Adams through the Kayla Adams Band Facebook page.

“I feel really blessed,” she said. “The local community has been awesome to me. I’ve played just about everywhere. It’s a lot of fun.”

Kristi Albertson, editor of This Week in the Flathead, may be reached at 758-4438 or at kalbertson@dailyinterlake.com.

Patrick Cote/Daily Inter Lake Luke Lautaret, left, of Marshall Catch, plays guitar during Kayla Adams performance Wednesday night during the Northwest Montana Fair at the Flathead County Fairgrounds. Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012 in Kalispell, Montana.

 

Patrick Cote/Daily Inter Lake Kayla Adams plays a show Thursday night at the Craggy Range in Whitefish. Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 in Whitefish, Montana.

 

Patrick Cote/Daily Inter Lake Kayla Adams performs Wednesday night during the Northwest Montana Fair at the Flathead County Fairgrounds. Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012 in Kalispell, Montana.

 

Patrick Cote/Daily Inter Lake Kayla Adams laughs while she tunes her guitar Wednesday night before her performance at the Northwest Montana Fair at the Flathead County Fairgrounds. Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012 in Kalispell, Montana.

 

Patrick Cote/Daily Inter Lake Kayla Adams performs Wednesday night during the Northwest Montana Fair at the Flathead County Fairgrounds. Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012 in Kalispell, Montana.

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