Kayla Adams


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Countless aspiring musical artists make their way to Nashville or Los Angeles each year in search of stardom and all the things that the media has led them to believe come with it. And many of them end up disillusioned because the fame and glory almost inevitably elude them, and they forget about their first true love, the music, along the way. Then there are artists like modern Country singer Kayla Adams, who just want to do music, period, and will go anywhere, anytime for the sake of a song. Adams is now firmly settled in Nashville, where her new single, “Sober & Sorry,” has just been released on SSM Entertainment in advance of her upcoming five-song EP. But at 24, Kayla has already spent years on the road, both solo and as a band member, in addition to having received a fair amount of schooling, and all for one reason: the love of the music.

A Montana farm girl, Adams knew at an early age that she wanted to devote her life to singing full-time, and a door opened for her to do just that right after high school. "I auditioned to be part of a Christian band through an organization called Youth Encounter that did youth outreach," she recalls. "I became part of a group called Captive Free with other musicians I had never met and we were one of five national bands that toured the Midwest. I was the youngest, but we were all basically kids. I’ve always been a little
bit of an old soul, always been adventurous and up for anything, so I loved it. After that, I knew for sure that nothing but music would ever make me happy."

After a year on the road with the group, Kayla headed to Nashville for the music program at prestigious Belmont University. Though she was excited to be in Music City, something didn’t feel quite right. “The Belmont program was set up for a background in all types of music for teaching,” she says, “and it just wasn’t right for what I’m doing.” So after a semester at Belmont, the budding star's next stop was Hollywood, where she attended the famed Musicians Institute College of Contemporary Music for a year.

“Musicians Institute is more like a trade school,” she says, “where you just work on your craft. It was very music-focused with live performance workshops, ear training, private vocal lessons and more. It was great for me, taught me so much.”But after that, Adams was at a career crossroads. “I had to decide what to do next, but I knew I could work at home so I went back there to gain some more experience. It was the right decision,” she says, as the time in Montana allowed her to continue to develop her live performance skills while opening for acts as diverse as Kellie Pickler, Rodney Atkins, LL Cool J, Karmin, Heidi Newfield, Smashmouth and others. Sometimes she worked with her full band and sometimes she did it the old-fashioned way – no band, just her and her Taylor acoustic guitar. She even sang the National Anthemfor the Montana State Senate.

After performing back in Big Sky Country for a while, and spending some time decompressing in the great outdoors where she grew up fishing, hunting and snowboarding, Adams did something that few musicians – especially young, blonde-haired, blue-eyed women – would ever even consider: She packed up her Ford F-350 pickup and hit the road to play solo wherever she could, sometimes traveling for months at a time. Often sleeping in the camper on the back of her truck, with her faithful Yorkshire terrier Tory acting as watchdog (“He might lick somebody to death,” she giggles), Kayla continued to build her chops, singing in bars, supper clubs, anywhere she could find an acoustic gig on the road. “I went from Kalispell to Florida and back on one tour. I just figured out where I wanted to be and lined up a gig there. I have about 100 songs I sing, mostly Country, a mixture of original and covers, and some acoustic Pop like Colbie Caillat and Sara Bareilles.”

With years of constant singing and a high-level education under her belt, Adams has become a singer to be reckoned with, one who performs with the energy and attitude of a Miranda Lambert while bringing to mind such groundbreaking female stars as LeAnn Rimes. Kayla continues to refine her vocal and songwriting talents, having co-written the five songs on her upcoming release. "I’d say my two biggest influences as a writer are probably Kristyn Osborne from SHeDAISY, who’s a great storyteller, and Sherrie Austin, whose songs have meant a lot to me,” she says. “I want to challenge myself as both a singer and a writer, and Nashville is where I can make things happen on the scale I really need to. Recording and charting a couple radio singles will mean I can always work, that I will always have a place somewhere in the music world. I love to sing and play anywhere I can, but I still plan to take it as far as possible.”In the end, Kayla Adams knows what her priority is, and while the rewards of fame may be sweet, they are secondary to the rewards of simply knowing the joy of her art. “My dream has always been to just do nothing but play music,” she says. “So if I can find a way to do that, on whatever level it is, I’ll be happy.”