Kelly is a singer/songwriter who performs with the band Determined and in the Jazz Jam with the D’Sievers. She has earned a degree in business administration and human resources and works for Kathy’s Pub in Rochester.
What sparked your interest in music?
I’ve always been a performer, even before I was into music. My dad is a musician, and he used to play classic rock and blues guitar at night when I was falling asleep. That’s where I get my soul from.
Favorite local band or artist?
LaSonya Kline-Fleming. She is an amazing singer who has a background in Southern gospel. I’ve learned a lot just being around her.
Most memorable Rochester gig experience?
Thursdays on First with Suite. It was one of the largest performances I’ve done. The best part of the show was watching the audience get involved with the music. They were excited to have us up there.
If you could run sound for one artist no longer among the living, who would it be? Why?
Janis Joplin. Instead of always trying to be perfect and pretty sounding, she helped me to embrace the raspy-ness of my own voice.
One book you think everyone should read?
I recently read “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes. It’s about a man who is a full paraplegic and a woman who tried to influence him not to kill himself.
Favorite local hangout?
Kathy’s Pub. I know that I am biased because that’s where I work, but I wanted to work there because I liked the music and the scene even before I got the job.
Kindest words from an audience member?
I’ve been told several times that I should do American Idol and that I have an amazing voice. But for me, the best feeling is the applause.
What makes you stand out as a musician?
I have a surprisingly big voice compared to what people expect. Plus, I have a very unique sound, and I can fill up a room without trying too hard.
What is your musical philosophy?
Music has always been a creative outlet – a way to communicate my feelings. If music doesn’t make me famous, it doesn’t really matter.
What motivates you to keep performing?
I perform because I love it. One thing that I have learned is that musicians need to be their own biggest fans. Sometimes they just need to do it for themselves.