Bailey Williams’ music on national online CD
Fifteen-year-old Bremen High School sophomore Bailey Williams began performing her songs live just this year and, already, she has a cut featured on an internationally distributed CD.
But it’s no wonder, when you consider this determined young singer, musician and songwriter has been immersed in music since age 5.
Bailey, daughter of Angie Boys of Bremen, and Mel Williams of Mishawaka, has an original song, “Downtown,” selected as one of 30 featured on the Kids Saving Kids CD online.
The non-profit organization hosts a national campaign to raise awareness and try to prevent drunk driving among teenagers. The group invited teen-aged musicians under the age of 18 to submit their music in February this year to narrow the field down to the final 30 who would be featured.
Bailey’s song kept making the cut and was selected as an online presence.
Her inspiration for the song came from a drive through a neighboring large city’s downtown area, where abandoned and re-purposed buildings caught her attention, she said. “It’s about how certain original parts of a downtown are being forgotten.”
Singing in the church choir at age 5, then picking up an acoustic guitar at age 8, and later penning her own lyrics and tunes seem like a natural progression for the self-admitted shy young woman who finds release in performing. But it’s been her family’s support, she says, that has helped her grow and mature, both as a person and as a committed performer and songwriter.
“I just want people to know that my mom is one of my biggest idols,” Bailey says, adding, “She’s such a great mom, and really believes in me. That’s so important.”
Bailey’s dad, who sings in the band Last Call, also has been helping her make the leap from private creator to public performer.
And there are other family members Bailey calls “creative” who have influenced and are encouraging her, as well.
Her first public performance was earlier this year at Fiddler’s Hearth in South Bend, where she played a 20-minute set that included two of her original songs. Admittedly nervous, Bailey says she was gratified when the audience “really loved” her efforts.
She also entered the Osceola Idol contest this year, placing fourth, and later performed at The Italian Coffee Bar here in Bremen.
“Genre-wise, I’d like to say I’m folkish with a little ‘indie,’” Bailey says of her personal styling. Artists influencing her work include writer/singer Conor Oberst with the band Bright Eyes, and Sufjan Stevens, whom she explains mixes an orchestral and acoustic blend that is “so full.”
Bailey is taking electronic music class this year on the heels of electronic keyboarding studies last year. “I want to go to Chicago,” she says, “to become a recording engineer.” Explaining she has an uncle who followed that path, Bailey plans to include that expertise in her resume. But she’s not abandoning her art.
Singing is “an escape from everything,” the well-spoken teenager says. “Even if I’ve had the most terrible day ... It is just a release.”
And she’s trying to put a local band together, too.
“I’d love to have a saxophone player,” Bailey says. A pianist and minimalist drummer would be good, too. “But it’s difficult.” She ought to know. She briefly played in a band while just an eighth-grader.
She’s happy that others will have a chance to hear her work on the Kids Saving Kids CD website, but thinks her live performances, as they grow and improve, have even more to offer.
She explained, “A live performance is so different ... There’s a passion, a strength to it that you can’t always capture in a recording.”
Check it out at www.ksk.stopdd now.com.