MOORESVILLE – Kayla Vega has picked up plenty of labels in her young music career – singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist.
After a dogged six-year pursuit, she’s gotten the one she really wanted:
A record label.
The 24-year-old Mooresville resident has signed with Dojo Records, a New York-based indie label.
Already a familiar voice locally for her live performances throughout the Lake Norman area, Vega’s musical journey began six years ago when, while living in Eastern Long Island, N.Y., she first contacted Dojo Records producer Robert Broccolo.
“I can’t believe I’ve been working with him that long!” she said. “Back then, I reached out to him when I didn’t have a label and I was just studying and learning music.”
The two kept in touch as Vega moved to Mooresville with her parents four years ago, honed her skills and built a local following.
“I originally met him when I was 18, when I had a lot of room to learn about songwriting,” she said. “He stayed up to date with me on social media.”
As is often the case in the music business, it was that connection that led to Vega’s break.
“He felt that not only did I have spunk, but that I had matured and (he) wanted to help me tap into my potential,” Vega said. “So he said, ‘We need to sign her and kick start her career.”
Vega had an impromptu start to her music career at the age of 3 when she rushed the stage of her sibling’s Christmas concert to sing on her own. Her grandfather gave her an acoustic guitar when she was young, and now she also plays the ukulele, mandoline, keyboard and violin.
The family music connection didn’t end with her grandfather. Her brother is a classical singer whose voice is a mix of Billy Joel and Josh Groban, she said, and her sister does opera and musical theater.
The siblings sometimes sing together and bounce ideas off one another. And her mother, Jo, writes songs herself and is “usually my editor,” she added.
Vega drives her country-pop sound with a clear, measured voice that adds intimacy to her songs. That connection is enhanced when she sings live.
“I love performing my songs in front of people; the bigger the crowd, the better,” she said, adding that her goal is “to travel with my guitar in hand and music in my heart, hoping to put smiles on a lot of faces.”
Vega auditioned for “American Idol” in August 2018, and “America’s Got Talent” in December 2018, as well as “The Voice.” She didn’t make the final cuts, despite being given a “front line ticket” to Idol, enabling her to bypass thousands of contestants.
“I wasn’t disappointed,” she said. “It just wasn’t the route I was supposed to take. I didn’t know Dojo Records would be my path.”
Elizabeth Durocher is a freelance writer living in Mooresville.
How, where to listen
Kalya Vega will perform cover and original songs 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Beer Lab on Broad Street in Mooresville. Her music is available on SoundCloud, iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify. A portion of the proceeds go to Richard’s Coffee Shop and Welcome Home Veterans Living Military Museum.