RDC graduate wins songwriting contest

Comparing the Olympic torch to the fire that burns within Olympic athletes — and even proud Canadians — made Kayla Williams the winner of a local songwriting contest. The Red Deer College music graduate is thrilled to be chosen to sing her original tune, Light the Way, at the Red Deer Olympic Torch Relay celebration on Jan. 15.

Kayla Williams

Comparing the Olympic torch to the fire that burns within Olympic athletes — and even proud Canadians — made Kayla Williams the winner of a local songwriting contest.

The Red Deer College music graduate is thrilled to be chosen to sing her original tune, Light the Way, at the Red Deer Olympic Torch Relay celebration on Jan. 15.

“I am really excited,” said Williams, who “freaked out” upon discovering she’d won the contest sponsored by the local torch relay organizing committee. “I think I’ll have a smile on my face forever.”

The Red Deer resident had been writing her own songs “since I was a three year old in the bathtub,” so didn’t have much trouble coming up with inspiration lyrics related to the Olympic lead-up event at Westerner Park.

Her chorus to Light the Way goes: “You burn to light the way/ You shine so bright today/ Don’t let it fade.”

Williams purposely made the lyrics vague so they are applicable to a number of different situations. “I wanted to reflect a sense of volunteering, a sense of pride in our country, and feeling involved with the torch coming through.”

The 22-year-old pop singer, who’s originally from Ponoka, has performed at various local venues, including The Velvet Olive, since graduating from RDC in 2008.

She recorded herself singing Light the Way, and also recorded all the instrumentation on a keyboard at home. But, as per contest agreement, the song will be professionally re-recorded at a local recording studio before it’s released to sponsoring radio stations Z99 FM and KG Country 95.5 FM a week or two before the torch relay event.

Williams will still get to perform her song on the new recording: “She has an excellent voice,” said local musician Morgan McKee, one of the contest judges.

Light the Way was chosen from a dozen contest entries because it has a good melodic hook and catchy, upbeat lyrics, added McKee. The song will appeal to a younger demographic, and “it struck us as being very appropriate for our event.”

Williams is looking forward to belting the tune out live at the Jan. 15 torch relay celebration — hopefully in front of thousands of cheering people.

An evening of entertainment, snow sculptures, kids’ games and family activities is planned for the Westerner Park grounds.

“Hopefully this will be helpful to my career as a songwriter,” said Williams, who’s planning to record an EP in the new year.

While area residents will have to wait a few more weeks to hear Light the Way played on radio or on-line, Williams’ other music can be heard on-line at www.kaylawilliams,com.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

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