Local girl has aspirations of entering country music industry

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 16, 2001

One local resident and Shawnee State University student is busier than most.

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

One local resident and Shawnee State University student is busier than most.

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In addition to being a full-time student, she is also an aspiring country music singer.

Kelly Greco, a 19-year-old resident of Franklin Furnace, has spent the last year studying radiology and occasionally performing and traveling to Nashville to plan her music career for the past five years.

"I think singing is what she is supposed to do" Greco’s best friend, Jessica Bonzo, an Ironton resident, said.

Bonzo thinks her friend is very talented and should pursue singing as a profession.

"She wants to be down in the middle of it," Bonzo said.

For the past three years, Greco has performed at the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival and the Cabell County Fair and sung "The Star-Spangled Banner" for the Tri-State Toughman Contest. She said she also likes to sing at her church, the Community Baptist Church in Deering.

Greco said she has always liked to sing, but her career took off just recently.

Last July, Greco won the WTCR Country Showdown. She said this led to an increase in the level and number of her singing engagements.

A few weeks ago, she signed a contract with Nashville-based musician, producer, publisher and songwriter Jim Vest for him to be her producer and manager. Vest arranged for her to travel to Nashville to make a demo and have a photo shoot there.

Vest is now working on obtaining record deal for Greco, she said. About five recording labels are being considered. In addition, a band has formed to perform with her, she said.

Greco is scheduled to perform at the Ashland Regatta June 30 and also at the Boyd County Fair. She said she hopes to record an album and a music video and begin touring within the next year.

Regardless of what happens with her music career, Greco said she intends to complete her college education. She plans to finish the two-year program to earn a degree in radiology and possibly earn a business degree as well.

Greco described her singing as "soulful country." When she went to Nashville, she was told that her singing was almost too soulful for the country music genre.

Despite the challenges of her busy schedule, Greco said she has gained confidence from her experiences. She said she does not like to talk to people about her singing unless they ask because she does not want them to think she is conceited.

Bonzo also said that Greco does not brag about her voice. She added that Greco has "a great personality."

Her musical talent is something for which Greco does not take credit.

"My voice came from God," she said.

Greco also said she has begun to place greater value on her relationship with her family. She said her parents have been very supportive of her singing, and she wants to spend as much time with them as possible, since the demands on her time might put distance between them in the future.

Greco said she admires many other female singers, including Martina McBride and Faith Hill, for their good vocals and Destiny’s Child because of the group’s soulful style.

"I hope I can have my own unique way of portraying country music," Greco said.