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Meet Karli Webster

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karli Webster.

Karli, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve been singing ever since I could talk. It’s in my blood. I grew up going to my dad’s concerts and singing in church choirs, always understanding I had a song in my heart that needed to be shared with the world.

I never fully pursued a music career until I auditioned for Season 13 of NBC’s ‘The Voice.’ I went into this experience completely blind, not knowing what was going to hit me. I was on Team Miley that season and made it into the show’s Top 24. It was such an incredible opportunity which completely flipped my life upside-down, essentially forcing me to pursue a music career.

Shortly after ‘The Voice,’ I was introduced to Dennis Herring. He has produced so many of my favorite albums (Modest Mouse, Wavves, Hozier, and so many more) and I was beyond thrilled to find out that he wanted to produce my first ever EP. We recorded 5 of my original songs and created the indie-pop, female empowered, extremely personal EP titled ‘Bittersweet.’ This EP is a love letter to all of the experiences that have shaped the woman I am today and my goal is that it can inspire young women and people of all ages to be themselves unapologetically.

A huge motivation with my platform is de-stigmatizing the conversation of mental health challenges. As someone who has lived with anxiety, panic disorder, and depression for most of my life, I want people to know that they are not alone. With my live performances, it is priority to create an open, empathetic environment where people feel free to be exactly who they are without judgment. That’s why I make music. I want to connect with people and share moments of understanding and enjoyment together. To me, that’s what making music is all about and I’m very honored that I get to do it every day.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Oh man, I cannot remember the last time I drove down a smooth road (thanks LA).

NO. I think it’s nearly impossible to pursue your true passion and experience any less than infinite roadblocks.

Since I hadn’t pursued a music career at all before going on ‘The Voice,’ I had ZERO idea what I was getting myself into… I still don’t. I had never booked a show before, professionally recorded a song, or essentially anything else that all artists do. It was brand spankin’ new, and while I had to start at square one, the attention I gained from ‘The Voice,’ has forced me, in a way, to skip leaps ahead to productively make progress in my career. I’m learning every single day and making plenty of mistakes along the way. I’m grateful for those mistakes, and I’m grateful for the incredible people I have working around me who help keep me on track. It’s not easy, not one bit, but it’d be pretty weird if it was.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I have been singing since before I could talk, and was classically trained in piano from ages 4-18. I competed all throughout California in piano competitions and composition-writing competitions. It was a HUGE part of my life growing up.

I also was very much involved in my church’s choirs and worship teams growing up. Church was the first place I ever sang in front of people other than my family. I also did musical theater growing up, and have been writing songs since I was 5. Music has played a MAJOR role ever since I can remember.

Prior to ‘The Voice,’ I thought for sure I would be a songwriter for other artists. Writing lyrics has always been a strength of mine and something I have love immeasurably. The story told in a song is what makes it timeless and special. Whether I’m writing a song based on a story of my own, or one I’ve made up, I am in love with the idea of connecting with someone through those lyrics.

I feel most myself when I’m on stage. When I have a crowd of people in front of me singing along, dancing, and experience a variety of emotions together, I’m most reminded of why I do what I do. That connection is SO powerful and fuels my passion. At my shows, it is essential to give the most real, raw, authentic performance and it is, to me, the most rewarding part of my career. I’m a story-teller, and it’s through my lyrics and performing that I feel most alive.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was a very independent, enthusiastic and eclectic girl. I didn’t have that many friends growing up and spent most of my play time writing stories and songs, drawing, and daydreaming. I was bullied from elementary school up through high school. People would make fun of me for singing to myself while walking down the halls and for wearing clothes they thought were weird.

Toward the end of high school, I had a good number of casual friends but always struggled having people I was very close to. Because of that, I turned to songwriting. Whether it be a breakup, a bully, or just a bad day, music was my release. The only way I could freely communicate how I felt. I’m continuously grateful for that.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Paula Neves, Andrew Wofford, Chris Ramirez, Jessica Legaspi, NBC Universal

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