With a little help from her friends and fans, Kaitlyn Francess could be singing at the Hollywood Bowl in October.
The Chatham-born songstress has been chosen from among more than 20,000 contestants as part of The Opening Act competition to sing in Audacys eighth annual We Can Survive event.
The winner will take the stage as the opening act performing ahead of the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Doja Cat and Coldplay.
Francess has passed the first hurdle in the competition after her music submission was chosen by a panel of judges in Los Angeles.
Now she must garner as many online votes as possible to secure a spot in the competition’s next round.
“I’m advocating for myself as an independent artist,” the singer said in a recent interview. “If I make it into the next round, I’ll be in the top 21.”
Voting takes place until July 21 and supporters are allowed to vote once per day.
Although she grew up on her parent’s classic rock and loves all musical genres, making it in pop is Francess’s goal.
The singer songwriter has had some success getting airplay on stations across Canada, but the opera-trained singer is hoping her soon-to-released 1980s-vibe single Hypnotized will build on the success of songs Electric, Mixed Signals, Close to Me, You N’ Me and debut track You’re In Love With My Best Friend.
“It’s really sick and I’m really excited about it coming out,” she added.
Francess, who lives in Windsor to be close to M.A.D. Recordings Studio, left university last year.
Bedevilled by the pandemic blues she left the University of Windsor where she was in her fourth year studying to be a clinical psychologist like her father.
“The walls were closing in,” Kaitlyn explained, adding her depression pushed her to make a change.
Worried about disappointing parents Cheryl and Todd Caldwell, Kaitlyn went to them and they gave her their blessing.
So Kaitlyn dove in with both feet, honing her songwriting skills.
She’s also learning how to play electric guitar.
Music has long been a comfort to the 24-year-old. She’s been singing and creating since she was a small child. A chunky child and teen, she was bullied in school and music was her escape.
“I just wasn’t that ‘it’ girl,” Francess explained. “I had no style either because I didn’t care to put in the effort.”
However the experience gave her a unique perspective.
“I know I can help people through my music,” Francess added.
For now she’s continuing to sing and write, and also devotes a lot of energy to her social media presence – the medium by which so many new artists are discovered.
Francess is active on all platforms including iTunes, Spotify, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, where she has had as many as 5.2 million views on a single post.
Determined to raise her profile, Francess said she’s also looking for a manager and agent and hopes she can get connected to the music scene in Toronto.
To vote for Francess, visit her Instagram account @kaitlynfrancess.
Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice