Tell us a little about your family.
My Dad is the pastor of New Destiny Worship Center in Clearwater, Florida, where my family lives. My mom is the music director at our church. I have two little brothers; Carlton is twelve, and Braden is ten. I also have a puppy named Luigi!
Describe your spiritual journey.
I received the Holy Ghost and was baptized when I was six years old. God has truly kept me ever since that day! My testimony is that I've never known what it's like to live for the world because I've been hidden in the shadow of the Almighty. He's all I've ever known, and I'm so thankful for that!
What is your music background?
I started taking piano lessons when I was four years old; I also sang a song “Jesus, Light of the World” on my Mom's CD when I was four! Singing and playing piano have been my two biggest passions ever since. My mom influenced me and of course made me practice every day, and took me to lessons through the years. My parents allowed me to be in charge of Kids Music at our church when I was about nine years old, and that helped me to become comfortable leading kids in worship and being in front of people.
Tell us about your experience at the 2011 North American Talent Search.
Wow! What a life-changing experience it was! To be honest, I was so surprised that I even made it to the final round of the Talent Search. My family helped me decide which song I needed to sing. After I had tried just about every contemporary song I could think of, I started singing an old hymn about the name of Jesus. As soon as I did we felt the Holy Ghost come right into our living room. That's how we knew which song to choose. When they called my name as first place winner that night, I was totally stunned! Afterwards, I went back to my seat and just cried! I couldn't believe God's favor, and at the same time I was like "What? I can't record a CD! How am I going to do that!?" But God led the way, and I learned so much throughout the entire experience. I'm so thankful to Him for the opportunity.
What was the inspiration for you to do an EP?
I've always dreamed of recording an album, but I didn't think it would actually happen until I was in my forties or something! When this opportunity arose, I was unprepared but excited for the challenge. The idea behind the album's title Everyday is that God's mercy and grace are following us every day that we live. So, we don't have to worry! I hope it also challenges people to live whole heartedly for him every day of their lives and hopefully love the CD so much they want to listen to it every day too!
What was your favorite part about making this EP?
I loved getting to sing a duet with my girl Jessica Bounds! We had a blast, and she made the song "People Get Ready" sound amazing. Her voice is incredible. I was really happy we got to do that.
What is the best musical advice you have ever been given from a mentor or influence in music ministry?
Technical wise: "Get in there and practice piano, Kalyx!" Spiritually: I recently heard Sis. Vani Marshall speak at a conference about not allowing things (even ministry) to make your schedule so full that you get distracted from your first love. It really spoke to me, because I often have a tendency to want to do more than I have time for. She later told me to just go to His river of living water daily and drink it in. It's helped me to realize that ministering when you yourself are on empty is so dangerous!
What is one of your musical dreams or goals that you would love to see come to pass?
I want to go to Bible college and major in music. I would also love to one day record an album of my own original songs.
Where can we listen, purchase, and connect with you?
You can listen to and purchase my recent project Everyday on cdbaby.com and connect with me on Facebook.
What would you do with a million dollars?
Pay my tithes of course! ;) Among many other things, I would give to missions, pay all my college tuition, and buy my parents a mansion. Ooh, and I might buy a VW Jetta. They're so cute!
If you could sing anywhere in the world, where would you sing?
I think it would be awesome to sing in and be a part of a crusade overseas. I've never been on a missions trip, but, hope to go someday!
Who do you want to send a 'shout out' to?
All the people I look up to! Thanks Kristen Keller, Cortt Chavis, and Lia Matthews for being amazing role models!