Once they noticed she loved music as much as she did, they found a voice teacher in Brandon, MS, for her to work with. If anything, it was an outlet and an activity she enjoyed. Her voice teacher, Winona Costello, helped to develop her voice and at the age of 8, she went with a group of other kids taught by Costello to the IMTA Camp and Competition in New York City. “At this camp, they would practice and perform and perfect their talent. There were kids from all over the United States that would come to this camp,” Marley says. She enjoyed it so much that she went back the following summer at the age of 9. The kids there would audition for people in the music industry. “These industry people were on the lookout for the next rising star,” Marley smiles. “They are looking for voices that can be trained and many go on to sign record deals as their voice matures over the next several years. That’s the ultimate goal as you participate in these camps, to get noticed and to hopefully sign with a label.”
Over the next couple of years, Elam continued to take voice lessons. She loved singing and performing and wanted to continue it whether anything came from it or not. In the spring of 2016, they received a call from a talent scout. “I was actually in the carpool line at First Presbyterian Day School where Elam and her 2 brothers attend school.” He had heard her perform at IMTA when she was 9. He remembered her and her unique voice. “We were completely floored! We never thought we would get a call. You put in the hours and do the work and go to the camps, never knowing if you will hear back. You don’t want to ever get your hopes up and get ahead of yourself,” continues Marley. From there, everything began to fall into place and happen very quickly. An audition was set up with the Director of A&R for Disney Music. Next, she and her mom and her grandmother flew to Miami, FL, to audition with the President of One One 7 Entertainment. He loved her voice and began working with her. Last summer, she spent time in Nashville working with Matt Bronleewe, a music producer and writer. “I would take my notebook of ideas into the studio with me. From there, we would talk about my ideas and that’s where the songs would come from,” says Elam. “I went back in September to record the 4 songs that were written and then heard them for the first time in December,” she continues. “It was surreal to hear them and to hear my voice with the lyrics. The time, effort, and energy that I had been putting into singing was beginning to pay off.”
A release party was held Friday afternoon, April 21st. “The support from friends and the community has been amazing,” says Elam. “My friends came, brothers and sisters of my friends, and it was a lot of fun!” Marley continues, “She has had a great experience so far and has learned so many life lessons. She knows how to interview, how to handle rejection, and time management.” Elam has continued her school work and extracurricular activities while juggling her singing on the side. When asked what she wants to do when she gets older she immediately replies sing!
Your Own Kind of Beautiful is a song about being yourself. “Be true to who you are, stand up for others, and follow your dreams.” Elam is doing just that. She knows that this opportunity gives her a platform and she hopes that through her music, she can encourage other young people and give a voice to others that are struggling to find their way.
Over the next few months, Elam’s 3 other songs will be released. The songs stem from her notebook of ideas…things she struggles with as a young person, things she knows others struggle with also. She wants to inspire other girls to follow their dreams, but never lose sight of who they are.
You can download Your Own Kind of Beautiful on iTunes and follow her on Instagram: @elamroberson, Facebook: @elammusic, and Twitter: @elamroberson.