Karli Webster – Your Voice is Your Best Instrument!
Santa Clarita is filled with talented people, and Canyon Country native Karli Webster is no exception. Contestant on Season 13 of NBC’s The Voice, Webster’s infectious 70’s inspired folk sound has easily made her a fan favorite. The 20 year- old USC student hopes to use her experience on THE VOICE to inspire others to follow their dreams.
The daughter of a musician, Webster was only three years old when she first started showing an interest in music. “My dad played piano when I was younger. He was in all these different bands. He would sit at the piano and punch out new songs. When I was very little I would crawl underneath the piano, in between his legs, reach up for the keys and try to play. He would play a little melody, and I would copy him.” At just four years old, Webster started taking piano lessons with local teacher Suzy Hanna. Over the course of 15 years, Webster excelled at the piano, winning eight stage level competitions.
Webster’s love for music inspired her to study in the music industry at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. She also went to Vibe Performing Arts and was coached by Andrea Vibe. The focus she used to become so skilled at piano served her well when it came to both going to school and working full time. “I basically focused most of my life on school and work. I had a very disciplined lifestyle that I just kind of integrated myself. It hasn’t been forced on me from my parents. I always respected the hard work that my parents have done and thought to myself that’s exactly what I need to do. I need to work really hard, and I need to make sure I’m doing well in school.”
Balancing her desire to pursue music along with her drive to succeed in school didn’t come without its challenges. At times music found itself on the backburner while other responsibilities took precedence. Signing up to audition for The Voice took a giant leap of faith, but it paid off. Webster flew past the blind auditions to land a spot on her idol Miley Cyrus’ team. Her unique voice set her apart from the rest of the competition, an unexpected twist for someone all too familiar with rejection. “I never expected anything like this to happen to me. I felt a lot that when it came to music, even though I did well at piano, my voice was always my favorite instrument. I did musical theater, but I very rarely got the lead role. I just had so many people shut doors in my face. I experienced so much failure when I was younger that I just figured, ‘OK, I’m just gonna keep getting hurt.’ But it’s those hard times that pushed me to keep working harder.”
When asked what helped her to persevere despite the odds, her answer was simple. “My family. They were so supportive through all the hardships. There was no way I could’ve ever turned away. It’s extremely important to utilize those people that are supportive. That’s what it was for me, and I just never gave up.”
Webster hopes to use her time on the Voice to influence young girls to stay true to who they are and follow their dreams. “A goal of mine on The Voice is to sing music of empowering women. I hope that young girls realize that if they’re being themselves and they’re pushing as hard as they can to do what they want to do, there’s nothing that can stop them. Experiencing everything that I have with the show and all of the hard times I faced in my life, I learned that as long as I’m being myself and working my hardest, I can do anything.”
The world may be her oyster, but Santa Clarita will always be her home. “I love Santa Clarita. I feel like Santa Clarita has such a strong community that is growing so much but still withholds that strong community feeling which I love. I am just so, so grateful. The community has come together and sent me so much support. I feel so honored to represent Santa Clarita.”
photos by Joie de Vivre photographie