Like most girls her age, Sydney Lett likes to sing. And, like the singers she looks up to — which include Miranda Lambert and JoDee Messina — she one day hopes to be a successful vocalist.
But, at 16 years of age, she’s done more than a lot of the wannabes out there.
Sydney will premiere her debut music video, “Rain,” during the preview trailers for shows at the Capitol II in Newton on Saturday. She also will be on hand to perform in between shows with her acoustic guitar.
The goal is to get people to see the music video, which will include a few “bonus features,” according to her spokesman, Zach Johnson. All proceeds will remain with the movie theater, which recently came under new, local ownership.
A few years ago, Sydney — who already was a gifted singer — caught the eye of country music star Jason Brown, who is himself a native Iowan. He took her under his wing, and began having her perform a song or two here or there with him.
She soon began performing the National Anthem at sporting events, including races at the Iowa Speedway in Newton. Then, two years ago, she wrote “Count the Stars,” a tribute to Iowa soldiers then deploying for service in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families.
The song was written from the perspective of a child watching her father go off to war. Once Iowa National Guard spokesman Col. Greg Hapgood heard it, Sydney was soon in demand to perform it for send-off ceremonies and community events
But a lot of kids are able to write good music. What makes Sydney special is what she has been able to do with her talents at such a young age.
With Brown continuing to mentor her career, helping her hone her craft and to make connections in the very difficult-to-navigate world of the music industry, she has sharpened her resume by performing alongside an impressive list of up-and-comers and established country music legends. That list includes the Wisconsin Country Band of the Year, The Back Home Boys, Trailer Choir, Gloriana, The Lost Trailers, Diamond Rio, Joe Nichols, LeAnn Rimes and Blake Shelton.
Today, she continues to work toward a first professionally produced CD with the folks in Nashville. And the first step in that achievement has been completed with the release of her latest single, “Rain.”
The song takes on the issue of bullying and its sometimes tragic consequences — not the typical teeny-bop fluff many young musicians gravitate toward. The recently completed music video was shot entirely at Des Moines-area locations.
Bob Eschliman can be contacted at (641) 792-3121 ext. 423 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.