One never knows what can happen in the campgrounds during a race weekend at Iowa Speedway. The campgrounds are where you can see college students revel; miniature family reunions take place and meet maybe the next big thing in country music.
16-year-old Sydney Lett was at Saturday’s race and was hanging out at a family friend’s camper taking it all in when it was revealed that she previously sang the national anthem at Iowa Speedway.
“I’m excited, I always love to come out here and sing, it’s my favorite,” Lett said.
Lett is scheduled to sing for either the August or September race and previously sang the anthem in both 2011 and 2012. She has also performed the anthem at Iowa Cubs and Minnesota Twins games.
“I think it’s amazing, big crowds are kind of like my favorite thing ever,” Lett said. “I used to get really nervous at my shows and I would kind of freak out like in front of two people. (Now) big crowds are my addiction. I dream of playing an arena someday.”
Proving that her nervous days were truly behind her, Lett grabbed her zebra wood guitar named “Lilly” and played some original songs and took requests from the comfort of a lawn chair in front of the camper.
The impromptu show was well received, especially her track “John Deere,” which makes Taylor Swift’s break-up songs seem tame in comparison.
Some of the lyrics detail keying a pick up, blowing up a tractor and pulling a rifle on the ex-boyfriend the song is based on. It gets worse for the guy in the song as the final two verses indicate that Lett’s mother is coming after him next.
The teenage performer/songwriter is currently preparing to move to Nashville in hopes of starting a career in the country music industry.
“I’m working on an album there and I’m working on putting out a song pretty soon,” Lett said.
Lett said she is working on re-mastering her previously unreleased first album and cutting a new album as well.
A chance encounter with a country artist is what inspired her to get into music.
“I actually met Jason Brown at a concert when I was 12,” Lett said. “I’ve always loved music and it’s always been a part of me. I just walked up to him and said, ‘Do you have any advice for me? I want to do what you do.’”
“He basically helped me a lot and had me opening up shows for him when I was like 13,” Lett said. “Things just kind of took off from there. We met some people in Nashville that wanted to work with me. I opened up for LeAnn Rimes and did a show with Blake Shelton a few years ago. I’ve done some shows with some really big name people and it just kind of took off from there. It was really cool.”
Lett plans on dropping an album this year and will be featured on the collaborative album, “Voices from Around the World.” The album is a being made by the Voices for Heroes Foundation, which is a charity that said it is dedicated to providing funds to support the Sandy Hook Elementary School and Newton, Conn., communities.
Lett will have her original track “Angels Still Cry” featured.
She also encourages people to follow her on Twitter, add her Facebook like page, her YouTube channel and find her latest performances via her website.
The race may have been postponed on Saturday, but Lett still seemed to be having a pretty good time.
“It’s been crazy, it’s been rainy and I kind of just wish the race would have been on tonight,” Lett said. “I love just hanging out here. We were going to have a bonfire and we had one last time and I usually just grab my guitar and we play music until we fall asleep. It’s always my favorite part of the summer, this and going to Nashville.”
Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.