Mari Jones and Kayslin Victoria are two very talented Clermont residents who are competing for a recording contract on The Voice. Last night Mari Jones won her competitive Voice battle and the right to move on to the next round. Tonight Kayslin also won and will move forward. The Voice competition continues but regardless of the outcomes or how far each gets on The Voice, the girls have already won the hearts and admiration of the South Lake Community and are Clermont Champions.
Article and Photos by Larry Oskin
Kayslin Victoria of Clermont has brought national attention to all of us here in Clermont! She is destined for success with her beautiful voice. Originally from Long Island, she moved here to live in South Lake after a stop in Raleigh, North Carolina when she was only four. She graduated from Windy Hill Middle School and at 16; she now attends East Ridge High School as an 11thgrader.
Kayslin sang with the locally popular East Ridge High School Rhythm of The Knight earning Grand Champion Awards at various music festivals, singing competitions and at numerous large South Lake area performances. She earned top awards and honors at ‘Child Star of Tomorrow’, a national competition hosted by the Apollo Theatre in New York City. She has studied music theory, voice training, acapella music and professional singing in Clermont as well as online with a flexible program provided by Florida Virtual School. Kayslin has also studied piano, clarinet and ukulele. She credits important experiences with her choir. Kayslin Victoria is just launching her professional career on the national stage and is proving to be destined for success.
Musical Family, Training & Inspiration: Kayslin is proud to note her musically talented family heritage. She notes, “I was always singing as a child, especially with her parents. My mom Luz has professionally recorded two of her own albums. My dad was a DJ, so I grew up listening to all types of musical genres.” At 9, she tried to sing at a Villa Karaoke event at a local pool. She immediately loved the thrill of singing and performing in front of audiences. She sang the big hit; ‘Rolling In The Deep’ by Adele and she notes how that popular song has stuck with her forever. She has continued to sing that song at all competitive auditions. After singing lessons through the 5thand 6thgrades, she started to share how “I dream of a professional career becoming a star singer successfully performing on stages.
The Voice Opportunity! Kayslin had always been a fan of The Voice TV show. She signed herself up for the Atlanta auditions, during a family vacation trip to New York City. She describes the experience, “There were at least 8,000 to 12,000 talented people at the Open Call Auditions event in Atlanta. It was very organized. I had to sit in a room with a small group of other contestants and a Casting Producer. One by one, we sang our audition songs. I sang ‘Benny and The Jets’ by Elton John and later the soulful ‘Bird Set Free’ by Sia. I was really thrilled when they said Kayslin can stay! We are sorry, everyone else must go. I was told they loved me. They shared some tips and pointers, before they said – We will call you if you are selected to go out to Los Angeles for Blind Auditions.”
Kayslin Victoria was called, so she nervously went out to LA for the Blind Auditions. She recalls, “While the number of 90 competitors shrunk dramatically from the Atlanta auditions, 48 of us got chair turns by The Voice celebrities. It was a super fun and awesome show. It was crazy as I knew my mouth was singing words, yet I could not hear the music. With all of the excitement and pressure, my head was in another dimension. I looked at the audience clapping for me, so I was even more thrilled. John Legend and Kelly Clarkson turned around and they danced during my audition. They all shared how they wanted me on their teams. I knew Blake’s and Adam Levine’s teams were full. Blake Shelton did say, ‘You already look and sound like a superstar!’ John said, ‘Kayslin – We can win this together!’ I loved the respect I quickly earned. I love Kelly Clarkson, yet I selected John. He shared hugs and said ‘I’m excited to work with you!’ John is a very respectful, laid back and honest coach. I cried. Everyone on The Voice is really so sweet!”
Favorite Music: Kayslin Victoria grew up surrounded by her musical family. She loves Pop Music. Her favorites include Elton John, Journey and others. She promises to do her best and to always believe and be positive! Her parents tell her, “Think and be positive! Believe in yourself. Picture that you will be successful on The Voice national stage … living your dream!”
Personal Favorite Notes: She loves the Downtown Clermont Water Park where she walks and meets or picnics with friends. She absolutely loves her volunteer work at the Howey Horse Haven Rescue =www.HoweyHorseHavenRescue.com. She really likes to hang out at the Energy Bar Café. She loves to dance with competitive clogging, jazz, tap, point and especially the salsa. She loves Greek food. She is very proud to be Puerto Rican, noting she also has some Italian ancestry.
Win Or Lose = Singing Her Way To Success! Win or lose on The Voice; she knows that The Voice has been fabulous exposure with a wonderful new opportunity. Her goal is to work hard to get signed to a record label deal. She wants to write her own songs and to say what she wants through music. She adds, “I am very outgoing, positive, nice to everyone, I like to help share efforts to support my community, I want to help others through music and I want to stay here as I love Florida. My next dream is to buy some land to have horses or to live on Star Island in the Miami, Florida area.”
Kayslin really hopes to win The Voice recording contract with all of the extras that go with that honor. She definitely wants to invest everything she has into her musical career. She noted how she and her family are friends with Latin singer; Marc Anthony. They knew him from way back when he was a nobody singer. She notes, “Who knows what will happen next or what new doors may open for me? Maybe I will consider another national singing audition event, like American Idol.” She wants to start to sing for children in hospitals. Her dad has had many serious health issues, so she really wants to be able to help him. Kayslin adds, “This really is my big chance to chase my dreams!”
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MARI JONES, GO TO MARI J.
The Voice – Kayslin will be battling this evening on The Voice. Tune in at 8 pm on NBC to cheer her on. Whether Mari or Kayslin win or lose, they are both Clermont’s Choice of Champions.
EDITORIAL NOTE: Larry Oskin is a writer and photographer for the South Lake Tablet. He is the owner of Marketing Solutions / Art Beautique, offering creative marketing, media relations and professional fine art photography services. He is a board member of the Clermont Downtown Partnership and the Clermont Historic Village.