Story by Dick Hildebrand
Kelsi Mayne is a young woman with many talents and she uses them to her best advantage.
For the past two years, the athletic Windsor native has divided her time between Toronto and Nashville. In Toronto, as a registered nurse, she works part-time in a medical clinic. In Music City, she hones her country music skills through singing and writing. In fact, because of her incredible abilities, she’s been able to work with Grammy nominees in the states and ASCAP stars in Canada.
Even though Kelsi has always loved music, she was actually an accomplished highland dancer in her younger years, achieving success in at least 8 levels. However, because of growth spurts and potential damage to her legs, Kelsi gave it up at the advice of her doctor. She sang in the church choir and regularly entertained her classmates in grade school. After graduating from Holy Name High School, she attended the University of Windsor where she studied Human Kinetics for a year before turning to nursing and earning her degree four years later. As a member of the university’s track team she helped win four national titles and garnered an individual bronze medal in the 60 meter hurdle. She worked part-time at the Bull and Barrel…a downtown Windsor country music establishment where she was the original house singer… “I kind of got my country music start there,” she says. As she remembers, “I would jump up on the bar, sing a song, then jump back down and continue serving. Patrons loved it and it was through their inspiration and input that I decided to pursue a career in singing.” About five years ago Kelsi left Windsor and moved to Toronto, where she picked up a guitar, taught herself how to play and started her career in country music...quietly and effectively.
Audiences love Kelsi and her boundless energy on stage where she not only sings her own compositions but does excellent impressions of other singers. “I have a natural twang,” she says, “and it seems to fit in beautifully with my country style, even though my Motown and R and B influences often show through.” Her recordings feature the best of both worlds. Instrumentals are done in Nashville, while Kelsi adds the vocal tracks in Toronto. And it’s paying off. Her new single, ‘Woman Waiting’, which she co-wrote with Canadian star Jason Blaine, is backed up by some of the top country instrumentalists in the world — Taylor Swift’s drummer, who has also worked with Dolly Parton and Jewel, along with Miranda Lambert’s pedal steel player and a top guitarist. After a number of weeks on the market, the tune is showing signs of being a big hit and can be heard on radio stations across Canada including the CBC, Blackburn 95.9 and 92.7 and Am 800 in Windsor. Kelsi credits her “wonderful producer and co-writer Douglas Romanow of Toronto”, for hooking her up with world-class musicians who are always willing to lend a helping hand. ‘Woman Waiting’, which follows on the heels of ‘Still Not Over You’ and ‘Your Jolene’, is readily available on all digital mediums including Spotify and YouTube. Incidentally, all three singles also feature accompanying videos. In the meantime, preparations are underway for release of an extended play disc, sometime in the new year. It’s expected to feature 6 or 7 of Kelsi’s original compositions and will again be prepared on both sides of the border. So far, 2018 has proven to be an excellent year for Kelsi.
She and her touring band have wowed them from the main stage of ‘Boots and Hearts’, Canada’s premier country musical event in the Barrie Area. At her first appearance a couple of years ago, Kelsi was one of the finalists as an emerging artist. This year she was named CMA Ontario New Faces artist and has also been chose as a ‘ones to watch’ by Soundcheck Entertainment. Mostly recently, she and her touring band were headliners at ‘Chaps and Spurs’, the big country music festival at Lanspeary Park in Windsor. On September 22nd Kelsi will sing at her favorite event, the McGregor Mud Run which begins as a 5 or 10 km run, followed by lots of music and a beer tent at Co-Ann Park. On October 18th, she’ll be at the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in downtown Toronto, while plans are being finalized for a guest appearance at the Windsor Lancers’ November homecoming football game at the University of Windsor.
Kelsi describes her music as “new country, or pop country” with a hint of rhythm and blues and a bit of Motown flavor which she ascribes to her Windsor roots and close proximity to Detroit. Occasionally, as an element of surprise, she’s even been known to throw in a bit of rap. And it should come as no surprise that she has some specific goals in mind — one, to be in the top 10 of charted music, another to win a CCMA (Canadian Country Music Association) award, and a third to have a cross-Canada tour. Needless to say, winning a CMA award in the U.S. would be, as Kelsi says, “an incredible thing…a dream come true.” As she says, “once it happens in the United States, it’s kind of an assurance that you’ve made it.”
In the meantime, she remains active in sports and is a hurdles coach at the private Upper Canada College in Toronto. Proud of her roots, Kelsi makes it a point to return home to Windsor at least every two months since most of her family members and close friends from high school and university are still here.
To get more information about Kelsi, like her biography, tour dates, and music videos, log on to kelsimayne.com. There you’ll find all the pertinent information you need with links to her music, her videos and her social media contacts. There is little doubt that one day, Kelsi Mayne could likely join the likes of Anne Murray, Michelle Wright and Shania Twain, as a country super-star with the red maple leaf in her background!