KITTERY, Maine — A young singer who was badly bullied as a teenager, in part because of her dream to scale the heights of Nashville, will bring that message as well as her music to the stage this weekend to benefit the Traip Academy senior class.
Lexi James and her band, Kryer Creek, will perform at the Kittery Community Center theater Saturday, Jan. 19, to support Project Graduation — an alcohol-free graduation night event. Her sister, Sammy, is a member of the Class of 2013.
James and her band — which includes stepfather Chris DiGiammario — travel throughout New England playing gigs, and are not often home in Kittery, where she, her sister and her mother and stepfather have lived for the last several years.
"It's really a homecoming for me," she said. "It's cool that I can come back to my hometown to perform."
James said she has long known she wanted to be a country music performer, but she was criticized for that choice when she was in high school.
"I was the only one in my graduating class (from a high school in Massachusetts) who did not go on to college," she said. "I wanted to devote myself to my music. A lot of students, and even teachers, made fun of me for that."
Girls she thought were her friends taunted her for wanting to pursue her music, she said, writing Facebook entries like, "'Ugly girl with no friends sings stupid country music.' At the time it really bothered me, but after a while, I was able to laugh."
Her problems with bullying started long before high school, she said. Middle-school students made fun of her red hair, and she has always been picked on for a slight stutter.
"So I pretty much know what it's like to be bullied," she said.
James has devoted herself full-time to her career since leaving high school. Now 20, she writes and co-writes many of the songs the band performs. One of them, "This Is My Time," deals with being bullied. The song begins with some of the taunts she heard and then ends with an affirmative, "Don't underestimate me. I'm gonna be somebody. It's my turn to shine."
Not long ago, James contacted the Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights National Bullying Prevention Center and asked if she could become affiliated with the organization. She acts as a kind of ambassador for PACER, speaking about bullying in all of her shows. She's also developed a program for middle-school students and has been invited to speak at several schools in New Hampshire, she said.
Meanwhile, James' music continues to get better and better, she said. She's already recorded at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, where the likes of Black Eyed Peas, Tim McGraw and Martina McBride have recorded. She is going back there in the spring to record several more songs, she said.
"I want to take my musical career as far as I can take it," she said. "I want to go on world tours. I have crazy, big dreams."
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Posted By: pinkiejay |
3/04/13 6:13 PM
Keep following your dreams!! Your an inspiration to others!
Posted By: BullyHitMan |
3/06/13 9:53 AM
You are inspiring! Keep working towards your goal.