bored that summer and had an old guitar laying around my room,"
she says. "I only knew four chords."
So she taught
herself to play by making up her own songs. Collins had a knack for
it. This year, at 18, she was the recipient of the "Rising
Star" award by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry.
a lot of hardworking and talented young people here, and I was very
surprised and honored," she says.
taking voice lessons when she was in the fourth grade, aspiring to
follow in her sister Saraís musical theater footsteps. But the
teachers could not help her lose that charming twang. No worries. She
had always liked country music.
big fan of Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. Theyíve influenced
me, along with The Band Perry. I also like classic country such as
Hank Williams and Patsy Cline," she says.
Her live set,
whether itís at a Potbellyís Sandwich Works, doing segues for
Brookfield East choral concerts, or opening on a festival stage for
Chasiní Mason, is a mix of covers and original Collins tunes. She
says her favorite original tune is "First Heartbreak," a
song that cracked the top 20 in a national songwriting contest. She
has auditioned both for "American Idol" and "The
Voice," and received callbacks both times.
Her process is
deceptively simple: "For me, the words and melody pop into my
head and I try to match it with a guitar part. I donít sit down and
try to come up with a song, it just kind of comes to me."
recorded two CDs, "Red Chuck Taylors" and "Run Away
With Me." A third recording may be coming soon.
Brookfield East graduate, Collins will attend UW-Waukesha part-time
this fall, majoring in business.
business for myself doing the whole music thing, so I thought it would
be a good idea to take some business classes," she says. "My
goal is to make music my career."
appearances and music samples, visit