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Judge for Kelly Preto

Toronto, Canada
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Portrait of Kelly Preto
CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO—An hour south of Toronto, a songstress floated through high school like many others. But rather than partake in the usual high school scene, Kelly Preto would compose the songs that lead her to become a studio musician at sixteen. Inspired by hip-hop and the blues, Kelly picked up a guitar and began her journey into crafting together instrumental and lyrical melodies. Soon after, Kelly would begin touring independently in the region.

SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD—Kelly performed her first show in her Cambridge hometown, quickly moving throughout the region to Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, and Brantford. Kelly became a staple for many open mic events, taking her act from the free stage to paying show. Artists from many genres, from rock and roll to jazz, would request that Kelly be their opening artist.

THE INDUSTRY—Well regarded throughout Southwestern Ontario, Kelly’s endeavors lead her to pursue the business of music. Kelly, as well as promoting herself as an artist, started organizing events. Hip-hop club nights, reggae parties, and rock concerts are only some of the things Kelly took responsibility by the age of twenty. But charity also mattered to this Canadian-raised artist. Prominent regional booking agency IRIS Entertainment asked Kelly to perform in the APHRODITE SERIES concert, an annual show set up to showcase outstanding female talent and support local causes.

COLLABORATION—While performing and promoting artists in Brantford, Ontario, Kelly was introduced to London hip-hop artist FLEX. The two took pleasure in each other’s musical styles and made a commitment to work together. During the next several months, FLEX and Kelly composed music that contributed to Kelly’s forthcoming EP.

BREAKTHROUGH—After working with Kelly for close to a year, FLEX introduced her to Alan Heffernan, owner of national production company LoCity Entertainment. After agreeing on her musical direction with Heffernan, Kelly teamed up with LoCity to produce her debut EP, The Kelly EP.

The Kelly EP infuses the subtle tones of Latin soul with the fervor and emotion of modern R&B, blues, and jazz. The album was released in March of 2010.