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Artist Spot: Heather Kelly

Fort Dodge resident Heather Kelly is a radio show host and musician

In what ways were you involved in the arts in Fort Dodge growing up?

I graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High in January of 1993. I had always been interested in music so I began in 4th grade with the violin under the instruction of James Ellerston. When I went to middle school, I decided to pick up choir and band in addition to orchestra which created a difficult schedule as I transitioned into high school. As a result, I decided to let choir go and focus on instrumentation. I played violin in orchestra and was in the percussion section of the band during high school

Did you grow up in a musical family?

I feel like I’ve grown up surrounded by music. My grandfather, Warren Kelly, was in the Men’s Civic Glee Club, my father has been in multiple bands, most recently, The Senders, and my uncle was a member of West Minsist’r in the 1970s.

How has music remained a part of your life?

I remained active in music through the years playing violin at weddings or church events. In 2004 I was invited to join a band called, “Blue Canoe”. This was my first experience in a band setting and that lead me to the infamous Junior Motel Recording Studio which is owned by Kirk Kaufman. From 2006-2016, Kirk, I and our band members (HipKnosis) released four original albums with a Pop/Rock feel.

1. Catch A Rainbow

2. HipKnosis

3. Darkest Dreams

4. Brand New Game

What other artistic mediums interest you?

When I’m not in the creative writing process, I like to paint acrylic on canvas. It’s always been a way to relax for me. My two daughters are very artistic and I have always had an art studio we could work in.

What are your hobbies?

One of my hobbies other than music is cooking. Now, no baking, I don’t measure, but I love to try different recipes and spices. Savory, not sweet!

You’re a mom and a grandma, are you children/grandchildren artsy?

I have two beautiful daughters. Brittany Wendland is my oldest daughter. I am incredibly proud of her as she served in the US Army, has two precious children, and is currently working towards a nursing career. Brittany has always been very good at sketching and a huge music lover. I’ m envious of her. My youngest daughter Brenna Harklau is currently enrolled at UNI in her second year of elementary education. Brenna has a natural talent with her voice as well very fluid on the guitar!

You can have lunch with anyone in the world, alive or dead, who do you pick and why?

If I could pick anyone to have lunch or dinner with that would be my mother. “Momma Sue” passed away on November 23. I had been her caretaker for nearly 11 years of her illness. We said everything that needs to be said, but I would like to have here with me one more time!

You wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing you do?

The FIRST thing I do in the morning is have my COFFEE!

Tell us about your radio show?

I am the host of a radio show called, “The Indie Music Room with Heather Kelly”. This new program is my opportunity to create a showcase for artists to share their original songs, explain the thoughts behind their creations, and play the most recent recordings a majority of the audience has not yet heard! I believe indie musicians are underrated, underpaid and lead difficult careers trying to get heard and appreciated. Indie artists easily can be needles in the commercial haystack, but the Indie Music Room will give artists an outlet to connect with more listeners, hopefully open some doors, and FINALLY get their music heard! The show has a fun atmosphere, with interviews being recorded at the renowned Junior’s Motel Recording Studio.

What do you most enjoy about the radio show?

What I enjoy most about the radio show is hearing other artist’s stories and the experiences of their journey.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Lover of Life.

Who inspires you?

Many people have inspired me throughout the years. Of course my parents, my sister, my children, my best friends and of course Kirk Kaufman.

You win an all expense paid trip somewhere. Where do you choose to go and why?

If I were to win an all expense paid trip, anyone who knows me, knows I would be somewhere on a sandy beach with sun.

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