Angie Keilhauer isn’t a household name in San Diego yet, but give her some time - she just moved to Leucadia last month. Although the country singer/songwriter spent her childhood in El Salvador and then lived in Georgia, a long-distance relationship kept her visiting San Diego’s North County coast for more than a year and a half.
Closing that distance while she was recently a contestant on Season 10 of NBC’s “The Voice” in Los Angeles was a great help to things both personal and professional.
Although the bilingual singer left the show after 10 episodes, it certainly hasn’t slowed her down.
Keilhauer’s seven-song debut, “Wild,” came out in June, and “Salvaje,” her reworking of three songs from the album into Spanish, dropped in August.
Her win in the San Diego County Fair’s singer/songwriter contest this year connected her with The Acoustic Spot, a Solana Beach agency that is now helping to book her gigs.
The country singer also just won the Kimes Ranch Apparel Songwriting Contest, which not only comes with an endorsement and cash, but a headlining slot at the upcoming All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio.
DiscoverSD recently spoke with Keilhauser about it all.
DiscoverSD: What kind of impact has The Voice made on your career?
Keilhauer: After that first episode, all of my socials doubled. And they’ve increased exponentially since then. It really pushed the snowball that I’d been creating on my own for the last couple of years.
It hit that huge incline with the show and has just kept going. And it would’ve been impossible to create the album without the help of Blake (Shelton) and Miley (Cyrus) and Gwen (Stefani). They were all really so supportive, not just of singing and doing the competition, but of being true to yourself as an artist.
They were more about believing in what I had to offer than just wanting to tell me what to do. They’re really impressive people.
How did the decision come about to do some of these songs in Spanish?
The first episode that I was on the show, I mentioned for a quarter of a second that I was from El Salvador. I was born there and lived there until I was 11. But because of that mention, all of my stuff hit No. 1 there overnight.
Fans in El Salvador, Mexico and Central America now make up a tremendous faction of my fan base. And everyone kept asking when I was going to do some songs in Spanish. I figured that there’s no good reason why I can’t be a country artist that also sings in Spanish.
So it was a bit of a process to get three of the songs from “Wild” translated, but it was really exciting to go into the studio and cut them.
What can you tell me about the Kimes Ranch Apparel songwriting win?
I’m a big fan of the band Trick Pony. They’re endorsed by Kimes - who put on the contest - and had made a video asking fans to post a song of their original music. I recorded “Born To Drive” from the “Wild” album and it ended up tied for first place. It was unconventional, but they decided to have a run-off and we both had to submit new videos.
The other guy’s name is Rob Carona, and he’s actually from Oceanside - even though he’s living in Nashville. And he’s actually a great guy. We just liked each other and we enjoyed each other’s music. We talked a lot and talked a lot about music.
So when I ended up winning, I asked if I could cut some of the prize money off and have him open for us instead. Trick Pony and Kimes loved the idea. So we’re going to be playing the show together.
That’s crazy. It’s incredible that two North County artists won a national songwriting contest for a gig in Ohio! And it’s coming up soon. After that, what’s next for you?
I’m really looking forward to recording the next album. It just won’t come out until about this time next year. But we’re already working on it. It’ll be my first full album and it is, by far, the biggest project I’ve ever been a part of. I’m just going to take my time on it. But things are going well right now.
Upcoming local shows
Oct 14: Chandler’s, Cape Rey, 1 Ponto Road, Carlsbad
Oct 15: Trifecta Tavern, 2600 Via de la Valle, Del Mar
Oct 27: Cannonball, Belmont Park, 3105 Ocean Front Walk, Mission Beach
Oct 29: Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, 8980 Village La Jolla Dr., La Jolla
Scott McDonald is a writer, on-air personality and consultant with 15 years of experience in the San Diego music scene. He has interviewed hundreds of artists, from the legendary to the underground, for print and television. Follow McDonald and his melodic musings on Twitter @eight24_ or Instagram @scotteight24. Send your music musts to email@example.com.
Source: Discover SD