Aspiring Country Artist Fighting Bone Cancer Finds Support in Studio & Onstage From Colby Dee

Colby Dee and Kylie Seitz
Stephen Coskery

Colby Dee and Kylie Seitz perform at The Listening Room in Nashville, Tennessee.

Every day somebody makes their first trip to Nashville with dreams of a music career. On a recent visit, 11-year-old Kylie Seitz was hardly any different, except for the circumstances that brought her there. 

Seitz's recent introduction to the Music City followed a nearly 7-year fight with a bone cancer known as Ewing Sarcoma, sent on a dream trip assisted by the Jay's HOPE Foundation that supports children and their families in similar situations. And from the get go, the fifth grader already had a leg up on the rest of the pack of aspiring artists thanks to a solid co-sign from rising star Colby Dee. 

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The two Georgia natives, Dee and Seitz, teamed up after Jay’s HOPE Foundation contacted the country artist about meeting the pre-teen musician, thinking she might have some pointers to offer. What followed was a mission to help give Seitz a musical experience she would never forget: Dee brought Seitz to Nashville for a chance to write and record a song, with the opportunity to perform it at the prestigious Listening Room Cafe during a sold out show on May 23. 

Seitz traveled to Nashville with her parents and two sisters and toured many of the city's top must-see tourist attractions, such as Nashville's General Jackson riverboat. She said it was definitely everything she had dreamed about the city being -- and then some. "Nashville has been a great experience. It's very crazy and very big, not what I expected," she said. But she was also there to work and Dee admitted to being a little surprised at how workman-like the young Seitz was once she entered the writing session, which included tunesmith Briana Tyson. 

"She came into the writing session and said she had some song ideas, and we told her to list her three favorite ones," Dee told Billboard. "'Heart Attack I Never Had' was one of them and we looked at each other as if to say, 'That's what we're writing today and how did an 11-year old come up with such a strong title and idea for a song?' She had the lyrics, and already had the melody going on. We just helped her finish it, basically. It was a really fun song to write and record. It was so neat for her to see the process of how a song comes to life."

Seitz said that she did learn a lot about what goes into writing a song -- from writing the bridge to the hook. Immediately after finishing the song, she and Dee went into the recording studio for a session arranged and financed personally by Dee. "The actual recording session was the best part because I got to hear what I was doing when I was singing it," she said. "That allowed me to get a little better each time. That was really incredible." 

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All in all, from idea to paper to studio, the process only took about three hours, which Seitz said she knows is an unusual pace. "I've heard that sometimes takes days, weeks and even months, so I guess it was a miracle that we got it done so fast," she said. 

Seitz performed the song with her collaborators at Dee's sold-out show at The Listening Room Cafe that night and told Billboard that the song had been in her mind for awhile. 

"I already had the idea and had been actually writing it over the years. It never got old, so I just stuck with it," she said. 

As for the song's inspiration, she admits that Austin and Ally star Ross Lynch might have had something to do with it. When asked if she would be OK with him finding out that fact, she gave a quick answer and then changed her mind: "No," she said. "But if that did happen, that would make me very happy."

Following, Dee admitted that she saw a lot of herself in Seitz over the weekend. "We got our hair and makeup done before coming down and she was singing," she said. "She's so carefree, and has this amazing spirit. I'd like to think I was a lot like her when I was her age. I sang anytime I could. She doesn't meet a stranger, and has such a great personality. She's shining."


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