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Meet Your Neighbor: Singer realizes dream in studio

Eileen JoyceKari De Velasco sings at Mountain Audio/Video Productions in Nevada City Thursday. De Velasco is in the process of recording her first album.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Kari De Velasco isn’t making her first CD for glamour or for the adulation of fans. She’s making it to show it’s never too late to go after a dream.

As a child, she imagined herself a successful musician when she grew up. The Grass Valley resident is proof that dreams can be followed at any stage of life.



After spending more than 100 hours fine-tuning older songs and writing new songs since August, De Velasco saw her dream finally happening last Thursday.




That’s when she recorded the first of 11 originals with a studio band at Mountain Audio/Video Productions in Nevada City.

“I wasn’t allowed the time or finances before to put this into a tangible form,” said former landscaper De Velasco, a single parent to Amelya, 17, and Brandy, 25.

With her youngest daughter now a high school junior, De Velasco is recording that long-awaited CD.

Someone she doesn’t want to name unexpectedly “has sponsored my dream by paying my bills and recording fees for one year,” starting last August.

De Velasco has a humorous outlook about her CD, “To The World, Love Kari,” which should be completed in early spring: “I started doing it 20 years ago, and I hope to become an overnight success.”

Actually, she doesn’t know what will happen once the completed CD is in her hands.

“It’s definitely a musical dream adventure,” she said excitedly.

Always singing – whether it’s driving in her car or cooking meals for her children – De Velasco’s expectations have shifted over the years.

“I used to think I’d like this or that, I’d like to be famous. But now I have no preconceived expectations,” De Velasco said.

“I’m where I want to be. I’m not doing the recording for it to take me anywhere,” she added. “Once the CD is out there, it will take its own form.”

While she doesn’t know what the future holds for her in regard to music, De Velasco is clear about the CD’s message.

“My main message is, this is an inspiration for people well into life,” De Velasco said. “It’s never too late to pursue your dreams. I hope this encourages people who may say this is too late, but it’s never too late.”

De Velasco doesn’t want to give her own age.

“I hate being dated and having my music dated. I want to cross the generational lines. I prefer music to be ageless,” she explained.

Her originals are about healing, whether from a car accident (her own in Cedar Ridge four years ago) or from the loss of someone close, and living daily life to its fullest.

With this CD as an example, De Velasco wants to show her daughters they should follow their own passions.

To De Velasco, this CD also perpetuates the hopes of her father, a concert violinist who died in 1987.

“He got bogged down supporting three kids and could only play music at night, after work, when he would serenade me,” De Velasco said.

“I’m carrying his dream. I want my music to be an inspiration to others.”


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