Ponoka girl lives out chance of a lifetime

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Ponoka-raised musician Kayla Williams met her musical hero Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys in late June.

ADAM JACKSON/Ponoka News

For a Ponoka musician, it was a dream come true — she met her hero.

Aspiring musician Kayla Williams met Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson with only hours of notice before attending a concert in Calgary.

“It was definitely a life-changing experience,” said Williams. “It was just amazing — beyond amazing.”

Williams, who is the daughter of Sharon and Dave Williams in Ponoka, has been recording and posting on the video sharing site YouTube for more than a year and has developed a following of Beach Boys fans due to her many covers of their songs.

She had tickets for the June 25 Beach Boys show in Calgary, but never expected that she would be able to go backstage until she received a message through Facebook from someone who had worked with the Beach Boys for a while.

“He basically said that he liked my videos that I had posted and said that he would try to get me backstage to meet the band, but I didn’t really believe it at first.”

It wasn’t until 6 p.m. when she arrived at the Jubilee Auditorium and received a note informing her of a meet and greet with the band.

“I just started shaking and was about to cry,” said Williams. “I never thought it would happen.”

When Williams arrived backstage, she was greeted by a smiling Wilson.

“We were both shaking.”

Then, Wilson said something that will change Williams’ life forever, she says.

“He said ‘I really like the videos that you have on YouTube, keep up the good work’,” said Williams.

“The whole time I was just trying not to cry.”

The night then became even more unbelievable for the 24-year-old when a band member offered her tickets for the next night in Edmonton.

“We actually got to sit down in a pub after that show and have a good talk,” said Williams.

“Definitely the experience of a lifetime.”

Williams’ fascination with the Beach Boys started at age 14, when an aunt from Nova Scotia sent her a CD.

“I immediately fell in love with it — their harmony is so good and they are just an amazing multi-talented band,” said Williams.

She then became enthralled by everything Beach Boys.

“My parents actually thought it was going to start becoming an issue,” joked Williams.

Williams lives in Red Deer, working a summer construction job to help her pay for the expense of recording and engineering her own music.

“We have a decent sized home studio right now,” said Williams. “But it’s expensive and time consuming.”

She often works 14-hour days, then comes home and continues working — but on her music.

“I’ve realized that if it’s something that you really want to do you have to treat it like a job,” said Williams. “You have to be willing to put the time in and work on it.”

Her first musical experience she can remember was belting out the lyrics to nursery rhymes in the bathtub.

“I then started writing really cheesy songs when I was around 12 years old and then after that I just kept working on it and kept getting better,” said Williams.

According to Williams, what the band members and Wilson told to her that night will always push her to keep going.

“Just hearing them say that I was doing a great job made everything worth it and really pushed me to keep going with my career.”

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