Charly Reynolds was one of 645 senior high school students in Boone High School’s 2018 graduating class. While Reynolds closed this chapter of her life by graduating high school in Orlando, she’s opening the next chapter in Nashville as she puts college on hold to pursue her dream in music.
“My ultimate decision is that college is something that will always be there, and chasing your dream is not always an opportunity that you have,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds is an 18-year-old country music singer and songwriter who released her first album, “Kickin’ Up Dust,” on May 19, 2017. Reynolds has been singing since she was a child and always found joy in it.
“As soon as she could start making noise, she was singing or humming,” her mother Kim Reynolds-Weir said. “She loved to sing. It made her happy.”
Reynolds describes her music as “fun and relatable,” which she feels draws people into her music and what she’s singing.
“I like to have fun music that people can relate to,” she said. “I just love when people say that they can see their story in my music or their life in my lyrics. It’s one of the biggest compliments ever.”
During her time in Orlando, she’s performed at different venues including the Lake Eola Bandshell. During her second time playing at the Lake Eola Bandshell, she faced potential disaster, as the lights at the venue were not working. Her father, Jim Reynolds, quickly realized that something was wrong.
“It was staring to get dark, lights were low; I thought it was odd that it wasn’t on already,” he said. “I went and asked, are they going to turn the lights on?”
With some quick thinking, her father was able to come up with an answer to the problem.
“I jumped in my truck — everyone clapped and the show went on under the headlights of the truck,” he said.
Moving to Nashville wasn’t a done deal for Charly, especially when she learned that she was accepted into her two dream schools, The University of Mississippi and The University of Alabama.
“I had already kind of made the decision that I was going to move until I got those acceptance letters,” she said.
Charly admits that getting accepted into those schools made her decision to move to Nashville tougher because they were her dream schools. But she felt that the chance to chase her dream in Nashville was too good to pass up.
“I really wanted to take an opportunity that I know I have right now,” she said. “I wanted to be able to see if something comes out of it and if it doesn’t, that’s fine. I just don’t want to ever have a regret that I didn’t take an opportunity when I could’ve.”
Nashville is home to country music’s finest stars as well as artists who are looking to break into the country music scene. Despite the potential competition, her father feels that her character will lead her to success in Nashville.
“She’s just a good person with a big heart, she loves people, she has a strong faith, she’s a friend of the friend that you want,” he said. “Nashville is bigtime and there’s a lot of competition, but those are strengths of hers that will contribute to her success.”
Charly, who moved to Nashville on June 9, hopes to quickly establish herself and her brand as a musician once she settles in Nashville.
“I want to find a band. That’s the first thing I really want to put together,” she said. “Then I want to sing and play wherever I can. There’s a lot of open scheduling I want to fill and be able to meet people, network and stuff like that.”
Even though she’s leaving Orlando, Charly’s family finds joy in seeing her chase her dream.
“Most of her friends are going to college and she’s stepping out into the unknown and putting herself out there and she’s chasing her dream,” her stepmother, Tamara Reynolds, said. “It’s exciting.”
Charly’s goal is to be a role model for young girls, more so than having fame or fortune.
“I just think society needs a good role model for younger girls right now,” she said. “I want them to see that they can pursue their dreams and do whatever they want to do and not let other people bring them down.”