A Central Alberta singer isn't letting the pandemic slow down her performing schedule.

Kayla Williams has had the performing bug since she was 3 years old, and is currently a full-time musician, while also teaching piano and acting as a vocal instructor.

While live performances were some of the first things to get shut down because of the pandemic, some local venues and artists like Williams were determined to make the most of it.

Outdoor shows, Plexiglas on stage, and even wearing a mask while performing are some of the realities performers like Williams now face during this time of COVID.

Williams said she's actually performed more gigs this summer than in years past, which she says shows that people are itching to get back to pre-pandemic performances.

“Probably due to the fact that people were missing it and missing out on live events, so I did all these outdoor shows and like, backyard concerts and stuff and people were just thirsty for it, so that was a real treat. So I still managed and am very grateful to have had a career through even this kind of crazy time in life.”

Since COVID rules dictate that audience members must also remain in the seats during a performance, Williams says it actually makes for a more attentive audience.

“From what my experiences have been, even in the summer when we were outside, people likely could have wandered a little bit or still chatted because they were pretty far away from you. I find that the crowds have been the most engaged audiences of my life performing thus far. I think that we’ve had that break where we couldn’t have music events or any events so I think people are very very attentive, they are very respectful and typically are there because people still want this in their lives and still appreciate live musicians. That’s been a nice treat, and a positive side I suppose of COVID affecting music.”

Sold-out show at Bo's

Williams will be playing a sold-out show at Bo's Bar and Stage in Red Deer tonight, October 23rd, starting at 8 pm to debut her new song, Stealing From My Youth, which she wrote this summer based on the struggles and feelings of being overwhelmed by the isolation caused by the pandemic.

“I wrote it probably after about the first month of being in isolation, like the main, very first isolation part of the pandemic, and it definitely feels to me like the ballad of 2020….the title of the song is called Stealing from my Youth because it truly felt like the pandemic was taking days away from my life where you really couldn’t do the things that you normally could. So that’s sort of like the vibe, but there’s still hope involved…there is things that we got from this that we probably wouldn’t have had, maybe going inward and slowing down and taking time for ourselves is something the world really needed. So it’s a little bit of that struggle that we’ve all probably have been through but also remain hopeful that there’s still positives.”

For more information on Kayla, you can click here to check out her website, Facebook page, and her Bandcamp site.