From an early age, Kelly gravitated to the arts. She loved sketching and painting as a little girl. She took piano for several years before receiving her first guitar. Although she never had formal guitar lessons, Kelly taught herself enough chords to write her own songs. Kelly also discovered theatre in high school and took the stage in numerous musical and straight play productions. This naturally shy, introverted teenager found herself very comfortable on stage in various lead roles.
After graduation, Kelly went on to study commercial interior design at the University of Georgia and worked in the field for five years before having her first daughter in 2003. Her second daughter was born two years later. Kelly chose to stay home with her girls. During those early years of motherhood, Kelly found another creative outlet. In 2006, she wrote her first picture book manuscript. Between 2006 and 2014, Kelly worked with a writing critique group and joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to develop her craft. She penned close to a dozen picture book manuscripts and two middle grade novels.
In 2015, her creative writing interest shifted when she picked up her childhood guitar and began taking lessons. The love she’d once had for writing songs bubbled up again. She was blessed to have a guitar teacher who was also a gifted songwriter, and her lessons quickly shifted to songwriting. She began listening to music in a different way, studying the lyrics, chord structures, and melodies. She attended writing workshops through Performing Songwriter in Nashville, taking classes from Beth Nielsen Chapman, Jonatha Brooke, Verlon Thompson, Gretchen Peters and Mary Gauthier.
One week before the country shut down in 2020, Kelly was in Nashville participating in a workshop taught by Suzy Bogguss, and on Sunday, March 8th, she played at the Bluebird Cafe! With that incredible experience under her belt, she was ready to get out and perform more, but all of those opportunities quickly vanished. As they say, “When God closes a door, He opens a window.” A fellow songwriter reached out to Kelly during the pandemic, and through that new friendship, she was introduced to a producer in Nashville, Bryan Austin Cuevas. In August of 2020, Kelly decided it was time to invest in herself and record some of her songs.
Kelly Williams’ debut album, Outside Looking In, is a new take on classic country, a collection of songs that speak to the universal highs and lows of being human. "Kelly Williams writes from the heart about the ups and downs of life with authentic emotions supporting every word she sings!" Hayden Nicholas (Songwriter).
Kelly's first single, Old Habits, is somewhat of an anthem for anyone who can relate to feeling stuck in old patterns. She expresses this universal truth by contrasting the negative habits we can all fall victim to against the hopefulness of positive habits such as prayer."Kelly Williams taps into the cyclical struggles of human experience with poise and grace." Jon Wright (Radio Airplay)
Her second single, Southern Comfort, is a classic country break-up song with a twist on the title. Breakups can leave us feeling lost and unsettled, searching for familiar comforts to help us heal, and sometimes a little southern comfort is just what we need.
Kelly Williams draws the listener in with simple yet poignant stories that are relatable and familiar, tugging at your heartstrings with each song. "Kelly Williams debut album plays more like a veteran artist from a simply better time in country music. A time where the point was not that it be country but that it be real and moving and pleasurable. It’s a collection that is as pure, unaffected and refreshing as the artist herself." Wilder Embry (Songwriter/ Music Artist)