Senior Nia Renee Sings Her Way To Success

Seventeen year old Tania Kelley is the prime example of someone who chases her dreams and takes advantage of her natural talents. A senior, Kelley has begun her path to becoming a star. 

“Once I realized that I could sing, and not just my family telling me I could sing, I started receiving requests at different events all the time. I was in middle school at the time, and started singing in community choirs and school choir,” Kelley said. 

Singing became not just a part of her routine and life, but a genuine part of her. She keeps excelling and pushing herself towards tasks that are certainly not easy to manage. In high school, Kelley said she “made first chair at All Region and was ecstatic.” 

After her mom saw the audition advertisement for the Arkansas virtual audition of American Idol, there was no going back. “[My mother] later came home and told [me] the audition date. It was a non-debatable decision,” Kelley said. 

She was, of course, all in and thrilled for the event. Growing up, Kelley said she watched American Idol with eager eyes, yearning to be the performer on that stage some day.

Making it through the virtual audition was just the beginning. Kelley traveled all the way to Los Angeles to meet her next step. 

“I have been to Hollywood before, but never in this fashion,” Kelley said. 

Witnessing the behind-the-scenes process of the show was encouraging and uplifting in ways Kelley was not even expecting. She met many other artists who cared for music just as much as she did. Everyone there was passionate, and this made her feel at home and inspired. Naturally, Kelley was handling a mixed bag of emotions in this moment such as nerves and excitement. The performance went perfectly. 

Kelley said she is elated and grateful to “get the opportunity to sing in front of legends such as Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan… [the experience] was simply breathtaking.” 

This moment was life changing for Kelley as she was always a part of the audience in the past, and now is among the singers she had been watching on her TV screen for so many years. Kelley even created a stage name to complete her performing persona – Nia Renee.

Kelley dreams of becoming an international singer and being a name that is internationally known throughout households. “I love what I am gifted to do from God, and want my music to be enjoyed for lifetimes,” Kelley said. 

Kelley gave her all in Monday’s performance, but the judges did not select her to continue on to the next round of the competition. This will not stop Kelley’s aspirations, as it was just a miniscule set back in her career path towards her dream. Kelley will keep singing because giving up is simply not an option for her.