Kellie Coffey – "I kind of like where I am in my life right now..."
by Janelle Landauer
Kellie Coffey left her small hometown of Moore, Oklahoma after college and decided to chase the “American Dream” out in L.A.. She found work as a singing waitress, and in the meantime, she started passing out her demo tapes hoping for more work. As her music resume started growing, Coffey found opportunities that often took her outside of the country music genre. She had the chance to sing background vocals on Barbra Streisand’s Millenium concert tour and some of her songs were recorded for the popular Disney Theme Parks.
During that same time, Coffey met Geoff Koch, who was writing songs for TV shows that included Chuck Norris’ hit show – Walker Texas Ranger. She landed a job writing and singing for the show as well. Koch and Coffey’s work relationship turned personal and they were married as her music career started taking off. Coffey began writing for Warner-Chappell and then she signed on with BNA Records in Nashville, TN.
Coffey’s debut success led to many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that included opening for Kenny Chesney on his huge and often sold-out amphitheater shows. “I still think back, and think that that was so incredible that I got to do that,” recalls Coffey. While she was out on the road with Chesney, she also learned quite a bit from him. “Kenny Chesney is very, very smart…” adds Coffey. “His work ethic, I think, is the biggest thing that I learned from him. He would videotape his shows like in the beginning (I think he still does it) and he would watch his shows and kind of hone his show by watching the video of it. He’s just got a really strong work ethic.”
Other highlights from Coffey’s first few years included opening for George Strait, singing at the legendary Grand Ole Opry, and taking home the award for Top New Female Vocalist at the 2003 ACM Awards. “That was huge!” says Coffey of her win. Even with all the success, Coffey and BNA went on to part ways, but she continued writing and honing in on her craft. This year, Coffey steps back in the spotlight again with the release of her new CD “Walk On” – the follow-up to her successful debut album, “When You Lie Next To Me.”
“I Would Die For That” – Coffey’s debut single from Walk On, has created so much buzz and has impacted so many people since it came out. “I Would Die For That” talks about someone struggling to conceive a baby – a topic that is often kept silent… But, with the release of this single and the video, thousands of fans are getting a chance to speak out – and now they also have a place to go where they can talk about their same struggles or to even comfort others. (See the video here)
Coffey struggled herself, and often wondered if maybe she had waited too long to start her family – since she put off having a family to pursue her music career a few years back. She had a co-writing session lined up one day with James T. Slater (writer of “In My Daughter’s Eyes” for Martina McBride) and Trina Harmon where she brought up those struggles that she had been going through. “I Would Die For That” came from that session with Slater and Harmon. Coffey said she even relived the song again finding out she was pregnant a few days after writing the song… but then she miscarried.
There is hope though and Coffey is proof of that. Coffey and her husband welcomed a baby boy, Jackson, during the writing and recording process of this CD back in 2005. “It’s the most amazing gift that we’ve ever been blessed with – ever,” says Coffey when talking about her son Jackson. Coffey offers a few words of encouragement to those who might be living this song right now: “Just keep trying. It happened for us. My heart goes out to those women and couples because I know where they are and I know how it feels. It’s really, really, really hard but just keep trying.”
Coffey has adjusted to becoming a new mom and a lot of her changes from her debut CD to her new project come from that adjustment and growth. “I’m a new mom so I think having a child has made everything deeper… and fuller for me,” notes Coffey. “I think of all of our feelings like that of a well… and my feelings have gone even deeper in that well.”
Even though there is always more that everyone can achieve in life, Coffey says that she is satisfied with where her career is going and where she is now. “I’m really excited about where I am right now in my life because I’m doing everything that I’ve always wanted to do. I’m a mom; I’m making records and I’m still singing and making music. I kind of like where I am in my life right now.”