By Melanie J. Knox, Page Editor
Kina Lankford writes her own music and lyrics, sings, plays the guitar and on Aug. 4, won $500 for first prize at the KEAN Country Showdown.
Lankford, senior graphic design major from Abilene, is now headed to the state finals, which will be Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. at the West Texas Fair and Rodeo.
She will be representing the Abilene area and singing two songs that she has written called “Copenhagen Kisses” and “Better Things.”
The contestants get extra points for writing and performing their own music, but for Lankford there are other benefits.
“I’m not really nervous about performing,” she said. “I know my songs.”
Lankford also said that it makes her stand out more, and it also makes it harder for the judges to compare her to other competitors who don’t sing their own songs.
Lankford has been playing the guitar for five years and writing her own songs for two years. She has participated in this competition for two years in a row and has never won but was on a steady uphill climb. After winning nothing the first year, she went on to take fourth place last year, and first place this year.
“The hardest thing about the competition has been just being patient,” Lankford said.
The competition she will be competing in is the Colgate Country Showdown, and the winner will receive $1,000 and move on to the regional competition in Albuquerque, N.M. After that is Nashville, where the final winner receives $100,000, a recording contract, and automatically wins the title of Best New Artist.
“I enjoy singing and writing,” Lankford said. “I don’t necessarily want to be famous, but if that happens, I’m fine with it. If not, I have other plans.”
A couple of the judges at the competition will be representatives from Capital Records, and the National Country Showdown will be providing the back-up band.
“I feel pretty confident,” Lankford said. “My family and friends will all be there to support me, and I’d like to just encourage everyone to come.”