Local singer/songwriter releasing new music, plans area gigs

"My lyrics have grown a lot," she said.

Kalea Appel
Worthingon's Kalea Appel (stage name Kalea Jordan) released a new single over the weekend. (Photo courtesy of Zach Neupert)

WORTHINGTON — At the close of her first year formally studying songwriting, Worthington music artist Kalea Appel is home for the summer and ready to play her new songs for local audiences.

Appel just spent the school year in Nashville, Tennessee, at Belmont University, one of the few higher education institutions that offers a degree in songwriting. Her freshman year has included multiple classes about how the music industry works, covering topics like contracts, royalties and audio engineering. While those foundations are invaluable, Appel said what she enjoyed most was the more focused study of the art of songwriting.

Nashville is an ideal place to study music; Appel said her spring songwriting class was in a building on Music Row, where many well-known performers recorded songs. Just being in the building felt like walking the red carpet.

"My lyrics have grown a lot," said Appel, who records her songs under the stage name Kalea Jordan.

Being surrounded by other artists has helped widen her perspective, she said. While continually inspired by Taylor Swift as well as newer stars like Forest Blakk and Ella Jane, Appel said she's recently added more indie, folk and alternative music to her regular listens.


In addition to proximity, she's also grown from feedback. Critiques from professors, along with friendly competition in class, have pushed her over the last year.

Appel released her newest single, "Storyboards," on Saturday. She can tell her following is growing, because the song had more than 2,500 listens in its first two days.

"Storyboards" is the third single that Appel originally planned to use on an EP, but plans for the EP changed when COVID-19 prevented her from being in the studio as much as she would have liked. Appel still plans to release an EP by the end of the year, but it may look different than she first thought.

While home from the summer, Appel will be busy performing a series of gigs in local places. Dates are as follows:

  • May 8, Duffer's Bar & Grill, 7 to 10 p.m.
  • May 15, Forbidden Barrel Brewing Co., 7 to 10 p.m.
  • June 5, Painted Prairie Vineyard, 5 to 7 p.m.
  • June 11, Innspiration Vines & Wines, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • June 19, Duffer's Bar & Grill, 7 to 10 p.m.
  • July 3, Beach Bash at Centennial Park, 6 p.m.
  • July 7, Worthington City Band concert, 7:30 p.m.
  • July 10, Duffer's Bar & Grill, 7 to 10 p.m.
  • July 25, Innspiration Vines & Wines, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • August 9, Front Porch, 3 to 4 p.m.
  • August 11, Front Porch, 4 to 5 p.m.
  • August 12, Front Porch, 3 to 4 p.m.
  • August 14, Duffer's Bar & Grill, 7 to 10 p.m.

She's particularly looking forward to playing at the Beach Bash, where she's had success in the past.
Appel plans to play her three singles, but she'll also throw in a few classics that everyone knows.

"I get so excited when people sing along at my gigs," she said, adding that it's a gratifying feeling to see that her music is relatable and inspires emotions in listeners.

Appel also has new merchandise available for purchase at . Her songs are available to stream on all the major platforms and may also be purchased on iTunes.

Related Topics: MUSIC
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