I’m going to LA, to LA! She kept stewing in her head sitting in the window seat, commencing an 11-hour flight from London. What were the chances she’ll get chosen from 11,000 people applying narrowing down to the final 12? She noticed the advert on Facebook from the American TV show she follows calling for musicians who are into rock music to apply for ‘Battle of The Rock Star’ singing competition. The winner gets a Summerton Records record deal to produce an album. Her friends think she’s crazy, even her fiancée.
Over the years, Ryleigh had a deep emotional attachment with music and fell in love with the rushed riff of a guitar and the bashing of the drums and the hoarse vocals roaring down the microphone. Her teenage bedroom overflowed with posters of bands with eye-liner, heavy tattoos and vivid colours in their hair.
It was difficult for her family to understand and didn’t believe music was the appropriate way to get by in life, they didn’t want her singing in empty bars and clubs every night attempting to make ends meet. But they did negotiate an acoustic guitar and singing lessons becoming a hobby then roaming around the streets late a night causing trouble.
Her studying had to come first then the music and settled into Graphic Design and procced into university for the degree and landed a job immediately. While at university she met Russell on her course and fell for him instantly. At first, he didn’t look the type of guy she would of go for, he had short hair, withdrawn from romance, quite the opposite. He had the energy to strive well, which she liked about him.
They strived hard to get where they are in their professions and life. It took them 6 years to have a house and he finally popped the question to her. Ryleigh began to worry if she’s making the right choices, some days she did wake up and questioned “if there’s anything else better out there?“. She turned 28 last month and knowing 30 is creeping up faster then she imagined, everyone around her is married and having kids, querying if she’s missing out. The pressure from her parents and in-laws are making her doubt what’s Russell impression of a relationship and what it meant to him. He didn’t believe in rushing and required to be financially stable so they can raise their future children, which seemed logical.
When her job took over her life, her music hobby caused to disappear and spent less and less time returning to her guitar writing songs and singing covers she enjoyed listening to. It didn’t prevent her going to gigs of her favourite bands while they tour and dragging Russell along, he didn’t mind it.
When she saw the advert she already had 2 glasses of wine absorbed into her system and the wild side of her perceived she should do it, so she rummaged through previous recordings that she kept on the computer and picked one called “Not going back.” She recorded this when she was 17 about her guy she broke up with because she found out he cheated.
Take this note hope your listening,
Thinking you can crawl back in bed again,
When I know where you’ve been,
I’ve locked the door, you aren’t coming in.
You can scream and shout
But I can’t forgive you
No I’m not going back,
No I’m not going back with you
She remembered recording on the day ending it with him, people write in dairies or chat to a friend, this was her way of getting it out of her system.
Forgetting she did it, a few days later she had a call and told she made it and had to get a flight out in 2 months. When she told Russell, he didn’t know she did this and assured him this could change everything, doing it for the both of them. Russell’s faith in her caused her to feel doubt if she should go. Ryleigh wondered about her appearance, she had her emo phase but faded in her early 20′s to look appealable for a job. She kept her blonde wavy hair with a side-fringe and a top winged eye-liner with a simple dress sense, nothing fashionable. No piercings or tattoos as her parent’s wouldn’t allow it, she had to send a photo so they must of saw something in her.
Once she mentioned to her workplace what was happening and would be absent for over 10 weeks, she fretted they wouldn’t keep her and understood they wouldn’t want to pay her either eventually quitting. If she didn’t succeed, she would have nothing to go back to. Something in her mind kept telling her to push on, “you can come back to something - it’s not a big deal”. But with luck, they gave her unpaid leave for 12 weeks and agreed as a ‘career break’ arrangement. Once the whole team found out, they were excited for her better than Russell and her family, Ryleigh promised she’ll keep in touch.
Stepping off the plane, the weather didn’t feel different to the UK. She was sceptical on how much clothes she should pack for what season, studying hard on what she would bring and brought one of each season. Maybe they would provide a new wardrobe and a makeover for the show. As she collected her luggage and guitar from the carrier, she saw a man in a suit with her name on the sign, it felt just like the movies.
‘Yes, that’s me.’ She approaches the man.
‘Dereck, please to meet you. Follow me, I’ll be driving you to the studio.’ He grabbed her luggage and put it in a black Toyota, she hoped for it to be yellow reflecting those films set in LA.
Driving from the international airport to the Summerton Records Studio she gazed out the window and believed she’s dreaming, this can’t be real. The palm trees that sit in the middle of the road swaying away, passing the bungalows having a unique appearance to each one and some commercial shops she recognises having at home.
She did felt nervous and remembered to text Russell she landed safely. Dereck made a pleasant conversation finding her interesting of her life in the UK. Also, she fretted she wasn’t dressed suitably to meet anyone. Her skintight black running leggings with black plimsolls, white floating empire top and black hoodie didn’t show “rock star” material.
Dereck parked the car. Ryleigh got out to view the sign with its flashy illuminated logo and can’t believe she’s stepping into a studio of the bands she’s been listening for years recording here and walking where they’ve been. He had the door open ready for her to walk in to see clean and fresh décor including the gold discs presented on the wall proudly of the bands and the magazine covers. A gingered hair smart-dressed women walked over.
‘Hi, you must be Ryleigh Roberts. Welcome to Summerton Records Studio and welcome to LA.’