By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
A young Oshawa singer is making her voice heard, as a band she is involved with has been nominated for a Juno.
Kalista Wilson, 15, recently learned her group, Girl Pow-r, has been nominated for Children’s Album of the Year for “This is Us.”
“It’s truly an honour to be nominated, especially being the first youth in the youth category, it’s a big honour making history,” Wilson told The Oshawa Express.
Girl Pow-r is an all-girl pop rock band, with members ranging in age of 10 to 17. They create and sing their own original pieces, as well as cover songs, play instruments and dance.
The band was started around two-and-a-half years ago when Wilson and a number of others auditioned to be a part of the group. There were three auditions in all, two online, and the final in person.
“We sang, we danced, and we showed what we could do on stage,” she said.
However, there’s more to the band than just their music, says Wilson.
“We also have social causes we’re passionate about, such as children’s health and youth homelessness,” she says.
Wilson says the band is very excited to be nominated for a Juno, and is getting prepared to head out to Saskatoon for the awards ceremony in March.
The band was in Toronto for the nomination party when they found out about the award.
“We were standing in the front row… and when we found out, it was like this enormous eruption of screams, laughs, cheering and stuff,” she reflects. “Everyone around us, we knew a lot of the artists because we’d been working with them in Toronto, were really excited for us. It was the happiest atmosphere.”
The young singer explains she originally moved to Oshawa with her family when she was three years old.
“[Growing up in Oshawa] has been awesome. It’s been the best experience I feel I could’ve had living here,” she says.
Aside from singing, Wilson says she is interested in robotics and science, and wants to pursue a career in a scientific field.
“I really want to get into MIT and become a world renowned robotics scientist, or work something like Elon Musk does,” she says.
She also used to play soccer, and was always on all of the sports teams in elementary school. Now attending All-Saints Catholic School, Wilson is a member of the school’s girls basketball team.
“We won LOSSA championships this year,” she says, adding they went undefeated.
Her classmates have been very supportive, according to Wilson.
“They’re very proud of me because most of them have been supporting me ever since I started singing… so seeing me succeed is making them very happy,” she says.
Due to the current labour dispute between the government and teachers, students aren’t doing all of the extra curricular activities they usually would.
However, Wilson’s school is still making her accomplishments known.
“I’ve been on the announcements, and all the home room teachers were showing the students videos,” she says.
Wilson also recently sang the national anthem at a Toronto Raptors game, and says as a big fan of the team, it was an unforgettable experience.
“At first it was very nerve wracking, but as I started feeling the energy from the crowd, it became pretty fun and exciting, and I got some pretty good seats so I could watch the game,” she says.
The 2020 Juno Awards will be in Saskatoon on Sunday, March 15 at 8 p.m., airing on CBC.