The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
Charlene Crites, a young lady with a big voice and even bigger dreams, hopes to see her name in the bright lights.
“I am in no hurry to make it [in the industry], but if it happens, I am ready for it,” says Crites. Sixteen-year-old Crites has five albums, all of which are cover songs of some of today’s most popular artists, such as Carrie Underwood, Miley Cyrus, Leona Lewis, Evanescence and Lady Gaga, but she plans to release some of her own songs.
“I define the music,” says Crites. “I always make the songs my own and sing them the way I think they should be sung to put my own spin on things and make myself an individual. I find that it gets boring singing and performing it the same way.” “She turns into a different person when she is on stage,” says Crites’s mother, Charlene. “I know it is hard to take since I am her mother, but the talent she has is amazing.” “She is my baby. I see her as my young, innocent, lovely child.
Then she gets on stage and blows it apart.” She has many inspirations, but she says that her mother, whom she says is not just her mom but her best friend, is her biggest inspiration.
“She supports me 100 per cent and will do anything for me to be happy,” says Crites. “[My mom] always taught me to stay true to yourself is the best way to go because if you lose yourself you can never really find [yourself] again.” Crites began singing at the age of seven and has always made room for school and singing. She hopes that singing will trump the books and become a career in the near future.
“If I do not become famous before Grade 12, then I would want to go to school for something music related or, if not, then cosmetology or nursing,” says Crites. She says that she believes she is capable of bringing a new and fresh image to the music industry without abusing substances or stepping on people to get what you want. “I can bring a whole new meaning to music,” she says.
“You just need to have faith. You don’t have to be violent or [have] bad behaviour. You can be yourself without breaking the rules.” Although this young vibrant lady hasn’t experienced the benefits of fame, she has experienced negativity for her platinum blonde hair and glamour look. When people push her down with their negativity, she says she feels as though it gives her a positive push and makes her stronger. This allows her to stay on track and in-tune with her message to her fans.
“You have to stay true to yourself. Follow your heart in all that you do, and never lose who you are,” says Crites. She has participated in many benefit shows and won awards in local idol competitions, such as placing first in Port Colborne Idol, winning second place in Wainfleet Idol and being nominated for rising star of the year at last year’s Niagara Music Awards.
She has shared the stage with many local bands and has even made an appearance on the Disney Channel. “She is going to get bigger and better,” says Charlene. “She is defintely going to explode this year.” “It is a real passion that I have. As long as I can make people happy when they listen to me, then this is all I need,” adds Crites.