“In a music world of uninspired lyrics and hollow messages it lifted my heart to hear something fresh, enabling, and uplifting. I can’t listen to it enough. Thanks for sharing your gift and encouraging us to find ours!”
— A 5-star rating on iTunes for “Dancin’ on a Wire” posted by “Melting Fast” on Dec. 2
Even though he’s just short of 23 years old, Kyle Wesley is the owner of his own recording studio. Situated in the backyard of Wesley’s parents’ home in the Cliffside area of Logan, at first glance the small wooden structure housing Kyle Wesley Studios, LLC, appears more likely to contain a lawnmower and a snowblower than a full drum kit and a mixing console.
And with the studio surrounded by nearly eight inches of freshly fallen snow on a frigid night in January, it’s hard to picture Wesley and his songwriting partner Keiyana Osmond struggling to complete “Dancin’ on a Wire” in the heat of a summer day.
“We were just sweating,” Wesley declares.
“It was like, the day he got A.C. in here, we just started writing the song like crazy,” Osmond adds. “But before that, we were struggling to come up with anything.”
In addition to air conditioning, Osmond and Wesley were aided in the songwriting process by Wesley’s mother, Bonnie Purbaugh, who initially suggested using the phrase: “Dancin’ on a Wire.” While Wesley had already developed a musical base for the song, the lyrics were slow in coming until he was inspired by the woman who had originally helped him develop a love of music.
“Once my mom came up with that phrase,” Wesley explains, “it was like all of a sudden …”
“Everything just kind of took off from there,” Osmond completes.
Where Osmond and Wesley are now is potentially on the edge of something big.
With some additional help from a music production company in New York City, Osmond’s first single “Dancin’ on a Wire” — with Wesley playing piano and providing back-up vocals — was released on iTunes on the first of December. While the song has already created quite a bit of buzz, including being named “The Best Song of the Month” by songwriteruniverse.com, more attention is sure to follow today’s release of the video for “Dancin’ on a Wire.”
“It’s anticipated to be decently viral because it’s already indexed in the search results if you type in Keiyana’s name,” Wesley notes.
The video for “Dancin’ on a Wire” was produced, directed and shot by another young Cache Valley native, Taylor Ballam. A 23-year-old graduate of Logan High School owns Ballam Films, a business primarily directed towards shooting wedding videos.
But once Ballam, Wesley and Osmond all got to know each other, the trio recognized an opportunity to further all of their careers at the same time.
“I didn’t have as many high expectations when we started everything,” Osmond admits. “But now, I feel like so many things have opened up to me already because of this song. So, I’m just really into pushing it and hoping that it will become even bigger than I thought it would be in the first place.”
“I still believe that it’s way bigger than we still understand,” Wesley seconds. “Just the whole process, I’ve felt like it’s huge.”
Osmond and Ballam look at each other and smile before Ballam declares: “Kyle’s like super ambitious. He’s really been pushing this, and because of him, everything just kind of keeps snowballing.”
With a last name like Osmond, it’s hard to imagine a Utah native not considering musical greatness from a very young age. But Keiyana Osmond insists she’s never had any formal vocal training, didn’t even sing in choir at school, and has never even met those famous Osmonds.
“I’ve never talked to them in my life,” she says with a laugh. “But my grandpa and them are first cousins.”
But Osmond, who grew up in Providence and now lives in Hyrum, did get her first guitar when she was 10, and sang in front of her family and friends for years. Her breakout performance, however, came in August 2010 when she won Cache County Idol at the county fair with her rendition of “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” by The Script.
“I had never really sung in front of a bunch of people before,” says Osmond, who was just 16 years old at the time. “But afterwards, I thought, This is awesome! I need to do this more!”
Osmond went on to post cover songs on YouTube and sing at local establishments like Pier 49 and Cafe Sabor before a mutual friend suggested that her and Wesley consider working together. Wesley says he’s heard similar thoughts numerous times before but that his friend’s raving of Osmond was “a complete understatement.”
“I was knocked off my feet,” he proclaims. “I was completely taken off guard. I heard her voice, and I was, ‘Whoa! We have to do something together.’”
About the same time, Ballam was added to the mix and a plan for a complete musical project started to emerge. Initially, the trio figured they’d try to come up with about $500 to produce a music video for “Dancin’ on a Wire.”
“But the more we did it, the more I was like, ‘If we’re going to do this and put all the effort into it, let’s just get as much we can and go all out and just treat this like a big huge production,” Ballam says.
Eventually, the project managed to raise $3,500 through kickstarter.com, but the trio ended up kicking in some of their own personal money as well to increase the budget even further. Ballam ended up renting a high-end video camera that cost $1,500 a day, meaning that the video shoot ended up being a 24-hour marathon. “We started at 6 in the morning, and I finished up at about 6 in the morning,” says Ballam, who served as cameraman, director and producer.
Filmed along the Logan River Trail and at the old Logan Coach warehouse at 300 South and 400 West, the video ended up including close to 100 relatives, friends and crew members on a cool day in mid-November.
“It was a dream come true for me,” says Osmond, who is currently attending Utah State University after graduating from Mountain Crest High School last spring. “It was the longest day ever, but it was so fun!”
Since November, Ballam has been hard at work completing the editing process, and as of Monday, he said he was nearly done. It’s scheduled for release today on Osmond’s YouTube channel, as well as other locations.
Osmond also has a four-song EP scheduled to be released on iTunes on March 26, while Wesley has an EP of his own scheduled to come out April 2. But in the meantime, Osmond, Wesley and Ballam are all “Dancin’ on a Wire” as they wait to see what direction their careers take now.
“The song is about taking chances, following your dreams and just making things happen while you’re young,” Osmond declares. “And the funny thing is, I feel the lyrics of ‘Dancin’ on a Wire’ are exactly what’s happening for us right now.”