Just two years after landing a demo deal and recording her first album, Payson country singer Candyce paid homage to her hometown May 1 and 2 by recording her first video in the Rim Country.
The area’s country scenery was the backdrop for the video “Somewhere In Between,” Candyce’s single off the album, “Kickin’ Up Dust.”
I grew up in church on the very last row
I know how to pray but I can still dosido
I might be from the country, but I ain’t no southern bell
Sometimes I’m heaven’s little angel but
I’m not afraid to raise a little hell
Candyce, 23, said she let lyrics like this inspire the video, which included video shots at a church in Pine, a Tonto Basin ranch and the Rye Bar.
“I knew right away when I picked this song that it explained exactly who I am,” she said. “This song relates to a lot of females who can ride on a quad all day but also get dressed up and go out.”
In the video, Candyce is introduced in the church, but she eventually breaks out of the church and hits the town, highlighting her fun loving, free spirit.
A local production team, including family, several dozen friends who played extras and director Tyle Perrin from Tulsa, Okla. shot the video in just a few days.
Candyce, who has lived in Payson since she was 8, said she loves living in a small town and was excited to pay tribute to her lifestyle, which includes horseback riding, riding ATVs and hanging out with family and friends.
Candyce first started singing as a child, belting out Patsy Cline, Reba McEntire and Patty Loveless tunes at home.
“All I ever wanted to do was sing, I would even sing to my Teddy bears,” she said.
Candyce’s grandmother, Helen Kraniak, who sang at Radio City Music Hall, would play piano and encourage Candyce to sing along. This, along with her dad’s passion for country music, exposed Candyce to traditional and contemporary country music, shaping her into the artist she is today.
In eighth grade, Candyce got a lead role in a school play.
Mother and manger Janet Kraniak said after watching Candyce perform throughout the whole play flawlessly, “I knew she could handle the pressure.”
In high school, Candyce again got the lead role and soon everyone realized what an enormous talent they had in their midst. Candyce was voted “most musical” and even recoded two albums independently.
“She always wanted to sing,” Janet said, “and now she has gotten that shot.”
However, Candyce was not always focused solely on music. After graduating high school, Candyce pursued “Plan B” as a financial assistant with Kevin Dick Investments.
“This is a great place to gain experience,” she said.
After working at her “normal” career for several years, the music industry came knockin’ on her door in 2007.
“I got an e-mail from a family friend asking if I still wanted to be a singer,” Candyce said. The e-mail said a Nashville producer was searching for new talent and offering a demo deal. The only catch was, Candyce needed to submit a demo tape within 24 hours to meet the cutoff.
Candyce pieced together a “crazy” mix of Dixie Chicks, Patsy Cline and other songs and sent it off. After producers reviewed thousands of submissions, Candyce was chosen.
Later, Candyce received an e-mail saying that she had been selected and Candyce said, “It was the best thing I have ever seen in my life.”
Although she had been chosen, Candyce was nervous to leave her job on hold, realizing she could fail in the contentious music business.
“I was so scared to take the risk,” she said.
“But I would rather know that I gave it all I had and not look back in regret.”
Candyce flew to Nashville two weeks later (her first time flying) and began cutting tracks with producers Spike Jones and Susie Marshall.
“I was overwhelmed with the recording process because I had thousands of songs to choose from,” she said.
Although nervous, production went smoothly, with Jones and Marshall adopting Candyce like family.
Over a year and after five trips to Nashville later, Candyce had a complete album.
“I have been really lucky so far,” she said. “I have been really blessed to run into such good people.”
Janet said the tone of the album is a mix of contemporary and traditional country.
“Lots of people who don’t like country, love this album,” she said.
Candyce said she has even had a few people come into her work crying because a song has touched them so much, especially “I Should Have Known Better.”
Candyce said she picked songs that people could relate to as well as herself.
“I want to be true to myself and be a really good role model.”
With her album complete, Candyce hopes a major record label will sign her.
Until then, she continues to build her press kit.
In November, an article on Candyce was published in Country Weekly magazine and, after editing, her video will be on www.candycemusic.com.
When not working or recording, Candyce said she volunteers her time with several non-profit organizations, including the Payson Supply Line.