by Jonathan Weaver
A local graduate and longtime performer at Kittanning’s Radioactive Events Center is looking to make it big in the music industry and took another step forward during the weekend.
Crystal Sanford, who goes by the stage name ‘KithaninK,’ officially released her single and lyric video to ‘Love No More’ Sunday.
Sanford, 20, said the original song took about a week to write and first performed it in mid-February on the local stage.
“It’s basically just an empowering song – you don’t need anybody to bring you down and you don’t need a man to keep you up. You can do it yourself, Sanford said.
“I’ve been performing here for about five years now, but the performance I did (February 13) was my first performance (singing) my own music. Being able to open for ‘Blood on the Dance Floor’ (February 16) was huge,” Sanford added. “I was really nervous at first but I think it really helped me on stage.”
Sanford said she first came to what was then known as Club Radioactive to dance to the music, but became intrigued after DJ Ale Gibson told her about talent shows available that gave Sanford the chance to sing covers to artists such as Selena Gomez or Taylor Swift.
Ale’s father (and Sanford’s manager) Mark remembered Sanford from when she was a teenager.
“At 14, she was singing every chance she can, but at 14, she wasn’t ready to step into this position. We really started looking at her seriously about a year ago – that’s when she was ready,” Gibson said.
Gibson continued that in Summer 2014, Sanford posted a video to her social media account that received tens of thousands of views, but it was her attitude before her performance that impressed him the most.
“She had all these people talking about her song (but) only about three kids showed up (to hear her perform live). She was devastated – the Internet can give you a false sense of security. In her mind, she thought there would be 18,000 people there to hear her song,” Gibson said. “She was beat down, but I saw her go into the bathroom, come back out, wiped her tears away, straighten her back up and say ‘I’m ready to go onstage.’
“That’s when I knew she was ready.”
Sanford is the first solo artist signed to Gibsound Entertainment in its approximately seven year history.
With the track recorded at Cobblesound Recording in New Kensington, the Pop Funk artist is currently in ‘Band Camp’ to write, choreograph and rehearse her music. Sanford hopes to release her full 13-track album release this Summer.
“Music’s been in my family for years, so I grew up around music. Just the culture and the sound of it, it’s always been something I wanted to do, Sanford said.
“Everybody knew me as the small singer – when I was younger, my brother’s friends would put a sign around my neck saying ‘Will Sing for Money’ and take me anywhere. Everybody knew I was a good singer, but everybody’s so shocked that I actually have my own music now,” Sanford said. “I love it.”
Sanford also has inspired her five-year-old son, Jerick, to sing one day as well.
“It’s fun to sing to him. I sang ‘Love No More’ to him and he actually knows my lyrics – it’s really, really cute listening to him sing it back to me,” Sanford said.
‘KithaninK’s single can be found via iTunes, Spotify and Vevo just to name a few.