Oswego Grad Making Her Way in Nashville Music Scene
Aug 19, 2015 11:00AM
● By Steven Jack
Cheyenne Stejskal is a 2012 graduate of Oswego High School looking to break into the country music scene in Nashville. (Courtesy photo)
STORY ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AUG. 19, 2015
Moving to Nashville and becoming a star of country music is the dream of many young and talented singers.
But one Oswego High School graduate is hoping to turn that dream into a reality, and is climbing the ranks of a national competition that could help make that happen.
Cheyenne Stejskal graduated from OHS in 2012 with only a couple of years of musical performance to her credit. Mostly involved in cheerleading her first three years of high school, she gave that up her senior year to focus on singing, joining show choir and appearing in the school’s production of “Hairspray.”
“I always knew since I was little that I wanted to do something in music,” said Stejskal, who uses the stage name Cheyenne Rose. “I got a guitar my junior year and learned how to play. … I’ve never had private vocal lessons. I’ve always just been kind of self-taught.”
Country music is something Stejskal has been exposed to her whole life. Her father is Ramblin Ray Stevens, longtime morning DJ on Chicago’s biggest country music station US99.5. Today, Stejskal said, he's helping to manage her developing music career.
“My dad has been a huge influence,” she said. “I remember going with him to the radio station and I just fell in love with watching him up there on stage.”
After a year at Waubonsee Community College, Stejskal transferred to Nashville’s Belmont University in 2013 to study music business and search for her big break as a performer. Despite the amount of talented singers with the exact same idea, Stejskal said she’s had some success the last couple of years playing at cafes around the city.
“It’s so competitive there,” she said. “I know so many incredibly talented people that have been rejected again and again, but you just can’t give up. You have to keep going.”
This summer, Stejskal has been honing her craft with gigs all across the Chicago area, including an appearance on the WGN Midday News and singing the National Anthem at Wrigley Field.
Stejskal is also in the midst of her best shot at breaking through as a contestant in the NashNext Country competition. NashNext is a talent contest that takes young performers through a series of performance challenges and relies partially on the online votes of fans to move the artists through to the next rounds.
Stejskal has made it through to the semi-finals with the current round of voting happening through Friday, Sept. 25. Those that crack the top 10 are guaranteed a spot on the national NashNext concert tour and the winner is given a recording contract with the newly formed NashNext recording label.
“I’m always working toward the next big thing,” she said. “While other people my age are out partying I’ll be in my room writing songs and working on ways to make myself a better performer.”
To see videos of some of Stejskal’s latest performances, check below.
Alright guys so I did a really cool cover video yesterday at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. This is "Automatic" by Miranda Lambert and this video is essentially for the first "challenge" of the Next Nash Competition that I am in! This is another voting round for the fans so its all up to YOU! Voting for the cover challenge opens August 26-27th ONLY! So make sure that you get a vote in for me! I have to now remain in the top 85 to continue onto the next challenge. I really appreciate all the help and support on this! I will post more updates about it when the voting gets closer, but make sure to visit NashNextcountry.com and play my video so it gets some spins! Thank you again, I can never say it enough. Love always, Cheyenne xoPosted by Cheyenne Rose on Tuesday, August 18, 2015
WGN Midday News