In 2012, award-winning singer Kelli Brogan received a birthday surprise she would never forget: a brain aneurysm. The tragic event would become a galvanizing gift of change, rousing the dormant pop star inside, and spurring her on to ascend heights she never thought possible. “Through the aneurysm, I realised I needed to break free of the fear that was holding me back. I needed to be stronger in my convictions, live the way I wanted, and give being an artist the best shot I could,” Melbourne, Australia-based artists says.
Kelli’s artistry is a pathway to a classic pop opulence that’s thoroughly cultivated, including glamorous garb, stunning set design, theatrical performances, elegantly flowing dance and choreography informed from her background as an award-winning ballroom dancer and world-class musicality. At the centre of the Kelli Brogan experience is a storyteller in song. Kelli melds the narrative tradition with the powerhouse pipes welded by classic R&B vocalists. Sprinkled in this distinct blend are touches of blues and anthemic rock. Kelli has garnered favourable comparisons to Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand, Patsy Cline, and Reba McEntire. Kelli carefully chooses her repertoire so she can perform with emotional authenticity. Her songs are epic ballads and stirring pop rockers that showcase her richly expressive vocals and dynamic phrasing. Kelli can delicately smoulder in song with tender low tones, soar skyward with full voice singing, and access all the sentiments between these two extremes. Her songs brim with messages of empowerment, women’s rights, environmental concerns, and uplifting personal growth. She conveys a myriad of emotions with silken grace—as an artist Kelli, is playful, passionate, positive and tenacious. “At this point in my life, my songs are about trusting and believing in yourself, reaching for new heights and not settling,” she says. Back home in Australia, Kelli has shared the stage with such diverse artists as Daryl Cotton, Denis Walter, Patrick McMahon and Olivia Newton-John. In addition, Kelli performed Australia’s National Anthem in front of thousands of people at an arena show. She garnered international acclaim when her self-titled debut album won 'Best Ballad,' 'Best Song' and 'Best Album' at the Akademia Independent Music Awards in LA. Kelli’s single 'Long After You’re Gone' also stayed at Number 1 on the Fan Voted Chart in the USA for 10 consecutive weeks—she has the distinction of being the first Australian to reach the number 1 spot on that chart. Kelli was the eldest of two children, and was raised in a single-parent family after her parents divorced when she was 4 years old. Her mother’s iron-will and devotion to her and her brother made an indelible impact on Kelli, powerfully informing the content of her music and her personal journey into womanhood. Despite growing up in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, American country music was her family’s soundtrack, and she came up soaking in the sounds and singing along to greats such as Patsy Cline, Reba McEntire and Vera Lynn. Also ripe for inspiration was her mother’s love of musicals and ballroom dancing. Kelli was born an entertainer. By primary school, she joined a competitive theatrical dance school and, in her free time, she soaked up musicals on TV and talent shows like Young Talent Time and New Faces. These became formative moments for Kelli as she listened to their advice about singing and performing, carefully integrating that into her own nascent talents. Quickly she went from watching TV to being on TV performing in a Rainbow Brite Commercial and dancing on Carols by Candlelight. Kelli would go on to wow audiences, winning talent contests, earning roles on commercials and becoming National Champion for ballroom dancing. At the time of her aneurysm, Kelli was a professional dancer and a primary school teacher. Except for the occasional cover band gig, and sporadic songwriting efforts, her musical aspirations and talents were in the background. One marquee accomplishment during this period was co-writing the song 'You Can Do It' which won runner up in the International Song Writing Contest and went on to be published in the JAMM Book for 2007. Today, this book and CD is used in schools across Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Her wakeup call occurred while at work as a teacher on the exact day of her birthday when Kelli was jolted by a transient ischemic attack (an experience that’s akin to a stroke and requires immediate medical attention), and was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. The next six months were a nail biter—Kelli had a time bomb in her head and only when it was operated on and sealed would she be safe. In the wake of this reflective time, Kelli started writing songs again and committed to music, eventually releasing her debut. She has come into her own with her upcoming EP. This milestone release is the result of a transformative experience seeing Celine Dion in Las Vegas while she was out West, accepting an award at the Akademia Music Awards. Celine’s lavish stage show, and the depth and beauty of her songs, were revelatory. When Kelli came home from Vegas, she immediately searched for a producer who could bring to life her pop opulent vision. Serendipitously she found Greg Critchley (Kenny Loggins, Chaka Khan, David Foster). The opening salvo in this new glamorous era for Kelli will be the EP’s first single 'If This Is All There Is.' The track is an elegantly reflective ballad with anthemic romantic overtones. The EP boasts other achingly beautiful ballads such as 'Strong One' and 'Truth About Wings.' 'Singleville' is a jaunty 'done wrong' pop rocker, showcasing the theatrical power of Kelli’s vocals and her playful side. Kelli contributed the swaggering original composition 'The Woman I Was' to the EP. The song smoulders with funky and bluesy overtones, and it offers forth an uplifting message of living on your own terms. This is a time of spiritual and artistic rebirth for Kelli—the culmination of her heightened self-awareness after her aneurysm and her fearless commitment to never settle. “What I’ve learned in this journey is that this is the artist I need to be, and I will put in the work, endure the sleepless nights, and never settle for less,” she says.