WARNER ROBINS -- Eleven-year-old Kylie Seitz, of Forsyth, has rising country star Colby Dee’s private cellphone number after the two became BFFs -- best friends forever -- over Memorial Day weekend.
The friendship was forged when Macon-based Jay’s HOPE Foundation, which supports children battling cancer and their families, introduced Kylie and Colby Dee Coskery, who goes by her stage name Colby Dee, so they could write, record and perform a song together.
They titled the song “Heart Attack I Never Had.”
“My favorite part was getting to learn the step-by-step process of writing a song and ... the bridge, the verses, the chorus and stuff like that,” said Kylie, who likes to swim and play with her three dogs when she’s not busy writing lyrics and filming herself singing on her iPhone.
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Kylie, who was diagnosed with the bone cancer Ewing sarcoma nearly seven years ago, is a survivor.
Her prognosis is good. She’s passed the critical five-year survival mark, and she may be able to walk without crutches by December because of a magnetically expandable rod placed in one of her legs.
“We want people to know that even though you have cancer, there’s hope,” said her mother, Jeni Seitz. “You can still do great things with your life. You can still see your dreams come true.”
Just ask Kylie, who said her dream is “to just be famous for my singing and acting.”
On May 22, the rising sixth-grader at T.G. Scott Elementary School in Forsyth was whisked away from her Nashville, Tennessee, hotel by Colby Dee for a song-writing session with fellow songwriter Briana Tyson.
While in the car, Colby Dee said Kylie informed her that she already had some song titles and lyrics written down that she wanted her to hear. At the songwriting session, Colby Dee told Kylie to pick her three favorites, and “Heart Attack I Never Had” was among them.
“My friend and I looked at each other when she said ‘Heart Attack I Never Had,’” Colby Dee said. “I mean, I’m 23 and my friend is 22. ... We were like, that is something we totally would say.”
They went with it.
“It was awesome. We were very surprised that an 11-year-old girl would have such a strong song idea,” Colby Dee said.
In addition to the song title, Kylie already had written some of the lyrics and had a melody. Colby Dee, Tyson and Kylie collaborated to complete the song.
The inspiration for the song came from the Disney Channel’s “Austin & Ally” star Ross Lynch.
“I just kind of based the song off of him, because I have a ginormous crush on him,” said Kylie, who called him talented and “really cute.”
The next day, Kylie and Colby Dee spent the morning recording the song at Prime Cut Studio, where producer Daniel Dennis donated part of his time, and Colby Dee paid for the studio time.
In fact, when Jay’s HOPE earlier approached Colby Dee about spending time with Kylie the next time she was in Middle Georgia, Colby Dee suggested the trip to Nashville for a “crash course in music.” Jay’s HOPE sponsored her family’s trip.
“I wanted to give her a crash course on how it works and have her experience what I get to do up here,” Colby Dee said.
Colby Dee, who is the special guest for headliner Jason Michael Carroll at the Byron Independence Day Celebration on June 27, has ties to Warner Robins. Her grandmother lives there, her mother graduated from high school there and Colby Dee went to school there until the second grade.
Her family moved because of her father’s career, but Colby Dee said she still considers Warner Robins her hometown.
‘MY FIRST SHOW’
The afternoon after Seitz and Colby Dee finished making their record, the two went to her Nashville home, where a professional stylist did their hair and makeup for the concert later that night.
When the two took the stage at The Listening Room Cafe to perform their song, Kylie said she was a little nervous at first.
“As I ... got through the song on stage, I kind of broke through and wasn’t nervous anymore,” Kylie said.
The concert before an audience of 300 was sold out.
“Pretty good for my first show,” Kylie quipped.
Kylie’s mom said her “heart filled with joy” as she watched her onstage. Kylie’s two sisters, father and other relatives also were in the audience.
“I was just so happy for her,” Jeni Seitz said. “She was in her element. ... There have been so many things over the past seven years that she could not do because of her cancer. This was something she really wanted to do, and it could not have been any more perfect.”
Colby Dee also was touched by the experience.
“It was truly one of the most memorable weekends of my life, and I know I was supposed to be a role model and setting good examples for Kylie, and I can’t put into words how much she truly changed my life and changed my perspective of just life in general,” she said. “She is such a rock star on and off that stage, and it was so inspiring to just be with her.”
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.