In fact, she won eight state-level competitions. As a child, she dreamed of becoming a classical pianist and playing Carnegie Hall.
Stepping on The Voice stage as singer-songwriter Karli Webster?
That was something else entirely.
“I do not have extensive performance experience (as a singer) because I’ve spent so much of my life being focused only on school and on work,” Karli, 20, of Santa Clarita, Calif., told Voice Views.
“I only have a couple of very limited videos out there that I did with some friends who make films and love doing music. Outside of that it’s been very, very local and very, very small in terms of my outreach with my music.”
In fact, it took lots of nagging from her mom and friends to convince her to audition for The Voice, a show she had watched for years.
“I always dreamed of being on the blind audition stage,” said Karli, a student at University of Southern California. “No matter how many times they told me, ‘Just do it,’ I think I was too afraid.
“I’ve had a lot of closed doors in the past, which is what I think is what kept me from pursuing music whole-heartedly. I was so afraid of facing failure, I just kind of avoided it.”
Finally, a week before open call auditions for Season 13 in Las Vegas, she signed up. She wound up advancing to the next round. And kept advancing until she landed in front of television cameras, a studio audience and the celebrity judges.
Facing her biggest audience yet as a singer-songwriter, Karli did not fail.
In fact, Miley Cyrus and Adam Levine were so impressed with her vocals on Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain,” they turned their chairs at the end of the song’s first line, guaranteeing her a spot on the show.
After lots of lobbying from both coaches, Karli opted to join Team Miey.
More good news came on Wednesday. On iTunes, her cover of “You’re So Vain” was the best performing song from the second week of the blind auditions. In fact, it cracked the iTunes Top 200, something only two other performances have done so far in Season 13.
Karli credits her dad, a musician himself, for immersing her in music at a young age. She started playing piano at age 3.
She credits her mom with her musical direction, saying she grew up listening to female singer-songwriters of the 1970s.
Heck, Karli was even named after Carly Simon. On Instagram, she describes herself as “a freckle-faced folk singer.”
The conversion from pianist to singer-songwriter?
That started back at age 5 when she wrote her first song in school. And won a contest by doing so.
“When I discovered I could write my own (music), that’s when I discovered my voice,” Karli told The Voice.
Here are Karli’s social media links, followed by a couple of other samples of her vocal talent.