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[VIDEO] Local 15-year-old singer-song writer gets ready for Nashville

Wednesday, May. 7 | By Hannah Dellinger
KRHS Freshmen Lexi Peto performing with her back up band at Deja Brew in Haymarket.
Fauquier Times Staff Photo Randy Litzinger
Lexi Peto shows talent and wisdom far beyond her 15 years on this planet.

The singer and songwriter has experienced great loss in her life, her mother's death. She's grown up fast.

Peto is not only an exceptional singer, but some say her lyrics and songwriting capabilities surpass that of most adults. She creates a pop country sound with rock undertones and hooks. Her voice is light, fresh, young and smooth.

When she performs, Peto is comfortable, natural. Everything she does comes straight from the heart. She sings about love, loss and the troubles that every teenage girl comes to know.

“On a stage I’m so at home,” said Peto. “It’s a surreal feeling and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I never wanna get off the stage, because through all the hard times in life, being up there just makes everything else OK.”

Ever since her mother, Catherine Kennett, died almost a year ago, Peto has found a renewed sense of purpose. She wants to make a professional music career for herself in her mother’s memory.

“She really inspired me to be great,” said Peto. “Both of my parents were pushing for this, but my mom was my number one fan in the whole world. So now that she’s not here, it just pushes me even further to do what she wanted me to.”

Peto is set to record an album in Nashville, Tenn. this summer that will come out in the fall. She plans on sending out the finished, professionally produced work to major labels.

“The title track is ‘Where I Belong,’ which is the song I wrote for [my mom],” she said.

Peto’s family is very music-oriented. Being around music her whole life had a great influence on her.

“When I was really young, my parents were both really into music,” said Peto. “My dad is my guitar teacher, so he really got me into it at age seven. My mom wasn’t a musician, but she listened to every kind of music that ever existed. She always had music playing, it’s a big thing in my family.”

Peto gets involved with as many kinds of projects that involve performance as possible. On top of performing regularly at Deja Brew in Haymarket, local restaurants and open mic nights, she also performs in school plays at Kettle Run High School. She is a member of the school glee club, choir and chorus.
“I’ve been performing in front of people for as long as I can remember,” she said. “I was in theater and drama in third grade and I started singing in front of people around the same time.”

Peto started taking voice lessons with Beth Dingus at Drum and Strum in Warrenton about six months ago.

“I’ve never met anyone her age that is that ambitious,” said Dingus. “She’s so determined.”

Peto came into Drum and Strum to sign up for lessons with a CD of some of her songs in hand. Dingus said that when she listened to the music, she was very excited to start working with her.

Dingus said that she thinks that Peto has the drive, talent and determination to reach her musical goals.

“I fully believe that Lexi will take it as far as she can,” said Dingus. “I think that she’s an amazing songwriter. I don’t know anyone who writes songs like her. I fully believe that she’s gonna make it.”

It is clear that Peto has an exceptional work ethic for someone her age. She practices fastidiously with an ultimate goal of reaching her music, message and craft out to the public.

“I’ll be happy in life doing anything musically, but I have been working so hard, more than anything else for this,” she said. “This is what I want and I will not stop until I have it.”

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