Mormon teen's testimony shines in her music

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 18 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

Kira Stone, 17, from San Francisco, Calif., watched her first-ever single, "Peter Pan," make it to the top 50 on iTunes charts.

Wendy VonSosen, Wendy VonSosen Photography

Kira Stone hopes that her music will help make the listener's day better.

Stone, 17, hails from San Francisco, and has made a break in the music industry through iTunes. Her first single, “Peter Pan,” was featured in iTunes’ “New and Noteworthy” section and made it to the top 50 on the charts in January of last year.

“Peter Pan” was her first real venture into the world of songwriting. She didn’t even know her song was such a hit until a friend texted her about it.

“Which is weird,” she said, laughing. “I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to be.”

Today, she is a busy senior, applying to multiple universities — including Brigham Young University — and still recording on the side. She released another single, “Find Me Now,” in September and just released "California Sound" on Dec. 6.

Stone got her start with a local performing group when she was 8 years old. She’s also been involved with her high school choirs. She sings and plays the piano, ukulele and guitar. She’d always performed in LDS Church meetings or for family home evening, but had never really written her own songs and performed them for strangers.

A real turning point came for her the summer before her sophomore year, explained her father, Jared Stone. She had gone on tour with the performing group she’s involved with and realized how much she enjoyed sharing music with people.

“I remember she specifically talked about seeing the faces and looking into the eyes of the people she was performing for, and seeing their joy and their happiness — how happy that made her,” he said.

The way Kira Stone tells the story, she’s always loved music, she decided to give songwriting a try, and her parents have been so supportive that things just happen.

Her father gives credit where credit is due.

“Honestly, I can’t take any credit for her music. She’s very self-motivated and very creative,” he said. “I’m just amazed.”

Kira Stone has recorded her songs professionally at June Audio in Provo, and she has paid all of the expenses herself.

Jared Stone had connections to the studio through an old college friend. Artists including Neon Trees have recorded there, and Kira Stone called it the “funnest place ever.” She’s grateful to owner and engineer Scott Wiley for all of his help in getting the ideas in her head to turn into a song.

Kira is the oldest of six children — four girls and two boys — with the youngest in kindergarten this year. She loves singing, acting, cooking and travelling and is a huge fan of Broadway. But aside from those things, hanging out with her family is her favorite.

“From the beginning, I’ve really tried as hard as I can to make family and the gospel a priority over everything I do, which has really helped me keep things in perspective,” she said.

“One of many things I appreciate about Kira is she looks for opportunities to be in our home and with our family,” her father said. “As a parent, it’s such a help to have an older child who cares that much and loves her younger siblings as Kira does.”

Kira Stone did some recording in August and has two more singles from that round to release. She plans to release single by single and has plans to do more recording in the winter and spring. She’s hoping to release an album at the beginning of next summer.

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