Kelly Fine

All about the story

By Linda Turk

Kelly FineThere are many things to love about the city of Dayton. We boast wonderful parks, tasty restaurants, and a music scene that can rival those of much larger metropolitan areas. Dayton is a great place for musical talent to bloom and has been doing just that for singer/songwriter Kelly Fine for the past four plus years. In an interview with the Dayton City Paper, the young musician discussed her background, upcoming projects and her plans for her future.

Fine, a Cincinnati native, has been involved in music for as long as she can remember. “When I was three my parents signed me up for group piano lessons. As I got older I took private lessons until I was about 12. I wasn’t learning classical piano, rather it was jazz training, so I learned a lot about chord progression and theory.” Following her early start, Fine stayed involved in the fine arts, participating in music, singing, and theater. After high school she came to the University of Dayton, and in her first year of college bought her first classical guitar at a garage sale. She and a friend fixed it up and she worked to “figure it out.” Fine said, “I had a Bob Dylan greatest hits chord book and I literally was just trying to learn basic chords. I really struggled with trying to memorize covers, but in playing them and practicing I learned a lot about progressions and how the guitar could be similar to piano.”

That first year of college was when Fine began writing her own music, and in her second year she played her first show -a half hour set of original music at the University of Dayton’s ArtStreet Cafe. Fine remembered, “It was terrifying and I almost cried the whole time and I barely looked up, but then after about 20 more of those types of shows I started to play at the ArtStreet amphitheater on UD’s campus and played at Flannigan’s Pub. From then on I was starting to get my feet wet at different types of venues.” She continued to play her junior and senior years, venturing down to Cincinnati and began to build up a bit of a fan base there. Last spring, Fine teamed up with other talented musicians and formed Kelly Fine and the Technicolor Band for UD’s Battle of the Bands. Fine said, “The Battle of the Bands show arrangement was the biggest ensemble that I had worked with for my music. We had violin, cello, two acoustic guitars, an electric guitar, and a drum set.” Fine and her band mates prepared and practiced for months before the show, something that obviously paid off as they came away victors of the contest. Of that time, Fine said “I was playing with people who are fantastically talented musicians and they sacrificed a lot of time into this project, and we played one of the hottest shows I’ve ever played. It was flawless, and was the most exciting show I’ve ever played.”

After learning of Fine’s musical accomp-lishments, it is easy to assume that she is music major at UD, which is actually not true. As she put it, “I feel like if I would have been a music major it would have killed my spirit. I wanted to maintain music like a hobby so I could still be passionate about it.” Since she has been involved in art and fine arts her whole life, Fine decided to major in visual communications design, and although she graduates this December, she is not planning on leaving music behind, nor is she planning on abandoning her design education. “At this point my goal is to seek out a stable job in graphic design since it is something I’ve invested a lot into…As for music it will be my full-time evening job and graphic design will be my full-time day job. We’ll see how that goes. Instead of cutting one, I might as well do both until I really figure out where to go.”

Fine also talked about what’s on her “musical plate” right now. She is working on releasing an EP in October and a full length album, which will hopefully be done in December.  She has also been working on launching her website so she has been in the studio doing some re-recordings for it. Once completed, her webpage will also have touring information, songs from the EP, and she will add songs from the full length album slowly but surely. The page will also have contact information for booking or questions, a photo and video gallery, as well as a blog.

As Fine continues with her musical career, she concentrates on what is most important to her: “Essentially, I’m here for the music and I’m here for the stories. I like meeting people who like my music and I’m more interested in hearing their stories and hearing what they think and learning about them then I am about getting my name out there. I mean, of course I want to promote myself and ride this train as far as it goes, but it is not all about Kelly Fine music to me as a corporate name, it’s more about the folk essence of things.” Fine noted that music brings people together as a community. She said, “I want to hear your stories, I want you to hear mine and music is a good way to just communicate with people, so we can see that we’re all kind of the same….I really just like to connect with people and bring people together and have an experience from the experience.”

Kelly Fine will perform Thursday, September 16 at South Park Tavern, 1301 Wayne Ave. For more information and to preview Kelly Fine’s music visit or

Reach DCP freelance writer Linda Turk at

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