full description - content: Kelli Schilken’s summer off from school has been all work, but it’s also been all fun.
full description - content: You may have seen her at work. The 17-year-old has spent her weekends performing concerts around the country. Schilken is one half of country duo Belles & Whistles along with her mother, Jaymie Schilken, a member of sister singing group Mulberry Lane.
full description - content: In August, Belles & Whistles will play their biggest show yet, an opening gig for Kenny Rogers in Kentucky. Then they’ll release a new song, “Princess,” which they recorded with a Nashville producer.
full description - content: Music is so important to Schilken that she worked to graduate from Westside High School a year early. She missed so much school that she called it the right move.
full description - content: “It’s so much easier now, and it’s so much more enjoyable,” she said. “I don’t have to constantly be worried about, ‘What do I have to get done for tomorrow?’ (or) being crazy tired the next day.”
full description - content: Schilken grew up watching her mother and aunts sing in Mulberry Lane, and she gained an early appreciation for music. She began writing music for Belles & Whistles about three years ago during a bout of summer boredom.
full description - content: She enjoys being a member of a musical family.
full description - content: “You want to live up to their expectations and make them proud,” she said.
full description - content: Having her mother in the band has been special both because of her mom’s knowledge of the music industry and because they get to spend a lot of time together.
full description - content: “It’s really nice to always be with someone who you know and always have someone have your back,” she said.
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