SEMINOLE — First Friday Seminole will return for an Independence Day weekend celebration Friday, July 2, 6 to 9 p.m., on the main street in front of Studio Movie Grill at Seminole City Center, 11201 Park Blvd. N., Seminole.
Presented by Seminole City Center and the Rotary Club of Seminole Lake, event organizers will break out the red, white and blue in a star-studded event featuring a performance by up-and-coming Nashville recording artist Angie Rey. The country singer-songwriter is a graduate of Seminole High School.
Each First Friday features the area’s best entertainment, complemented by a myriad of merchants, food and drink vendors, prize giveaways, and much more. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs, but coolers are not allowed.
Rey is just 22 years old, but she has a big dream and the right combination of talent and drive to make it come true.
A powerful singer and musical artist, Rey’s mature sound and style, along with her soft tones and powerful delivery of a lyric, have her poised to appeal to a wide range of ages and genres. She has already opened for an array of country stars such as Scotty McCreery, Chase Bryant, Jerrod Niemann, John Michael Montgomery, and many others.
Originally hailing from a small town in Southern California, Rey resettled in the Tampa Bay area. According to her biographical sketch, she has been singing since age 5. At 13, she made it to the top 18 on “La Voz Kids,” allowing her to sing with Jessie and Joy and Prince Royce.
“I never expected anything like this to happen,” Rey said at the time. “It’s a dream come true.”
Shortly after, at the age of 15, she made the top 75 on “American Idol,” being the youngest girl on season 14.
Rey recently spoke to Tampa Bay Newspapers about her connection to Pinellas County.
“My first year of high school, I spent it over at Gibbs High School in St. Pete,” Rey explained. “I attended the PCCA program for a year before transferring to Seminole after realizing that a 45-minute drive every morning was not for me!”
Rey said things were a lot different when she transferred to Seminole High School.
“I was involved in the theater program, where we did annual musicals, district and state events,” she continued. “I also spent a lot of time singing the National Anthem at the sporting events. My brothers played baseball, so that was an easy in with that. Most of what I accomplished in high school just ensured that this was the career path I really desired.”
Combining her winning personality, unique voice, and an ear for great lyrics and melodies with her “take no prisoners” determination and work ethic, Rey has set her sights on taking the country music world by storm. Her determination is matched by her passion for all aspects of the music industry.
“I enjoy the business side of music just as much as the performance aspect,” she said. “There are a million little things that go on behind the scenes that one would never know are even occurring. It’s those things that I enjoy the most. The making of a record is so meticulous and putting it on a stage after you've spent months making it perfect is the best feeling in the world.”
Her strength of character and sense of purpose is palpable when she speaks about her approach to succeeding as a musician.
“Be kind and never have a plan B,” she said. “My mom always raised me that way and I still get crazy looks when I say that, but if anyone else can do it, then why not you? Don't prepare for failure. Work your butt off, do what you love, and you will never need a plan B, I promise.”
Like most musicians, Rey can name a number of artists whose work has influenced or inspired her. Asked to name one that might surprise her fans, she pointed to Etta James.
“I think most people would be surprised to hear my love for Etta James,” Rey said. “I find that her delivery was one of the most genuine and she just felt every single word she sang. Her soul was present on her exterior every time she sang or spoke or had any appearance anywhere. I love that about her.”
Rey has a growing number of followers in countries all over the world — and a significant fan base right here in the Tampa Bay area, too. International fame may be right around the corner for this Seminole High graduate, but at the July 2 First Friday Seminole concert, she will be playing in familiar surroundings supported by friends, family and some of her earliest admirers.