“ This is a very talented artist that will soon find herself in the company of some of the best artists in the land”
— Music Arts Monthly
Zelena’s love of music started at an early age when her mom (after watching an episode of the MTV series “The Osbournes”) told her to go onto the families back porch and scream as much as she wanted. Zelena’s mother, Valerie was blown away with his volume and vocal techniques and figured the first step was the ability to sing with power. Zelena did this often for fun. Zelena as an infant and young child would cry if she heard people singing until she was almost 10, at the time Zelena had not been diagnosed with autism. But she did not cry when her mother sang and they would make up songs in the car, house, every where, every day. And they still do this.
Zelena’s love for music grew into a desire to play a musical instrument. Valerie found a local instructor named Dan Caston who for starters was asked to teach her piano.
After working with him for a few sessions he noticed her desire to sing. He would play with her and then they started making up fun songs together. Dan had his band (named Blind Vision) booked at a local event and invited Zelena to come see them play.
As Dan got up on stage he said work hard on your music and one day I’ll have you play with me up on stage when your older perhaps getting ready for college. Zelena was so excited and worked so hard at music that summer that Dan gave her that opportunity in Landrum, S.C. when she was 11. Zelena was hooked. Zelena told her mother that Dan was like sunshine, and made her so happy.
Soon after she was diagnosed with high functioning autism. She has learned to overcome the challenges with time and this adds to the sincere sweet nature she has.
When Zelena was 12 she was taking flute lessons at school and was honored as firstchair and remained undefeated for the remainder of the school year. Zelena’s grandmother, and good friend, Helen Sterling insisted on finding a professional vocal coach and convinced the family to start working with Pitch Doctors LLC who’s President Robert Hoefer had worked with Motown Records. Since then Dan has still remained the sole instrumental instructor.
Zelena began in late 2012 learning the Kodály Method of study.
Robert Hoefer has been very helpful in guiding and mentoring Zelena. This gave Zelena a chance to perform in a competitive setting. She has won first place in the silver, gold, and Platinum TVPA awards competing against peers of every age. At the age of 12 she was one of the youngest performers to compete in the Nashville Connection.
Her Career almost ended before it began on one morning when her grandmother drove her to school and they were involved in a head on collision.
The car her grandmother was driving was going 55 miles per hour and the other driver crossed the lane in front of her destroying her car as it was slammed afterward into another car. Three days later she participated in the Nashville Connection which was held at the Handlebar in Greenville, S.C. She had later went on to win 2 years straight best singer in the district and moved on to best singer in the state. She was pictured in USA today for a freedom weekend performance in 2013.
In 2016 she was selected to be a judge for the Best Singer in the State performances. She is the youngest judge to ever serve on the panel.
Zelena got her Taylor Guitar for Christmas in 2014 and within 2 months she wrote her first produced song named Serious.
She still performs at some small events and she was able to sing her first song she wrote at the Nashville Palace in Nashville, T.N. It was on pay per view in over 80 countries with Nashville singer, writer, producer, actor Kenny Lee and mulit charting singer and song writer Razzy Bailey and other singers.
Recently after doing a show with a local country radio station with Nascar Driver Red Bordner she was asked to sing the National Anthem for Governor Jeb Bush on his arrival to S.C. at the Beacon Restaurant in Spartanburg. A performance the staff of the Beacon still talk about.
In 2016 Zelena released her first single Serious with two more releases. One was an EP album named “Six Feet Under” and a single named “I Believe”. Since 2014 Zelena has written a total of 350 songs, 150 currently under copyright for planned production. 15 have been fully produced.
This was my song Joy ride prior to production last year. I was currently working on the placement of the verses. It's slightly different than the final product, which you can hear below.
I am currently working on another release. It consists of 2 songs Hey Girls and Doomed Duck. Country meets piano rock. There are some other pieces such as Shut Him Out that I'm also working on in the mean time also one of my favorites So Have We All is still in the pre-production phase.
Some more works in progress are below as well as prototypes of currently released songs.
This is what my song Country Boy looked like before production.