Tutt has big time in a little town

While showing poise far beyond her years, 14-year-old Camillia Tutt remains a young girl, enthusiastic about her new adventure.CTutt

Camilla began singing at the age of 4. Her voice is taking her places she never dreamed of, and she plans to continue as long as she is enjoying the experience.

Singing wasn’t always her first choice as a career. At one time she wanted to be a police officer,and then an artist. The straight-A student now is drawn to becoming a neo-natal nurse. But as her mother, Marni Tutt, says, “You can just sing to the babies.”

What has intrigued her, however, is the whole experience of being in a recording studio, listening to the banter among the musicians and learning from them.

“They’re so funny. They all just have their own personalities.”

Her first self-published CD, entitled “Big Time in a Little Town,” has five songs, four of which she wrote. The spiritual, “Christmas Came as a Child,” was written by Don Holmes of Pensacola.

Holmes and his brother were a Christian singing duo known as Wind Voice.

Of the five, the title song and one named “Demopolis” were inspired by her hometown. Another, “Dreamin’ Out Loud,” came from memories of the playhouse built by her grandfather. Camilla started writing the songs in April 2012 and recorded the CD over two days in November.

“My inspiration comes from the Lord,” she said. “God helps us through it all.”

How Camilla went from a four-year-old girl singing in church to recording with some well-known names in Nashville is a lesson in who knows whom.

She began voice lessons at the age of eight with Laura Woolf of the University of Alabama. She also trained for four years under local vocalist Laura Clements, with whom, she said, “We have a unique bond.”

Camilla’s piano teacher, Madelyn Jacobs, introduced her to Holmes, who in turn led her to producer John Nanni. Nanni then connected Camilla with Stacey Caravetta, her promoter. Jacobs also introduced her to the Sucarnochee Review producer Jacky Jack White, who opened Camilla’s mind to the possibilities of a singing career.

“Everybody connects,” she said. “One person introduces you to the next, and the next introduces you to someone else, and it just keeps going.”

“They think I am young” she continued, “but they want me to keep putting out my CD and getting people to know me.”

Now Camilla is beginning the campaign to get known. She sings at fairs and festivals and craft shows around the region, where she sells her CDs and t-shirts. “The t-shirt is a walking billboard,” said her mother.

She will have a tent at the Pepper Jelly Festival in Thomaston on April 27.

Word is getting out about this young girl’s talent. She has more than 700 fans on Facebook, and her YouTube videos, which can be accessed from her website, camillatutt.com, has had almost 28,000 views.

And all this time she is having fun and meeting a lot of people through her performances.

Friends often travel with Camilla to her performances to cheer her on and help her in the down moments.

At her performances she uses background music recorded by the same musicians she uses on her CD.

All this is a learning process for both Camilla and her mother, who has taken on the role as manager. They are heeding advice from the professionals, finding out how to line up performances and navigating the ins and outs of the music industry.

They will continue, Marni Tutt said, so long as it’s fun.

As a mom, Tutt said she still is trying to figure out where Camilla gets her voice, since neither she nor Camilla father, Walter, have any talent. “In this case two negatives make a positive,” she joked.

“I know that God has a plan for me,” said Camilla, whether she will become a nurse or a singer. “Right now,” she added, “I’m too young to know yet.”