Gabi Wilson Is One To Watch in 2014

Gabi Wilson has come a long way from the young girl who wowed the crowd at the 2010 BET Awards when she sang a snippet of Alicia Keys’ Fallen on the main stage.The now 16-year-old Gabi who can sing, play four instruments, and writes her own music is set to be the name on everyone’s lips in the new year.The teen is on contract with Sony Records. In 2013 she showcased her talents at the St. Marys Charity Concert at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City, became the ambassador for “,” a kids’ virtual world, and played an original ballad on the piano for Alicia Keys in the Grammy winner’s studio.“And it brought Alicia to tears, which solidified Alicia’s desire to work with and co-sign Gabi,” said her thrilled dad, Kenny Wilson.Gabi’s debut recording for Sony is expected to drop in 2014, with the talented high school junior having more than 60 original songs ready to record. She’s also been filmed for a “docu-drama” type reality show produced by Nick Cannon’s Ncredible Entertainment.Gabi’s also scheduled to perform on the new “Soul Train,” hosted by Cannon.Pops Wilson said it’s been a joy watching his daughter grow.“Gabi has her driver’s permit now, so yeah, she’s growing up,” he said.Musically, “she’s very comfortable in the studio now, too. She knows how to work all the equipment,” Kenny Wilson said. “She also understands the ‘business’ side of music.”Gabi said by phone Friday that she was satisfied with the way 2013 progressed and looked forward to the record release.It was a sign of how well she’s regarded when she stepped into a New York City studio to find a perfectly tuned baby grand piano for her to play an original ballad.“That was important. Everyone really liked it,” Gabi said.Also, a performing “What is Hip?” with members of Tower of Power in Fairfield for a cancer research benefit was also a highlight, Gabi said.“They were really shocked” she could play so well. “It’s one of the hardest bass lines to play,” said Gabi, adding that “vocally, I really improved” this past year.“I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot,” she said. “I’m really close to getting what I want.”Having the continued support of Cannon and Keys “is really huge,” Gabi said.“Having Alicia as a supporter is just amazing. She believes in me and makes me believe in me even more,” Gabi said. “Our journeys are very similar. Just having somebody like that around makes it easier.”Avoiding the pitfalls of the music industry “is a lot harder than people think,” Gabi said. “But at the end of the day, it’s about me working at my craft and getting better at what I do.”And yes, getting recognized in her hometown.“We were in the thrift store the other day and there were kids whispering to each other, ‘That’s Gabi Wilson!’” said her dad. “The other kids were like, ‘No way! What is she doing in Vallejo?’ Apparently, they didn’t know she lived here.”