PARKSVILLE — It’s late morning and 12-year-old Chloe Goss is taking a break from her home school routine to record a voice-over for a radio station.
These days, life is moving quite fast for the young Christian music star.
It was only a year ago that Chloe was an average middle-school student at a public school in LaGrange who enjoyed singing, but only in private. She was so shy, her parents, Michael and Dawn Goss, had to sneak peeks around corners if they wanted to catch their daughter in the act.
Chloe had always said she wanted to be an artist, but her father, who has experience in Nashville as a songwriter, knew Chloe would have to come out of her shell if she wanted to be on the public stage.
After a few singing lessons, Chloe was cured and has developed into a “natural performer,” as her father says, in less than a year.
With the knowledge Michael gained from the music world in Nashville and Dawn’s tireless efforts to promote her through networking and phone calls, Chloe’s career is taking off at a speed Michael says is incredible.
“Life right now is really busy,” said Chloe. “It’s really hard to get in school, but we manage.”
Although Chloe began her singing lessons practicing mostly pop music, she told her parents about six months ago she was ready to start showing her talent to the world through Christian country music. Within a few months, her entire life changed. The family moved from LaGrange to Parksville to live with Chloe’s grandparents so her father could quit his job and manage her.
Michael created the music label First Out Records and signed Chloe. She recorded her first single, “A New Road,” penned by her dad, and is now getting airplay across the U.S and in 40 different countries on stations such as HLE Radio.
That song, which Michael wrote while Dawn was pregnant with Chloe, turned out to be a sign of things to come. It was 2000 and Michael was working in Nashville on Music Row and had begun growing tired of traveling and the music business.
“I was at a crossroads and didn’t know what to do,” Michael said.
Michael, who “always had a good relationship with God,” prayed for direction and said his answer came to him in the form of a dream.
Recalling his dream, Michael said he was “walking down a broad road in the dark, barely able to see, but able to make out lots of footprints.” He was then startled by a man who turned out to be Jesus leading him down “a narrow road that did not have many footprints but was filled with light.”
When Michael woke from the dream, he said he wrote “A New Road” in a minute. It has become a song of opportunity for the Goss family.
Michael had been writing secular country songs, but said the Christian song received more attention. He was given chances to sell it but he couldn’t imagine giving up the rights to the song, which he said he knew was meant for Chloe.
Having heard “A New Road” since she was in her mother’s womb, Chloe said the song describes “someone going through a really hard journey” who finds God on the way and learns to follow him.
Michael calls it a blessing that Chloe turned out to love music, and that ever since she recorded and began playing the single at shows, the reaction she gets from strangers is astounding.
“Grown men will cry when they hear her sing,” he said. “Her voice is amazing.”
Chloe’s voice has a unique folky sound that’s surprising coming from a 12-year-old. But then again, her taste in music is beyond her years. In addition to the trendy pop stars such as Hannah Montana she used to sing along to, Chloe’s favorite artist is Dolly Parton. She also enoys The Judds, Casting Crowns and MercyMe.
“A New Road” was released Jan. 15 and is available on iTunes, Amazon.com, and on her website, ChloeGoss.com. Since its release, about 150 copies of the CD have been purchased at Chloe’s personal appearances, and they are unsure how many online purchases have been made.
On top of radio and television interviews from here to Texas, CD signings, and shows, Chloe is also working on a second CD which will include more original songs written by Michael. The CD should be available by summer and will also feature a couple of traditional songs such as the popular Christian song “I’ll Fly Away” that Chloe will put her own twist on.
“I want to be like a Christian singer, but I¿don’t want to sing the oldies,” Chloe said. “Instead of making it just traditional old sounding, I¿want to make it like my own and make it appeal to different ages, like my age.”
Michael and Dawn said they are enjoying all of the excitement of managing Chloe, but are happy to be in control of her schedule so she can maintain a childhood.
But Chloe said her sights are set on the big time.
“I’d love to be famous,” Chloe said, who plans to study music in college and maybe make a move to Nashville. “I know you lose your privacy, but I don’t care.”
Chloe added she wants to be a role model to young girls and deliver a message from God.
Michael and Dawn said it makes them proud that Chloe has the option to sing any genre of music, but is eager to sing Christian-themed songs.
And her father doesn’t deny the experience is just as exciting for him as it is for Chloe.
“It’s all been fun for daddy,” he joked. “I get to watch my daughter sing. I¿get to play for her and she’s singing my songs.”