SEVEN SPRINGS, Wayne County - Pain is a common refrain in country music, as artists often reach back into their past to describe the hurt felt by breakups, lost friends and more.
In the case of Kaylin Roberson, her pain is quite literal.
The 18-year-old North Carolina-based country artist, who is bringing her show to Eastern North Carolina on Saturday when she plays Maynard's Entertainment in Seven Springs, has much of her music derived from a place of overcoming her own tragedy. When she was 9, she was attacked by a family dog to such an extent that she was on life support for a time, needing multiple facial reconstruction surgeries and months of recovery after that.
"Because I couldn't run really for a long while and play soccer like I did before the attack, I turned to music as my friend," Roberson said.
She's blossomed as an artist, using that pain, and the bullying she experienced in school afterward to drive her as an artist and as a person.
"I really want my music to inspire others to follow their dreams," she said. "I found that when I take stories that are real to me ... I usually get a great song out of it."
She describes Maynard's as one of her favorite places to play and has performed at venues all across North Carolina and even outside the state. She currently goes back and forth to Nashville once a month, getting in work as a writer.
Her return trip to Maynard's for a 10 p.m. show is just a part of her tie to eastern North Carolina. Last summer, she used South Central high School in Greenville to shoot the music video for her song "Double Take."
"That was so much fun to film because I got to play a nerd and a rock star," she said.
Though she says it's her dream to live full-time in Nashville and full immerse herself in the music culture there, she doubts she'll ever be gone from her home state for long.
As for her music, it's something she hopes more and more people continue to hear.
"You've got to take risks to stand out," she said, describing her music as a very pop country sound. "I draw a lot of inspiration from ... people who really push the boundaries.
To check out more of Kaylin's music, or see upcoming show dates, visit her website, KaylinRoberson.com.