Talented Tampa teen lands record deal – and it all started with a TikTok video

A Tampa teen is lighting up the internet with her voice. 

Gabriella Valdes is living proof that the popular app TikTok has become a game-changer in discovering young artists. She is only 17 and goes by her performance name, "Vella." 

She calls bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin her influences. 

"Old music is coming back," Vella told FOX 13.

Vella got her first musical influences at home from her dad. 

"There was this one time, I saw him play the piano. So, I started singing along. He was like, ‘Wait, I think we have something here,’" she recalled. 

Not long after that, Vella uploaded her first video, an Adele cover. 

"Yeah, it's still out there. You can still look it up on YouTube," she said with a laugh.

Her story is one of internet legend since then. Vella became an avid TikTok user and started uploading clips of her singing there. 

One clip, a cover of Everybody Loves an Outlaw’s "I See Red," earned her an instant record deal.

"It's just crazy how just one video blows up and changes everything," she said. "That is how my record label noticed me. Then they flew me out and signed me."

Now, Vella said she’s about to embark on a national tour supporting her new record.

And she has some advice for all the others out there craving the same dream kind of exposure. 

"Just never give up," she said. "Keep posting and keep making content and just never give up. That's what I’d say."