Caitlin Koch has come a long way since her days in 2011 on the X Factor.
The Orchard Park native is now living in Nashville after a whirlwind few years.
Shortly after Koch's stint on the national reality TV show, X Factor judge Paula Abdul took her under her wing. Together, they would make Koch's star shine even brighter.
"She got me some great opportunities. Touring nationally, writing with some incredible writers, recording," Koch told 7 Eyewitness News.
But after a couple years of working together, the two went their separate ways.
"Unfortunately we didn't achieve the goals we set out to achieve and so therefore we broke off," Koch said.
It was back to the drawing board for this driven young woman. Koch decided there was only one place to go if she was going to give her music career a real, fighting chance: Nashville, TN. She moved in October 2015.
"For me down there it's just been imperative to get with really great writers and hopefully learn a thing or two and get better at it."
And get better, she did. In her first six months in the Music City, Koch has written her first four-song EP. She plans to record it in June, and release it in July.
An experience of a lifetime, but don't call it 'glamorous'.
"I don't know how else to say it, I can't tell you how many 'No's' I've had and how many times I've been turned down."
Koch can thank her days as an athlete for her fighting spirit. She played rugby against teams nationally and across the border in Canada. At one point, she also coached a rugby team.
"It's definitely important to be versatile and be open to doing different things, and using different strengths that you have. And you work on the weaknesses you have because you never know when you're going to be out there doing something you're not accustomed to."
Koch's approach to rugby is a lot like her approach to music.
As the Western New York darling gets ready to release her first EP, she's hopeful that one day it leads to a record label contract, and maybe even headlining a tour.
But wherever she goes, she'll always have Western New York in her heart. She comes back annually to perform for the Variety Kids Telethon and the New Years Eve Buffalo Ball Drop. On June 3rd, she'll be performing at the Buffalo Bash for the American Red Cross.
"Anytime you can represent your hometown in a positive light, you should definitely take advantage of that opportunity."