At 18, Karina DeStefano seems to have a successful and happy life. She is studying Music Business and Technology in college and is an accomplished musician who recently released her album, Chemical Imbalance. Also, she will be performing during AIR’s Miki Open AIR Event on May 22, 2021.
However, KD, as she prefers to be called hasn’t had an easy road to get here. In 8th grade, she was diagnosed with depression and her doctor wanted to prescribe medication. The summer before high school, when she inherited a 1959 Gibson Melody Maker from her uncle, literally changed her life.
“I knew nothing about guitars and for some reason they wanted me to pick which one to keep,” recalled KD. “I said ‘Let’s go with the electric guitar, that looks pretty sick.’ I always wanted to play but never thought I could.”
“But I didn’t want to be put on meds; I wanted to sort it out myself,” she continued. “I knew if I didn’t pick up a hobby or do something for myself I’d slip into a really dark place.”
She spent that whole summer teaching herself to play guitar by watching lessons on YouTube.
“I felt like I found myself through that. Playing guitar felt like I was reaching my full potential. I didn’t feel like I was wasting away,” said KD.
“I never had any exposure to music growing up, but once I picked up the guitar it felt like it was meant to happen,” she said. “I realized very quickly that passion, hard work, and dedication can motivate you to improve your skills.”
“I remember walking through my high school and looking at my friends and a lot of them weren’t motivated to leave high school or even wake up in the morning. And nobody was helping them with that and it’s scary,” KD said.