New song from New Zealand singer pays tribute to San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- When it comes to marketing the capital of Silicon Valley as a travel and tourism destination, the use of pop-country music likely doesn't come to mind. But this week, San Jose tourism officials debuted a new music video with the goal of attracting more business to the city.

"I'm just trying to bring joy with the song that San Jose has brought me," said Grace Kelly, 16, a New Zealand resident who used to spend her summer breaks in San Jose.

Last winter, Kelly decided to write a song about her time in the South Bay. She shared it with Team San Jose, the city's destination marketing organization, and executives there loved the message.

"Speechless... I was trying to comprehend like how a song that I wrote in a bathroom, literally, was then going to have a production team, and they wanted to make a music video for it."

Each year, Team San Jose releases a sizzle reel of sorts to market the city. However, this year, they instead created a music video using Kelly's "San Jose" song to spotlight some local gems, including the Ukulele Source in Japantown.

"To be a part of it was an honor for us," said Smiley Kai, Ukulele Source owner. "People will come in and they'll say, 'I didn't know there was a ukulele store here, how long have you been here?' And I'll say, we've been here for 10 years!"

The song is now getting some airtime on KRTY, San Jose's Hot Country radio station.

"It's great to have a song about San Jose that was written contemporarily, as compared to some of the stuff we've had in the past, like "Do You Know the Way to San Jose." It's a fine song. But, it's not really a great marketing tool," said KRTY general manager Nate Deaton, who says Kelly reminds him of a young Taylor Swift.

Tourism officials hope the song will resonate with local residents and potential visitors.

"Sharing what the city is, how inspiring it is, how you can be anything that you want to be in San Jose, really speaks to the Silicon Valley vibe," said Frances Wong, Team San Jose's director of communications.
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