The weeks leading up to graduation are a momentous time for any high school senior, but for Austin, Minnesota teen Molly Kate Kestner, this excitement has grown exponentially. On April 20, Kestner posted a YouTube video of herself emotively performing “His Daughter,” an original song, accompanying herself on piano. The video now has over 1.4 million views.
The haunting song tells the story of a abused young woman facing a crisis of faith; the “His” of the title refers to the Almighty Himself. “If there’s a god out there,” goes the soaring chorus, “I’m lost and I’m scared/ I’ve got nowhere else to run.”
In a post on her Facebook page, Kestner said that “His Daughter” is her favorite composition. She wrote it over a year ago but waited to debut it until after her final senior solo. “I hope you are as inspired as I was when I wrote this,” she said in the post.
Her hopes seem to have come to fruition. One YouTube user commented: “Whether or not there’s a god out there, we’re all out here, and we can hear your beautiful singing, and we’re all stunned.”
The song has earned attention from national and international news outlets including the Huffington Post and InTouch. Kestner’s musician Facebook page, where she has been posting new songs and asking for feedback, now has almost 22,000 likes.
The success puts Kestner in the unexpected company of Spooky Black, another Minnesota teen who’s been burning up the blogosphere; the mysterious young man from St. Paul has been avoiding the spotlight even as his music earns praise from fans far and wide.
Austin’s ABC affiliate reports that Kestner will be singing the national anthem at Monday’s Minnesota Lynx game, but she seems to be staying grounded. According to her Twitter bio, “Music is my heart, Jesus is my rock and Breadsticks are my favorite.”
Ellie Fuqua is a freshman at Macalester College. She plans to double major in international studies and media and cultural studies, and hopes to pursue journalism as a career.