Tora Woloshin didn't let a little thing like rejection from one of the world's leading star makers crush her rock 'n' roll dreams.
Weeks after being booted from Simon Cowell's "X-Factor" talent competition last August, Woloshin started working on her debut solo album.
The self-penned, DIY album "Open Heart Surgery" comes out on Valentine's Day Tuesday. She will hold a CD release party and benefit concert at DV8 nightclub Feb. 18.
The concert will be much more than Woloshin standing on a stage. It's going to be a Vegas-worthy show, complete with at least a dozen dancers performing Woloshin's choreography.
"A few will be eye candy for 'No One Needs to Know,' which is my only scandalous song," Woloshin said last week, sitting in a booth at Cindy Lou's II cafe not far from her Three Points home. "The dancers will flirt and stuff."
It is the closest the Tucson native will come to a PG-13 rating in a show she is billing as all-ages.
"It'll be fun," Woloshin said, poking her fork into a plate of biscuits and gravy as she discussed the album.
"It's kind of different," she said, describing the 11-song CD as a mix of pop and rock, with a little acoustic folk.
"It's pop, but it's natural. It's all me. There's no auto-tune to my voice," she said, brushing aside a flop of bleached-blond hair from her forehead.
"On the album, I really got deep," she added. "I created the music as well. I've never produced before, so that was fun."
Woloshin, who studied auto mechanics at Pima Community College before landing on "X-Factor" last summer, recorded the album in a bedroom at her mom's Tucson home. She used the computer she bought from the $25,000 she received after winning last summer's Desert Diamond Casino Lucky Break contest.
"I want everyone to really get a message from my music and what I'm saying," said the 22-year-old, who has been in several Tucson bands since her teens, including the alternative rock group Less Than Famous and her experimental alternative rock band Inamorato. "My heart is in these songs. A lot of my life is in these songs. It's a way for me to show who I am."
Since "X-Factor," Woloshin has fielded offers and inquiries about record deals; she's now in talks with an indie label in Florida. In March she is set to audition for a couple of major labels.
She said she is not entirely convinced that signing with a major label would work for her, but she is certain she wants a career that shoots the moon and circles the galaxy.
"I want the moon, the stars, the planets," she said with an infectious smile. "I want it all."
If you go
• What: Tora Woloshin CD release party and benefit concert, with Broken Romeo, Vintage Sugar and rapper Chris Young.
• When: 9 p.m. Feb. 18.
• Where: DV8 nightclub, 5851 E. Speedway.
• Cost: $10 in advance at www.showclix.com/event/ToraCDRelease; $25 for VIP tickets, which include a copy of the CD. Part of the proceeds benefits the Children's Tumor Foundation, which supports neurofibromatoses research and assists families and individuals affected by the disease.
• Online: "Open Heart Surgery" is being released on Tucson indie label JukeBox Records and will be sold through Woloshin's Facebook - www.facebook.com/ToraWoloshin - and www.cdbaby.com