WEYBURN – Weyburn singer Brayden King announced on social media on Monday night that he will be competing on TV’s American Idol, and said in an interview it was a “surreal” experience to audition.
He posted a video on social media, along with photos of himself and his father Greg on the American Idol stage, as he had successfully auditioned for the long-running talent show.
He said he received the thumbs-up from the three judges, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, and he has his golden ticket to go to Hollywood. The audition was held in Las Vegas near the end of September, and he sang his own composition, “Down That Road”.
Prior to the audition, the show’s producers reached out to him after seeing his videos online, and invited him to audition. He did a couple rounds of virtual auditions before he was invited to Vegas, and they provided everything for his stay. He estimated there were about 300 people who stayed in the hotel where the auditions were held, along with the TV crew, and these were chosen out of over 120,000 people who had applied to be on the show.
“My biggest take-away is it’s a lot different than what people perceive on TV. I went in and we chatted for like five minutes. They asked a lot of questions about my life in Saskatchewan, and my mom.”
On screen it looks like an intimate space where the auditions are held, but Brayden noted there were about 50 crew members also in the room with cameras and sound equipment, taking notes and watching the proceedings.
He and his dad spent four days in Vegas, and he noted the best part of the experience was meeting the other artists and hanging out with them, playing and sharing music together.
“The relationships and friendships I made were the best part to come out of it,” said Brayden. “They were artists just like me, country artists from places like Texas and West Virginia. We just got to hang out and play music.”
When he sang his song, Luke Bryan commented it sounded like Ed Sheeran and Chris Stapleton, and Katy Perry asked if he knew any other Sheeran songs. Brayden then played the song, “Give Me Love”, and Katy then gave him her yes. Lionel said he’d like to join his fan club, and Katy asked if his dad was there, so Greg then came out on the stage with Brayden.
The Hollywood portion of the show will be aired on Sunday and Monday nights. Brayden said he doesn’t know if he’ll be featured on the shows or not, so he’ll be watching to see if they have him on. He added he’s not allowed to say what he performed for the Hollywood show.
Since the news came out that he’s competing on American Idol, his social media pages have been blowing up, and his newly released song had already been streamed over 2,000 times as of Wednesday morning.
Brayden noted that he’s not just getting local support from Weyburn and Regina, but people from right across the Prairies are urging him on. “That’s the coolest thing to have people cheering me on from all over.”
Brayden currently lives in Edmonton and has been extensively touring as he writes and records his original songs. He was part of the local band, The 7th Avenue, while attending high school at the Weyburn Comprehensive School, before moving on to a solo career.
He performed in Weyburn last summer as part of the Young Fellows Club’s centennial outdoor concert in Jubilee Park.