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America’s Got Talent’s Kieran Rhodes explains his self-taught musical journey

Kieran Rhodes talking to the judges on America's Got Talent
Kieran Rhodes talking to the judges on America’s Got Talent. Pic credit: NBC

When Kieran Rhodes came out on America’s Got Talent, fans were not sure what to expect from him.

He was an unassuming young man and seemed very nervous, rubbing his arm while talking and seeming unable to keep eye contact with the judges.

He explained he used to be a baseball player and then decided when he got to high school that he wanted to learn to play music.

After watching Billy Joel videos on YouTube, he became good enough to make it to Berklee College of Music in Boston, and that led him to America’s Got Talent.

He explained this was the biggest stage where he could introduce himself to the world.

After a small stumble when Simon Cowell stopped him while he was singing a Billy Joel song, he then sang an original called Disengage and walked away with four yes votes.

Kieran Rhodes explains his journey to America’s Got Talent

Kieran Rhodes explained his journey in an interview with Boston.com.

“Music came out of nowhere and I taught myself how to play and write. I just had a sudden urge to be a musician and my life took a complete right turn,” Kieran said. 

He explained he would lie in bed at night and watch Billy Joel videos and tried to mimic him when it came to playing the piano. He then decided he should figure out if he could sing.

“I opened my mouth and I tried to sing and I realized that I could…which is another thing that I’m just so grateful for. I didn’t know that I had a voice,” he revealed. 

It was while he was at Berklee that he piqued the attention of America’s Got Talent producers.

While he said on America’s Got Talent that he often felt out of place at Berklee as a self-taught musician, he told Boston.com in the interview that he met friends and collaborators at Berklee that helped him on his journey.

How did Kieran Rhodes end up on America’s Got Talent?

Kieran told Boston.com that a producer from America’s Got Talent saw him performing in a video online.

“She reached out to me two weeks after the performance and she said that I blew her away and she needed to have me on the show. She said she pitched me to her executives immediately,” Kieran said. 

Kieran Rhodes went on America’s Got Talent and after attempting a Billy Joel song in She’s Got a Way, he finally won the judges over with his original song, Disengage.

He wrote it during COVID-19 while he was going through a period of depression, and the song touched the judges and earned him a standing ovation from the audience.

Kieran told Boston.com that he has had many people reach out and thank him for his song.

“It’s been blowing me away that something I’ve written has been that impactful in someone’s life. I am very glad that this song can reach the people that have listened,” he said. 

America’s Got Talent airs on Tuesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.

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