Kevin Covais made it to the final twelve on last year’s American Idol, ultimately bowing out in 11th place. A sixteen year old at the time of the competition, Covais is one of the youngest finalists to ever grace the screen on American Idol. Currently finishing up his senior of high school in the state of New York, Kevin sat down with us at BuddyTV in anticipation of the show’s sixth season. Kevin, still young, looks to have a nice career ahead of him in the music industry. We talked about how he got started in music, who his inspirations were, his experience with American Idol and how the show changed his life. How did you get started initially with singing? How old were you, how did that all come about?
Well, I would have to say I started singing when I was ten years old and the major influence behind it was a lot of the boy band material, believe it or not. My older sister was a huge fan of Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and stuff like that, and secretly I would tell her, “Oh, I don’t like that stuff, that’s for girls.” And then meanwhile, I’d be taking the CD’s into my room privately and listening to them and, you know, I found out that I really liked them. I liked to sing along to it and I liked the beat and before long I was listening to all different types of music, Brian McKnight, and a lot of other pop stuff too, like Boyz II Men. And I was just loving all of it really a lot and from there on out, I really enjoyed it. I joined up in the school chorus around 5th or 6th grade and from there started to get some solos, and then began taking private lessons, which led to me singing a little classical music, a little jazz as well. And before I knew it, I was covering all bases with my singing and have loved it ever since. So, you mentioned Boyz II Men, Brian McKnight…were those some of your musical inspirations growing up, or did you have others as well? Oh, those were a few of my favorites. But I’d have to say that I have so many musical inspirations. I mean, I love Brian McKnight and Boyz II Men for their soulfulness, but then on the other side, you’ll find me listening to Queen and bands like that, and I love it all. I really am just a fan of a lot of diversity within my music – I’ll listen to rap, I’ll listen to pop, I’ll listen to R&B, and then I’ll switch it over to rock. I love it all. So, when did you first stop and think to yourself “Hey, I’m actually pretty good at this singing thing?” You know, I never really thought that about myself because I must say I’m a pretty modest guy about these things, and to this day, I really am. I think it took other people telling me “You have a real talent here,” for me to gain confidence in myself, and once I heard them say it, and they told me, “You’re really good, you should really think about pursuing this.” Once they told me that, that made me proud and that made me confident enough to pursue it and it definitely made that idea a better one in my head. Did that play a big part in your final decision to get involved with American Idol initially? Oh, definitely. Originally…I’ve been a fan of American Idol every since the first episode. I loved the show right when it came on. Me and my mom were big fans of the show for the first four years, we were always watching it every week together and I was a huge fan, and I would find that after each and every show, I would love what I saw out of everyone’s performances and I would find myself saying, “I think this is something I could do. I think I have a pretty good shot at making it here.” So, knowing that, I knew in the back of my head that I had to be sixteen to try out for this thing. So, I definitely kept that in my head, and when the time came to try out, the motivation from my mom and her faith in me, and my dad and my brother and sister…all of my family and all of my friends telling me maybe this is something you should try because you’re very good. And hearing that from people you love is always a great thing, and it really gave me that confidence to go out for Idol. Can you tell us about the audition process for you? How was that experience? Well, the audition process was definitely a nerve-racking one in every way, shape and form. I went there and you know, alright, I’m going to try out for this thing, but it’s a completely other thing to actually go there and be a part of it. And going there, for me, it was so crazy because here I went up to Boston from my hometown in Levittown, New York, and made the four hour trip to Boston with my parents, and ended up trying out. I was surrounded by about 6,000 other people in Boston who were trying out, and it really makes you feel small and it makes you think “Wow, there’s so many people out here, these chances here are already looking bad for me.” So, initially, it’s definitely scary, but it takes going up in front of the judge…and it took a while, it took a good six hours that first day to get in front of that first judge in the first round for me. It’s definitely very scary. Every thought crosses your mind. They might cut you off after a note and tell you you’re terrible and tell you to leave or they might let you sing a song for a while and tell you you’re great. So, it was definitely nerve-racking, but after I got over that hump, and I advanced past the first round, that’s when I realized that this was my dream and you can’t get in the way of that. And from there on out, I didn’t let anything stop me. But, you know, that first was definitely a scary one because you don’t know what to expect. Part 1/ Part 2 / Part 3

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