A place where your voice and personality speak louder than anything, American Idol has been entertaining audiences from around the globe for over a decade. This show is filled with music, emotions and nerves. Why won’t it be with the amazing talent that auditions every year and the nerve audition with celebrity judges from the music industry. With the pandemic, the music reality show took its auditions online to adapt to the current restrictions, conducting he auditions over Zoom. This basically opened up doors to the whole world to audition which others would only be accessible to American citizens or at least those who travel to America to audition.
Earl Fortes, a singer-songwriter and musician from Goa took this as a golden opportunity to audition for American Idol which he has been a fan of for the longest time. He sent his audition through video to the producers and got selected for the live auditions in the USA. Earl Fortes, just 20 years young from Orlim, a coastal village in South Goa travelled to San Diego, USA to audition in front of Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. The judges instantly fell in love with Earl and his voice and granted him the ‘Golden Ticket’, which is a one way ticket to Hollywood. This was a life changing announcement as Earl did not only become the first Goan, but even the first resident Indian to receive a golden ticket at the American Idol. The audition lasted around twenty five minutes but it was definitely a life changing experience for Earl.
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Music has always been a big part of Earl’s life while growing up. Coming from Orlim, a small village in Goa, Earl always surrounded himself with good music and people. Why wouldn’t be when he comes from a family who was immesnely into music. Earl told us that he was seven years old when his uncle Filipeneri Fortes, part of the popular Filu-Lulu duo, taught him the basics of guitar. He later decided to self-teach himself and has been performing professionally for 5 years now with Pop, soul, Rnb and country being his go to genres.
We had a candid chat with Earl Fortes about his American Idol journey and his new single that he just released titled “Any other way”. Read about it below.
The Idol format has taken on original versions in 53 countries around the world. What made you audition for American Idol specifically?
I’ve always wondered what it’d be like singing on that stage for the panel and American idol has been a dream. I just crossed my heart and got out there and got that golden ticket
With the pandemic situation, American Idol made it easier for their contestants by having worldwide virtual auditions. How did you hear about it and what made you sign up?
I won’t say it made it all easier but for sure I’ve been following up and I went through with their step by step process
When you appeared in front of the three celebrity judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan for your audition, what was your initial reaction?
My initial reaction was me just star-struck and when I sang for them and they got out of their seats and gave me the golden ticket I almost had the ‘zoomies’. I remember my jaw on the floor for most of it. In fact, I had a couple one on one interviews with Ryan Seacrest.
What song did you perform for your first audition? Why did you choose this song and what were the comments you received from the judges?
For my audition, I performed an original song called “Any other way” that I have released. It is available on all streaming platforms. “Any other way” is about my life in general and how I’ve been on a highway of making bad decisions and how I overcame them. Singing my original to the judges was a satisfying moment an d experience.
I sang cant takes my eyes off you and Lionel Richie wanted me to sing one more time post my audition. It was one hell of an experience. It was the most I had learned in such a short span of time. Katy wanted more of my originals. Luke said he definitely liked my voice and would help me out.
Do you have a favorite judge from the lot? Why this judge?
LIONEL RICHIE! hands down the man is gold hearted and everything he said or did was extremely so so genuine
You got the opportunity to interact and work with amazing talents at American Idol. How was that experience and what did it teach you?
American idol being one of the biggest talent stages in the world gave me an experience of a lifetime. The friends I made and the producers we worked were very humbling. We socialised, jammed and learned so much about each other’s genres. Everyone I met was just setting a vibe. This experience definitely gave me an insight to moving forward with my music as an artist.
What was your reaction when you won the Golden Ticket? Who would you owe this success to?
I couldn’t believe my ears eyes or anything happening in that room at that point. I think this is just the start of a beautiful journey. However this success was mine and I’m proud to say it but I do owe one to my parents, my cousin Neil and my girlfriend for being my support system.
You are not only the first Goan, but even the first Indian to have reached so far in the competition. How does this make you feel?
It’s thrilling and I still can’t believe it but honestly speaking I didn’t quite get the response I expected for it on returning back to India.
What was the most stressful part of all the stages of the audition process?
The last few seconds before entering the room, having Ryan Seacrest give me some motivation was more stressful than anything else.
How can our readers stay connected with you and your music?
What do you plan to achieve musically going forward?
I’m currently recording my album and have made a big move to one of the bigger cities on the West Coast and I think there’s no looking back now. I’m driven to make good music, put a smile on people’s faces and hopefully make it on the charts one day.
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