Singer from Chicago among 56 performers – NBC Chicago
Musical artists from all 50 states, five major US territories and Washington DC will seek to captivate the nation by showcasing their talents in NBC’s new live reality competition series, “American Song Contest.”
Presenting Monday night, “American Song Contest” will feature bands and soloists competing to win the nation’s vote for Best Original Song.
The competition, hosted by Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg, will include a 56-person jury, one from each state/territory, who will evaluate each artist’s performance based on artistic expression, potential for success, originality and visual impression.
Some well-known celebrities, including Macy Gray, Michael Bolton and Jewel, will represent their home countries, but the majority are up-and-coming artists and singers.
So who will represent Illinois in the competition?
Justin Jesso, a Glencoe native who discovered his passion for music at just 5 years old, has worked with artists such as Ricky Martin and the Backstreet Boys as well as Norwegian dance producer Kygo.
As a teenager, he starred in several Chicago plays, and a few years later became a supporting actor for young Disney artists, including Jesse McCartney, Jordin Sparks and Raven Symoné, according to his online biography.
Jesso is best known for his work on Kygo’s “Stargazing,” which has racked up over 134 million views on YouTube and has been awarded worldwide for over 400 million streams.
The singer, who studied at the Clive Davis Institute of Record Music, released an EP “Let It Be” in 2019 and recently released a new single “Clarity.”
Over the years as a musician, Jesso said he’s learned one thing: you shouldn’t try to achieve your goals too stubbornly.
“Everything happens at the right time, and the universe follows its own rules. The more desperately you want something, the longer it can take,” he said in his biography. “You have to be patient. Music has always helped me understand my feelings better – today it makes me happy to just be able to connect with my fans and hopefully touch them with my songs.”
“American Song Contest” premieres Monday at 7 p.m. CT on NBC 5.