Last year, rising Chicago blues artist Willis Earl Beal threw the fate of his career at the feet of the reality TV gods by auditioning for Simon Cowell’s The X Factor. After making it past the first round, Beal was cut during the bootcamp phase, but not before being interviewed by the show.
In the recently-surfaced clip (via Pitchfork), Beal shares his thoughts on what he would’ve done had he won (“If I win the money, I’ll have changed the way people think about these sorts of singing competitions. It’s not just fluff”) and dealing with competition (“If you focus on what it is you’re good at, what your strengths are, then you don’t have to regard everyone else as being your competitor”). And to think, Beal could’ve been right up there with the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken.
Beal’s debut LP, Acousmatic Sorcery, hits stores on April 3rd via Hot Charity/XL Recordings