Mar 26, 2018 12:03PM
● By Ashley Madonna
Could you know the next American Idol? The reality TV singing competition made its return to American Households on March 11 with Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie acting as the show’s new all-star judging panel. But tonight, you’ll see another familiar face on the screen.
You may have seen (and heard!) Juliana Madrid play in local competitions or at an open mic night, like at Battle of the Bands at Oktoberfest or at Keller Tavern every Sunday during the summer. But now she’s taking center stage by auditioning for American Idol.
Juliana was born in Tulsa, OK, but moved to North Texas when she was a young child. While the Keller High School junior originally did not want to be a singer, she grew up around music and later realized she wanted to pursue it as a career path.
“My dad played guitar for a little while, and he had this classic guitar,” Juliana said. “I used to make up songs without knowing how to play it. That kind of drew me in.”
Juliana then started at School of Rock and was introduced to the vast and nuanced world of music.
“Before that, I just listened to the Top 40,” Juliana said.
She started listening to music because she was drawn to the lyrics and wanted to find her own sound. She expanded her musical tastes with groups known to put their own stamp on the industry.
“The Beatles are my all-time favorite band – mostly because of their songwriting,” Juliana said. “I really enjoy writing music, and they inspired me to do that.”
Juliana finds musical inspiration in artists like Amy Winehouse because of her precise tone. But she also uses school and her music classes to expand her knowledge of different genres – like rock and punk.
But when she was preparing to audition for American Idol, Juliana knew she wanted to perform something that matched both her vocal talents and musical interests. So, she will be performing “Chuck E's In Love” by Rickie Lee Jones.
“It’s a little jazzy and R&B,” Juliana explains. “I wanted to play the song right and have a song that I could actually play well on the guitar. I felt like I did that with this song.”
While you’ll have to tune in tonight at 7 p.m. to see if Juliana is making her way to Hollywood to carry on in the show, and she jokes that – hopefully – in five years she will be famous, Juliana says she’s just happy she was able to experience this challenge.
“Dealing with all the pressures of the show has really helped me grow as a person and see how the industry works, which is really cool to know,” Juliana says. “Either way, I was going to be okay if I didn’t go through because I knew it was going to be a very cool experience.”
Even if she’s not selling out stadiums, Juliana will be happy if she can continue pursuing her music and writing new songs.
“I want to keep writing songs. That’s kind of my goal is just to write and write more and more every day,” Juliana said. “It’s a skill that you get better at every day.”
As for other young hopefuls out there, Juliana says to keep working at whatever makes you happy.
“If you are passionate in something, pursue it. Because if that’s what you want to do, it could possibly be your job one day.”
Cheer on Juliana tonight to see if she will be representing our town during the next round. We know we can’t wait for tonight’s episode!