By Taylor Griffin
This spring, one Baylor student will have the chance to trade in his textbooks for training sessions with some of the top dogs in the music industry.
Jasper junior Savion Wright received his “golden ticket” to Hollywood for this season’s “American Idol,” earning him a spot in the next round of judging in the Golden State.
“My whole experience so far now is completely surreal,” Wright said. “It’s been a train ride.”
Tonight, Wright will show off his singing chops in the season’s premiere.
Growing up in a musically saturated family, Wright said singing and playing instruments are engrained in him. While at Baylor, he has performed at several local venues such as Common Grounds and gigs for Uproar Records, the university’s in-house record label.
He made the decision to audition for “Idol” in 2005 during Carrie Underwood’s winning season and said he draws inspiration from her humble Oklahoma upbringing.
“It proved to me that you can be from a small town and do it,” he said. “It made me realize that I can do this, and there’s a chance for me to make it because she did.”
After auditioning online last fall, Wright performed in person in Austin to the panel of judges that included veterans Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and newcomer Harry Connick Jr.
He said he revers Connick Jr. as one of the greats in his field with his swing and jazz influences. Of the judges on this season’s panel, Wright said he identifies most with Connick Jr.’s style and outlook on music, and he said he was most nervous to face him during auditions.
“I knew if I did something wrong, he would absolutely cut me in half,” he said.
Describing his eclectic sound as uncommon, Wright said he finds musical motivation from artists such as Sting, Eric Clapton, Chris Martin and other indie rock bands.
Fluent in piano and guitar specifically, there’s not an instrument he wouldn’t try, he said. He dabbles in instruments like the mandolin, ukulele, saxophone, bass, cello and anything else he can get his hands on, he said.
Particularly after his successful audition, Wright said music is his ultimate passion and plans on pursuing it regardless of his outcome on “Idol.”
“I just like playing music,” he said. “I know for sure it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. I don’t want to do any other thing. Honestly, if music were a woman, I would marry it.”
Tonight, Wright said he promises viewers will get a taste of what this season will bring and the struggles of each artist’s trek to fame.
“If you watch it tonight, I can tell you it’s definitely going to be inspiring,” Wright said.
Wright’s “Idol” journey will debut 7 p.m. tonight on Fox as the show returns for its 13th season.