Texas State alumnus reaches Top 10 on American Idol

Brianna Benitez, Life and Arts Reporter

A blend of soul, funk and elect

rifying energy has helped one Texas State alumnus capture the hearts of America.

Uché Ndubizu graduated from Texas State with a psychology degree in 2014. In the preceding five years, Ndubizu has worked with celebrities, released his own music and performed as a wedding singer.

In 2013, Ndubizu won Acuvue’s 1-Day Contest and was mentored by Joe Jonas. Shortly after winning the contest, Ndubizu released his first single “Shoo Fly.”

He was invited by Demi Lovato to perform “Shoo Fly” at her Houston show in 2014 during the Neon Lights tour.

In June of 2017, Ndubizu released his EP, “My Generation.” The songs on the EP are a combination of exciting beats and fierce vocals.

More recently, Ndubizu has performed as a wedding singer with the Drywater Band.

In his audition for American Idol, Ndubizu performed “Ain’t No Other Man,” by Christina Aguilera. His performance featured energetic dance moves that surprised the judges. However, to capture the true essence of his voice, he was asked to sing again, but without dancing.

Ndubizu’s lively energy hit a 180-degree turnaround as his voice became full of passion and spirit while performing “God is Able,” by Smokie Norful.

Still, the performance did not seem enough for judge Lionel Richie, who voted against him.

It was not until Ndubizu explained to the judges how his fiery style was influenced by artists such as Prince, Bobby Brown and Rick James that Richie was able to envision Ndubizu’s potential and changed his vote.

Ndubizu was sent to the next round of the competition with votes from all three judges.

Eva Ramirez, digital media freshman, has watched Ndubizu perform throughout the competition. She has been blown away by his unique voice and amazing stage presence.

“One of my favorite performances is when he sang with Shaggy,” Ramirez said. “He was unbelievable and his personality really shined through.”

Ramirez said she admires how Ndubizu’s drive and enthusiasm are strongly reflected by his performances and she hopes to be able to see him perform in person.

After the Top 14’s first round of performances, viewers voted to secure seven contestants to move on to the Top 10 round.

The seven remaining contestants had to perform a second song to determine whether a judge would save them from elimination or send them home.

It was Ndubizu’s powerhouse performance of “Diamonds” by Rihanna that made him one of three contestants saved by elimination.

Richie was the judge that saved Ndubizu from elimination. Instead of waiting until after the commercial break to proclaim his pick, Richie walked onto the stage and physically escorted Ndubizu to the Top 10 seats.

Each of Ndubizu’s performances on American Idol has captivated not only the judges, but the audience as well.

Briana Rodriguez, public relations freshman, there is no one by this name in the directory with this major said Ndubizu is an inspirational artist who embodies a great sense of passion and drive. Rodriguez voted for Ndubizu while he was on the competition.

“I was disappointed he was voted off because he is so talented, but I’m confident he’s going to make it big,” Rodriguez said.

Ndubizu’s said his favorite performance was when he sang, “Play that Funky Music” because he said it was the first time he got to show America who he was as an artist.

“That performance was very much me; it was very much Uché,” Ndubizu said. “It was very much big band, big energy and it was the first time the audience got to see and understand it.”

Ndubizu said he encourages those aspiring for a career in the music or the entertainment industry to discover and understand who they are first.

“If you’re going to do music, you need to do a lot of soul-searching and find yourself,” Ndubizu said.

Ndubizu said the judgment that comes with the industry can be overwhelming since people can be pressuring in their opinions.

“If you take the time to find out who you are as an artist, then you will always have guiding light that will keep you on your path,” Ndubizu said.

During the show, Ndubizu said he was pressured by mentors and producers to explore other musical genres. However, he remained dedicated to staying true to his style.

“I’m funk, I give big performances, I give emotion,” Ndubizu said. “By staying true to who I was, I made it to the Top 10.”

Ndubizu said he hopes that people listen to his music and feel the confidence he experiences on stage. He wants his music to be someone’s escape from reality.

Although Ndubizu is no longer competing on American Idol, he has plenty in store for his fans. In the near future, Ndubizu said he plans to work on new music and collaborate with other artists.

To stay up-to-date on Ndubizu, follow him on social media @uchesings. Visit the Uché Sings website to learn more about Ndubizu.

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