PORTLAND, Maine — For a musician who has never sold a ton of records or filled a large concert hall, it is an exhilarating experience: the moment when a national TV show calls and says, "Hey, we want you to perform on the air for us."
King Kyote, a musician from Maine whose real name is Jon King, got that call recently and is now ready to appear on NBC in a new primetime singing competition show called “American Song Contest.”
What’s remarkable is that he didn’t go after the gig. The producers came looking for him.
“It was great,” he said. “The opportunity came up and it was almost too good to be true.”
“American Song Contest,” hosted by Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg, features an intriguing format. Each state and several U.S. territories will be represented by one musician.
The performers, including such major names as Jewel, Sisqo and Michael Bolton, will go at it in a series of live elimination rounds until a winner is crowned.
Unlike “The Voice” or “American Idol,” musicians will sing their own songs, not covers.
“This is essentially a big, major platform for artists to go and share their original music,” King, who’s clearly eager to get on stage while at the same time admitting to having a few jitters, said.
“To say I’m not nervous would probably be lying."
“American Song Contest” premieres on NBC at 8 p.m. Monday, March 21. King Kyote is scheduled to perform on March 28.