Keith Sanders grabs a golden ticket to American Idol
by Paisley Boston
Feb 02, 2014 | 4801 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One of Cleveland's own is a step closer to becoming the next American Idol.

Keith Sanders is a 26-year-old bartender who received the golden ticket to proceed to Hollywood, during American Idol's Salt Lake City, Utah, auditions.

"I know that I am destined to become the next American Idol because I am me and I have a lot of background in music," said Sanders.

Thousands of people gathered in multiple locations across the United States to audition for a chance to become the next American Idol.

Many were let down easy while some were sent home crying, but Sanders was one of the few that stood out.

Sanders said that he was not really interested in auditioning but he was encouraged to do so.

"The American Idol audition bus came to Oxford in August. I did not go to try out, I only went in to support a friend who was trying out," said Sanders.

"My mom and sister kind of pushed me to try out so I did and I made it through," he added.

After making it through the audition in Oxford, Sanders said that he went to audition in Salt Lake City.

"It was kind of hard to breathe in Utah because the air is a lot different than in Mississippi. I was very nervous and I had to adapt to the air very quickly," continued Sanders.

"I was also nervous during the audition and when I received the golden ticket I felt exhausted with happiness. It felt surreal," he added.

"Every time I perform, I am always nervous before that first note comes out," continued Sanders.

Although his stomach was a flutter with butterflies, Sanders said the over all experience was amazing.

"Performing in front of the judges was a tad bit nerve wrecking at first," he continued.

Sanders said that he has wanted to pursue a professional career in music since the age of 18.

"My father, Dr. Alphonso Sanders, has always been a musical inspiration to me. He is a wonderful musician and as a child I was exposed to many different types of musical instruments. I learned how to play the trumpet at age six," said Sanders.

"My dad had instruments just laying around the house and when he would see me pick one up, he would teach me how to play it," added Sanders.

Sanders said his father is really excited about his recent accomplishment but when he initially told his father that he wanted to pursue a career in music, he was not so enthused.

"I have been doing music for a while and he has been pushing me to get a degree and to do something with it. He really didn’t want me to do music but I told him that this was something that I wanted to do and after that he started to support me," he said.

During his audition in Salt Lake City, Sanders played his guitar and sang a song by Bill Wither as the judges watched wonder.

"I sang ‘Use Me Up’ by Bill Withers. He is my favorite artist, hands down — I have been listening to him since I was a small child," he continued.

Sanders said his style of guitar playing is a little different from others because he taught myself how to play.

"I have this weird niche for absorbing things," he added.

He also shared a little insight on the judges.

"Jennifer Lopez is really fun and very sweet — she had nothing but good things to say to me," Sanders said.

"Keith Urban is his usual self, he gave me some really good advice about my voice in general. He told me that there are a few things that I have to work out with my voice because I will be facing some stealthy competition," continued Sanders.

Although the days have been a little stressful, Sanders has been enjoying his time in Hollywood and he believes that he has met some life–long friends.

"I should have tried out a lot sooner but I was maturing myself. I just want to advise anyone who wants to go out and try out to just do it," said Sanders.

"Anyone who thinks that they can sing well enough should go for it and don’t wait," he added.

He was unable to mention the date for his next audition but stay tuned to American Idol and watch Sanders as he places Mississippi in yet another ranking.