BURNT HILLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Remember the name, Kieran Rhodes. On Tuesday night, the Burnt Hills native auditioned on “America’s Got Talent,” wowing the judges with a performance of his original song called “Disengage.”
The 20-year-old graduated from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School and is now studying at Berklee College of Music. The self-taught musician found his passion for playing the piano and performing in high school.
Juggling baseball and band was difficult in high school—so much so that he almost quit! But one special teacher gave him the motivation he needed to continue.
“When I was in high school, my band director Benjamin O’Shea,” Kieran said. “I remember, I always wanted to quit the band multiple times, and he was the one who was kind of like, “I think you have something here. I think you should keep going with this.’ And I’m super grateful for him and for that, because I don’t know if I’d be here without him.”
During the episode, Rhodes performed a section of a Billy Joel song before Simon Cowell cut him off, asking to hear an original song. Kieran proceeded to play a full rendition of “Disengage.” The song describes one of the lowest points in his life as he battled depression, a story he opened up to the judges about.
He received a round of “yeses” from the judges, even bringing them to their feet. His audition was filmed months ago; ever since, he’s been getting ready for the next round of judging, which includes live performances. To prepare, he’s been working on his original music and reviewing his songs to decide the strongest ones to perform.