R&B Sensation and American Idol Travis J. Contestant Emerges With New Single, "Hearts"

Written by: Julz Mancini

The obstacles a music artist faces are the driving forces behind their drive and passion. Music is utilized as a tool to express oneself and pick us up when we hit rock bottom. Some may even say that music has saved their lives. From homelessness, estranged family ties, and the loss of his father, Travis J has embraced music as his home. Just like home is where the heart is, music is where Travis's heart remains. It is a breath of fresh air to listen to an artist pour their soul into their craft, making it clear that they have been through the toughest times. 

The interview with Travis J. touched my heart as he poured his emotions into the conversation. It was obvious that not only was he passionate about music, but he had endured so much in his young life. Travis is the type of artist who is meant to utilize his hardships and talent to change the lives of others. He credits his father as a great influence in his career. He stated, “He always wanted to express himself. He was a hard ass but also a teddy bear. He wanted me to pursue music and sing. He bought me my first music book. I told myself, man…this person believes in me. I should really start believing in myself.” 

During his last year of middle school, Travis enlisted in a music program after school. As the teacher played the piano, Travis couldn't help but feel inclined to sing to every key. It was this specific moment in which Travis recognized music as his innate purpose. From this point on, he worked diligently to perfect his unique voice. He had star quality from an early age, and everyone he came in contact with was mesmerized by his natural gift. 

American Idol was on Travis's list of dreams to pursue. At the age of 16, he took the plunge, faced his fears, and prepped for the big day. As our discussion continued, he elaborated on his experience. “I remember standing in the rain with 20k other people. It was a super long process.” Travis had the opportunity to sing in the center of the arena as the producers stared at each other in awe. After blessing their ears with his melodic voice, he was chosen to sing in front of a smaller group of Hollywood producers who deemed him qualified to perform in front of the judges. There he stood in front of Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez. He expressed how he dealt with homelessness and his father being sick. The judges were moved by his hardships and could tell instantly that he sang from his heart. Receiving the golden ticket was a dream come true. However, Travis admitted that he was very nervous and was not ready at that time.” Travis then auditioned the following year and received the golden ticket a second time. Nigel Lythgoe was impressed by his vocals as he performed “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder. Nigel said, “Travis, you know you’re going to get this, right? (Waved ticket in the air) You’re going to have to go through a lot more than you have already. I see you with Eminem success, Biggie success…they had to start with nothing. Through time they gained success.” 

As a 27-year-old man, Travis has experienced so much in life, proving the accuracy of Nigel's statements. His father’s passing has had a huge impact on him. Now, he is more determined than ever to embrace his gift and share it with the world. Travis has recently released a new single titled “Hearts.” This song is about understanding that sometimes we give so much to a person and have to move on from them. Not only did Travis write the song, but he also produced it. He is currently working on the music video and states, “I don’t want to just create a music video with women, cars, etc. I want to create a story and bring out cinematography.” Travis also mentioned that he doesn’t want to portray something he can not relate to. He knows who he is and stays true to his musicianship. As he climbs the ladder in the music business, he strives to stand out with his impeccable work ethic and beautiful voice. 

As our conversation concluded, Travis explained, “If I get a record deal, I want to spread my father’s ashes in Puerto Rico.” Travis’s father had a huge impact on his life and love for music. If anyone deserves the spotlight and a blossoming music career, it is Travis J. Be sure to follow him on social media and stream his new song, “Hearts.”





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