How is this for a start to a music career? You’re a student at Tacoma High School in Washington State. You’ve gained a bit of a reputation for your guitar playing and singing, so when Brandi Carlile visits your school, she calls you up on stage to sing with her. The next thing, you’re making your television debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers singing “The Joke” with Brandi Carlile.
This is what happened with Benicio Bryant. Having appeared on late night TV with Carlile, Bryant’s YouTube page was scoured by agents for The Voice Kids, Germany. Bryant was invited, competed, and came second on the show. According to Heavy, Bryant found competing in Germany so stressful, that when he was approached to appear on AGT 2019, his parents were hesitant. Here is Bryant’s AGT audition:
14-year-old Benicio Bryant convinced his father by saying, “Dad, it’s America. I’m not going to win the show, but I’d love to get some American fans.” As you’ve heard, for his audition, Bryant sang Brandi Carlile’s The Joke. One minute after he started singing, the audience rose in unison and started applauding. After the performance Bryant was praised by the judges and given four yes votes. Simon Cowell commented that Benicio Bryant reminded him of the first time he auditioned Harry Styles.
Reece Taylor comments on YouTube, where the video has 20M views: “That note on ‘Joke’ was so perfectly placed, supported, & sustained; both times. Pitch perfect notes at that range is insane. I can’t stop listening to that note.” 6 months ago, Dana Hyatt said: “I’ve been watching AGT since it’s debut. This is still my #1 all time favourite video! Pure magic.” For the rest of his run on AGT, where he made the finals but not the top 5, Bryant sang his own compositions. Here is his latest single:
The opening beat reminds me of Prince’s Sign O’ The Times. From the video, it is also clear that Benicio Bryant has developed a Prince-like flare for fashion. Talent Recap noted in January 2022 that AGT fans are interested by Bryant’s transformation. “It’s no secret that his style has become less simple and bolder overtime, he’s quite the fashionista in 2022,” Talent Recap states. Bryant responded to Talent Recap by saying that he’s happy.
After AGT 2019, Bryant signed a joint deal with Simon Cowell’s Syco Music and Arista Music, which goes to show that winning AGT isn’t everything. Cowell’s advice to Bryant was to take time to find his sound. Synchro Music ceased operating in 2020, due to Cowell’s sense that he was over-committed, but Arista remains a subsidiary of Sony.
In 2021, Benicio Bryant became one of TEDxSeattle’s entertainers of the year. TEDx reports that when the pandemic struck, Bryant invested in a home studio. This led to Bryant writing and producing his 2021 single Sorry by himself. In his TEDx profile, Bryant says: “I’ve kinda given up on what people think about what I wear or what I do with my hair. You have one life. Does it really matter what random strangers think about you?”
Benico Bryant’s favourite artist and biggest influence remains Lady Gaga – he went to the Born This Way show with his father when he was six-years-old.