‘AGT’ Winner Brandon Leake Has Advice for Artists: “Be Yourself and Find Your People”
Brandon Leake has created quite the name for himself since winning the 15th season of America’s Got Talent. He now performs live shows, is always writing more poems, he write a book, and even created a short film. Brandon is now performing in America’s Got Talent: Live Las Vegas nightly. What’s next for this rising superstar?
AGT Live Las Vegas is An Entirely Different World Than AGT
Brandon’s AGT season wasn’t like any other season we’ve seen before. Due to Covid-19, there was no live audience. Even without a live audience, this spoken word poet was able to win the hearts of America. The lack of spectators was difficult for some performers, but Brandon felt like it was a full circle moment in his career.
“It took me back to when I first started doing poetry. Doing spoken word at the beginning for me I was, in room with maybe 10 or 11 people with not much response or reaction from folks,” said Brandon. “It’s one of those things where it’s the true definition of ‘perform the same for ten people as you do for 10,000.’”
Now Brandon performs for hundreds of people at AGT Live Las Vegas. He described the experience as a whole different world. Now that his run on the competition is over, he doesn’t have to think about having a “winning strategy.”
“When you’re on the show competing you’re having to think of strategy and how what you’re going to say is going to be received in terms of ability to get votes and how everything measures up to each other,” said Brandon. “Verses on the Las Vegas Live, we’re all contributing to one beautiful show. We’re not competing. In fact we’re each trying to set up the next person to be successful.”
He noted that he’s been making friends with other cast members in the show. Brandon spoke highly of Kodi Lee, Dustin Tavella, Preacher Lawson, Duo Transcend, and Jimmie Herrod. He Joked that he purposely stays away from Deadly Games because they throw too many knives.
Brandon’s New Album is All About Generational Healing
Outside of AGT Live Las Vegas, Brandon released a new album with spoken word poet, Black Chakra. Their album, Level is under consideration for a spoken word Grammy Nomination. A category that some people don’t even know exists. Brandon and Black Chakra will know if they are nominated for a Grammy Award on November 23.
Although Brandon and Black Chakra grew up on different coasts, they had similar experiences that make up the narrative of this album. The album speaks on systemic issues they’ve faced growing up, along with personal issues that people can relate to.
On top of his new album, Brandon is in the process of releasing a short film entitled Complexity, which he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in.
“It’s a metaphor for a complex relationship between the Christian religion and the black community,” he said. “I was really proud of myself for how well I did, but it’s also one of those things that it’s like hearing your own voice. It’s like ‘oh my God that is so annoying I look so bad.'”
Brandon Leake Encourages Anyone to Audition for America’s Got Talent
It’s no secret that this AGT champion auditioned more than once to get his spot on the show. Brandon mentioned that the initial rejection was what made his act stronger in the long run.
Brandon says if you want to audition for the show, putting yourself out there is always better than hiding your talent. Even though not everyone may connect with your talent, it’s always better to put yourself out there. He emphasized that, in his case, the support he receives outweighs the negative backlash, so he puts his energy into his supporters.
“You pour your energy into the people that do love it, do care for it, and then that will allow you to win over the people who might have been skeptical versus trying to go out there and change for the world,” said Brandon. “No, be yourself and find your people.”
Brandon also talked about fellow season 15 finalists, The Bello Sisters. These sisters have been on other talent shows and are even now competing on “La France a un Incroyable Talent.” He shared that they’re so successful because they’re willing to put themselves out there like that.
“The reality is, as an artist that’s really all you can do,” said Brandon. “There’s somebody who wants what you’re providing them you just have to be brave enough to go give it to them.”
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