When Tokio Myers stepped out onto the stage of Britain’s Got Talent in 2017 he didn’t look terribly confident.
He introduced himself to the judges with his hands deep in his pockets as the cameras turned to two audience members who were talking about just how nervous he seemed.
Former pop and R&B star Alesha Dixon asked him to speak a little more about himself and he told the audience about his childhood growing up on a rough estate in London. It turns out that Myers, who’s real name is Torville Jones, used music to stay out of trouble.
When his father brought home a keyboard out of the blue one day, the then 9-year-old Myers started playing it and didn’t stop for hours.
From then on he devoted himself to learning to play the piano as a way of releasing negative energy and putting it into something positive.
Later on, the young man used to sneak into the Royal College of Music on a regular basis to catch performances and even tickled the keys of a few pianos in the rehearsal rooms when no one was looking.
But a music education was out of reach – he would either need to pay to get into the school or earn a full scholarship. Since the first was impossible, he devoted his time to working towards funding and eventually received it.
Now, at 32-years-old, he’s graduated from the school and he’s ready for his own music to take center stage.
The judges looked on with some curiosity and it’s clear the audience is holding their breath as his fingers hover above the keys – no one is quite sure what’s coming.
However, he started off with a very light touch. He’s very good, it’s just not terribly exciting at first.
Myers began by playing French composer Claude Debussy’s popular piano piece “Claire de Lune.”
But the truth is anyone watching wants to see Myers succeed, which is what makes it so wonderful when things heat up.
In fact, you can feel something more exciting coming down the line as he plays.
Then, suddenly he reaches out to the synth pad next to him and the transition to the next song turns almost otherworldly.
Accompanied by the synth pad, Debussy suddenly turns into something strangely familiar, but no one seems to know what it is.
All the audience knows is that the sounds being made by the talented musician are incredible as they begin to roar with applause.
The cameras even panned back to the two young men who looked skeptical of Myers at first due to his nervousness only to catch them moving their heads to the beat now.
And when he’s done, the entire crowd springs up from their seats, as do judges Amanda Holden and David Willians. Dixon also rises eventually, though Simon Cowell remains in his chair with a smile.
The smile on the talented musician’s face is enough to see the effects of the adrenaline rush – but he still has to wait for feedback from the judges. But it’s all positive.
Amanda Holden said:
“It just inspired my imagination when I was listening to it. Absolutely beautiful.”
Dixon chimed in:
“Really edgy and really refreshing. That couldn’t have gone any more brilliantly – so, well done.”
When it was Cowell’s turn, you can tell he was fascinated by what had just occurred and asked about the pieces. Myers said it was a mashup of Debussy and pop star Ed Sheeran’s “Bloodstream”! Who could have seen that coming?!
“That’s really clever. We’ve never really had an act like you on this show before.”
Myers is clearly humbled by the praise and when Cowell asked who inspired him as a child he credited his music teacher, who he simply referred to as Mr. Morgan.
That drew a big smile from the normally cranky judge as he said: “I absolutely loved that audition.”
And the judges gave him more than yeses, they gave him absolute and total faith in his ability to move forward – a great reward for a great performance!
I the end, Tokio Myers did more than move forward – he won the whole season 11 competition and even went on to compete against former winners on America’s Got Talent: The Champions.
His talent also got him signed to a contract with the record label BMG, which released his first album in 2017.
Make sure to scroll down to watch his magical audition.
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Source: Anthony Ying via YouTube