BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - When pandemic lockdowns went into effect, Berklee College of Music student Kieran Rhodes retreated into his dorm room and wrote a song called "Disengage" to help him cope with depression. Little did he know, he'd one day be performing the musical number in front of the four judges at NBC's America's Got Talent.
Rhodes began his audition with an arrangement of "She's Got a Way" by Billy Joel, but a few bars into the number, judge Simon Cowell stopped him and insisted he play one of his original songs.
"I wrote this song last semester during the fall. I went through a lot of depression during that time and I wrote this song trying to get through that." He told the judges before playing his original song "Disengage". "I hope that it can resonate with you."
After his performance, Cowell shared a personal story about his own struggles in the music business.
“You know it plays on your mind and you get depressed," Cowell said, recounting a story of being taunted for starting out at the bottom of the career ladder. "But I didn’t have the talent you got.... I really liked your original song, and I really do hope this audition can change your life.”
"I can't even describe what I'm feeling right now," Rhodes said after leaving the audition stage. "I'm so incredibly grateful for this opportunity."
Rhode is currently majoring in contemporary writing and production. He landed the audition with help of Berklee's Career Center, which provides advising and programming services for students and alumni with a range of opportunities to help launch careers within the music industry.
WBZ's Madison Rogers (@MadisonWBZ) reports