Santa Barbara- S County

Santa Barbara musician auditions for American Idol

american idol audition

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A local musician auditioned for the hit show American Idol which premieres Season 17 on Sunday night on ABC. 

Jackson Gillies got his start in Santa Barbara and has overcome some big obstacles along the way.

"My musical journey in Santa Barbara sort of started with Teen Star," Gillies said. "That was really the diving board to it all."

Since winning Santa Barbara's Teen Star singing competition in 2016, Gillies' life has been a whirlwind.

He's performed with Kenny Loggins, and David Foster and shared the stage with Santa Barbara's own Katy Perry at the One 805 Kick Ash Bash, which raised money for first responders and survivors of the Thomas Fire and the Montecito Mudslide. 

Now, Gillies is stepping into the national spotlight as he auditions for American Idol.

"Having the opportunity to audition is unbelievable," Gillies said. "Hundreds of thousands of people try out."

Gillies can't give anything away about his audition or what it was like to sing in front of Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie, and Luke Bryan. But, Gillies said experiences like this help him find his own voice.

"Now I'm sort of transitioning into really focusing on my own original music and what I want to say to the world," Gillies said. 

Gillies just released his new single Miss Me Too along with a music video. He wrote the song a few months ago. 

Life has not been easy for Gillies, as he suffers from a chronic skin disorder called Hidradenitis Suppurativa and Type1 Diabetes.

Gillies' TEDxSantaBarbara Talk to raise awareness about the disease has more than 75,000 views.

No matter what happens on American Idol, Gillies says he's taking advantage of every opportunity that comes his way.

"This is sort of a time when I have people's attention a little bit and I'm taking it and running," he said. 

To watch Gillies' Miss Me Too video, click here.

American Idol, Season 17 premieres Sunday, March, 3 on ABC. 

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