‘Rising Star’ nabs Capitol contract

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First Posted: 9/2/2014

Jesse Kinch, 20, was crowned the first ever winner of the ABC interactive singing competition “Rising Star” in August. The Seaford, New York native’s win scored him a contract with Capitol Records.

“You know the first thing I thought when I heard ‘Capitol Records;’ I remember my dad bought me a record player a couple years ago, and he gave me all his albums,” Kinch recalled in a phone interview from Los Angeles on “Ralphie Tonight.” “Whenever I look on a Beatles album, the ones that were released here in America were released under Capitol.”

The label is still home to those recordings, along with the releases of Kinch’s idol John Lennon. Some of the singer’s contemporary label-mates include 5 Seconds Of Summer, Jennifer Lopez, and Katy Perry. Kinch could be an artist though that resonates beyond a radio hit; whether he was covering Michael Jackson, The White Stripes, or Creedence Clearwater Revival, Kinch’s performances were usually well received by both young and old – experts and judges at home alike.

“Rising Star,” produced by dick clark productions, used audience real-time voting via a mobile application to choose winners and losers. Experts Brad Paisley, Kesha, and Ludacris offered votes that usually counted for a greater percentage than the general public, along with commentary after each performance.

Throughout the competition, Paisley seemed to be the only artist of the three to challenge Kinch. It was something the two would eventually bond over during the week leading up to the finals. Paisley brought the 20 year-old along to perform with him at the PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey. Kinch ended up with a bit more than the great on-stage experience he expected.

“Out of his own pocket, he actually bought me a brand new, 2014 Fender Stratocaster,” the artist revealed. “He comes over with this case and he says, ‘Jesse this is yours tonight.’ I said, ‘Oh cool, this is a great Fender. Alright, I’ll give this back to you after the show tonight.’ He says, ‘No no no, this is yours.’”

It proved to be just another great moment in a summer that has been filled with then. Kinch first captivated the national audience on the “Rising Star” inaugural episode with his rendition of, “I Put A Spell On You.” He never looked back.

“I knew exactly who I was as an artist,” Kinch said, attributing that trait to why he was able to stay true to his craft and win. “The one thing that shocked me the most was how the youth responded.”

As the audience at home voted, people who swiped “yes” for Kinch would have the chance to see their profile avatar pop up on a large video screen that the artists performed in front of. When the performer’s score reached a certain percentage, the wall would animate and rise, revealing the experts and live crowd in-studio.

Kinch attracted a large, diverse audience that he hopes to bring along with him on his journey as a major label artist.

“There’s a lot to do… I’m so excited to see what’s on the road ahead.”


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