'American Idol' Season 13: MK Nobilette Recalls MLK's Birthday as a Musical Memory
'I wouldn’t have auditioned if my girlfriend wasn't there,' Nobilette told THR.
The Hollywood Reporter sat down with American Idol's season 13 finalists to give an in-depth look at the top 10, including their earliest memories of music, when they knew music would be their career choice and what led to their decision to audition for the singing competition.
Meet the rest of the top 10 singers here.
San Francisco, California
Born: Aug. 20, 1993
Asked to remember her earliest memory of music, 20-year-old MK Nobilette recalls a scene from her childhood: “On Martin Luther King's birthday, my mom and I used to play the Stevie Wonder song “Happy Birthday” because it's about him. We would dance around our whole house and we've done that since I was a baby.”
Nobilette also remembers discovering early that she was musical. “I was always in schools with good music curriculums, it was a priority for my parents. I was always taking some sort of music lesson. I started with piano. I wasn't fond of piano, but I took lessons anyway. Then I switched to guitar. I love my guitar. Then I started teaching myself. I play the banjo and mandolin and ukulele now – I like strings.”
Growing up in San Francisco, Nobilette had her favorite artists. “When I was really little, I was a big Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync fan. I loved Aaron Carter and Britney Spears. I also listened to a bunch of classic artists like the Beatles. My mom had a bunch of Nirvana CDs and I listened to them often. And Michael Jackson, Jackson 5, a lot of that. I think all of that turned me into something funky, jazzy, blues, hip-hop, all combined into one thing. It's like folk-pop-blues. It's all soulful. That's my thing.”
Despite her musical talent, Nobilette has always shied away from performing in public. “The only talent show I've ever been in was at a Jewish summer camp I went to, Camp Tawonga. I had the worst stage fright until Idol. I still have it but somehow it's cured when I'm up on the stage. Before I walk up there I feel like I'm about to die. Then once I’m on stage everything sort of goes away. I've never had that before.”
Although Nobilette remembers watching Kelly Clarkson and Bo Bice on television, she admits she had never seen a full season of Idol before her Aunt Betsy suggested she try out. “A lot of the contestants are big fans of the show so they're talking about, ‘this is the part when this happens.’ I don't know what ‘this’ is. It's crazy but it's a lot of fun.”
Considering her stage fright, THR wondered how Nobilette agreed to audition. “I said, ‘I can’t do it. I don’t want to go. I can’t sing. I’m scared. I wouldn’t have auditioned if my girlfriend wasn't there. I kept going because she kept on pushing me. She was definitely a big support.”