Discovering who he is as an artist one step at a time
Not many 18-year-olds get to graduate high school with a season of “American Idol” under their belt, but Garrett Jacobs does.
Born in Shreveport, Jacobs aspired to be a singer at an early age. When he heard that “American Idol” was coming to Shreveport, he started thinking, “what if.” Then his mom approached him and suggested he apply online.
“Within five minutes of her suggestion, we recorded my application video and sent it in on the first take,” Jacobs said. “We went from a casual ‘I wonder what would happen’ type conversation, to an official submission within literally minutes. It was crazy.”
Jacobs and his family, under his military father, moved to Georgia for much of Jacobs’ childhood. His father retired when Jacobs was in the sixth grade, and they moved to Benton, La. It was then that Jacobs started getting serious about playing the guitar and singing.
“I picked up my first guitar and just started learning it,” Jacobs said. While he received some vocal training from his high school, where he’s in the talented music program, Jacobs is mostly selftaught and loves the challenge of growing.
Musical ability thrives in their family. Jacobs grew up watching his mother sing in church, while his younger brother plays the drums. Jacobs wouldn’t have been able to make it this far in his journey without the support of his family, friends and new fans. “My family has been behind me the entire way,” Jacobs said. “And I’ve got a lot of people waiting to hear my first single or EP – I’m trying to get that released as soon as possible for them.”
Jacobs loved the camaraderie on the show with his fellow contestants. “We became a family,” Jacobs said. He also enjoyed getting so much time performing on stage. “That was new for me, and I learned to love it really quickly,” Jacobs said. “When I’m on stage, I feel like I’m in my element and it’s natural. I love it.”
“The most surprising thing about ‘American Idol’ for me was how intense it was,” Jacobs said. “It really is as stressful as it appears on TV. You have to be ready for the unexpected, especially during Hollywood week. You don’t get a lot of sleep, and you’re just trying to throw yourself out there and pull it all together.”
Jacobs made it through the cuts and was in the top 14, but was eliminated before the top 10. “This entire journey resulted from a five-minute conversation and a ‘what if,’ so I really feel like I succeeded,” Jacobs said. “From ‘let’s see” to Top 14, I can’t complain. It’s a huge blessing to be able to be on the show at all, and now I have this platform to use to get started. This is just the beginning of what I’m doing.”
While getting cut before the top 10 stung, Jacobs’ outlook is concrete and mature. “I think my performances leading up to the top 10 just weren’t as good, and that was obviously a factor. Overall, I feel very accomplished with what I did, and all I have to do is go up from here.”
One of the most memorable moments for Jacobs was a half-hour conversation with singer and judge Luke Bryan. “We got to talk about the ebb and flow of music, and how it’s such a grind – how sometimes, it feels like you’re going nowhere, even when you’re successful,” Jacobs said. “From that conversation, I started realizing how important it is to write and be your own artist. Now I’m truly starting to create the kind of sound I want.”
“Before the competition, I prayed and asked God that, whatever the outcome, He would help me understand why,” Jacobs said. “Soon, I realized I needed a new perspective. I wasn’t ready to be thrown straight into a contract. I had to discover who I was as an artist, and now I’m finding myself. ‘American Idol’ is amazing, but if I hadn’t gotten cut, I wouldn’t have had that realization.”
Jacobs had originally planned to attend La. Tech in the fall after graduation, but is now intending to take a year off to pursue his music while he has momentum.
“Keep looking out for me,” Jacobs said. “I’m not done yet.”
– Betsy St. Amant Haddox
Look for Garrett Jacobs on social media:
Facebook: Garrett Jacobs Music
Youtube: Garrett Jacobs