Photo courtesy of ABC/Eric McCandless, © 2019 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
By ALEXANDER WILLIS
Franklin resident Eddie Liggitt III, better known as his stage name Eddie Island, is gearing up to go to Hollywood on Monday as one of the top 20 contestants in American Idol’s 17th season.
A graduate of Cedarville University in Ohio, Island made the big move to Nashville in 2015 after visiting the city for a Paramore concert, and never left. While the concert spurred his move, he had always dreamed of moving to Nashville in his pursuit of his dreams to one day turn music into a career. Based on his performance so far, that seems like a surefire thing.
Part-time musician and part-time Uber driver, Island was taking a break from ride sharing one day at the Starbucks at Cool Springs, when his phone started to ring. He learned he had scored an audition for American Idol’s 17th season, and that’s when things took off.
Island spoke with the Spring Hill Home Page about his experience in an exclusive one-on-one interview, where he shared his hopes and aspirations, experience with the show and the judges so far, as well as what his home of Franklin has meant to him.
SHHP: How has your experience been with this season’s judges, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie?
Eddie Island: We’ve had a lot of fun moments, a lot of fun moments were actually cut out of what aired. They’re awesome, [and] one of my best takeaways from Idol was definitely being able to meet them. They seem just like me, but in different stages in life; they’re artists, they’re creative, they’re fun, they’ve dedicated their life to music, and I want to do all those things too.
SHHP: What led you to move to Nashville, and how was the experience?
EI: I interned the summer before for American Songwriter Magazine in town – I was still in college. I fell in love with the town, and then my friend at the time was like, ‘Hey, I have a ticket to see Paramore at the Opry,’ and I really wanted to make the jump to Nashville, but it was scary.
That was my motivation and I just drove to Nashville. Called a bunch of people from the Alumni network, slept on someone’s couch the night after the show, and then just kind of couch surfed for about a year.
I moved around ten times with my first year in Nashville, just craigslist housing, I lived all around Fair, there were chickens outside my window in the morning, and then the next month I’m living downtown – it was just crazy.
SHHP: How do you like living in Franklin?
EI: Franklin is magical. The first place that I ever lived was Franklin, it’s definitely my home. I have a lot of friends there, most of my family lives in Franklin, I’m in downtown all the time… I just love it, it just gives me a lot of life. It’s a very special place.
SHHP: How has your family influenced or impacted your career in music?
EI: They’re awesome. I’m an only child, they’re still living in the same house that I grew up in, and they’ve always made decisions to put the Lord first, as well as put me first as their child… I’m so thankful. My dad works really hard, and my mom was able to stay home with me during a lot of my younger years. I think that extra level of care is why I was able to become who I am. They’ve always supported me… they didn’t really understand for a long time, the music thing, because they’d never seen it work before.
SHHP: What are your plans if you’re named the next American Idol?
EI: Definitely to buy a house for my family in Franklin. I also want to get a sparkly blue-colored Porsche. Really the goal for me with all of it, before even Idol, was to make music my job and be an artist full time, and that to me is just crazy to even think about, so it’s hard to even get beyond that.
SHHP: How did you first get interested in music?
EI: My uncle got me a Squier Nylon kid’s guitar for my birthday or Christmas one year, and it was too hard to play. I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t put my fingers on the strings hard enough, I got frustrated, I threw it into the garage. Middle school… high school… I couldn’t really express things with words, and I felt like people didn’t really understand me, and [so] I just grabbed that guitar out of storage and started expressing myself with music.