CLAYTON — Twelve-year-old Montrez Bynum is this years Clayton Idol after winning a singing competition sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.
Montrez follows in the footsteps of Scotty McCreery, who won the Clayton Idol competition before going on to American Idol fame.
Montrez said he aspires to be famous like McCreery. The two actually competed against each other in the 2011 Clayton Idol competition. That was the year McCreery won.
Montrez is no stranger to the title. He was Clayton Idol in 2009, when he was 8 years old.
When I sing in my room, I sing however I want, Montrez said. If someones listening, I have to try harder to impress them.
He said he loves singing for an audience.
His chorus teacher at Riverwood Middle School said Montrez shines onstage. Hes not shy of the audience, said teacher Carmen Aiken.
This is Montrezs first year in the chorus. Before this year, hed never had a music teacher or even a relative who was a singer.
Hes given some support to other boys in the chorus who are timid, Aiken said. Hes not afraid to try anything.
In this years competiton, Montrez sang Carolina Girls by General Norman Johnson. In 2009, the song that won him the title was I Want You Back by The Jackson 5.
Montrez likes singing classic songs that take people back to when the song first came out. He said his aim is to perform those songs with a fresh, young voice.
Leading up to the competition, Montrez didnt have to practice too much. He said when hes onstage, singing comes naturally to him. He does, however, enjoy singing in his room and in the shower.
When he was younger, Montrez said, he enjoyed watching Disney Channel shows like Hannah Montana and High School Musical. He would have his parents buy the CDs for the shows so he could sing along.
Previous Clayton Idol winners have sung at various community events, like the annual Christmas tree lighting, and in concerts around town. Montrez will perform at this years Christmas parade in Clayton.
According to his chorus teacher, this is just the beginning of Montrezs musical career.
Its possible hed have a career in music, Aiken said.