Artist Spotlight: Julia Cook

Julia Cook is a sophomore at Wilcox High School. Recently, she competed in the South Bay Teen Idol competition, placing in the top ten competitors. After three months of training with the program, she finally took to the stage to compete against the other competitors, who she cherishes and appreciates, as they made her work harder and sing better than Cook ever thought she could.

Cook always had a passion for singing. “When I was younger, I was in musical theater in the plays at Washington Open Elementary School and at Roberta Jones Junior Theater. When I was in fourth grade, I started taking singing lessons at the Smirnov Music School, because before starting to sing, I had been inspired by many pop stars including Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana.” Growing up on a stage and performing for other people, helped her with overcoming stage fright and cultivate a love for being on stage and performing.

She chose Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight & the Pips, written in sing for the competition. The song is about a man leaving his new life behind to connect to his older roots in Georgia. Julia’s reasoning behind choosing this song for her final performance was that she had listened to other singers take this song, and modify it to make it their own song, and she wanted to improve and connect with the song on a more personal level.

The South Bay Teen Idol competition took place on February 30, 2019. The final ten contestants came from a variety of schools, from Irvington High School in Fremont to Branham High School in San Jose. After two hours of outstanding singing from the young talent on display, the time came for the judges of deliberate between themselves about who would be in the final three of the competition. The three judges were extremely well decorated influencers in the music industry, from producers and singers.  Although Cook did not make it to the final three of the competition, she had accomplished more than she could have ever wished for. “I’d like to thank my friends and my family who came to support me tonight, I was very nervous and I was thinking about them through the entire performance.” Her message to anyone who would consider competing in the Teen Idol competition is that they should “just do it” and that they would make friends and have an amazing time doing what they love.

Cook was proud of her performance whether or not she made it to the top three. “ I think I performed well, and I definitely gave it my all.” Cook also said that she feels that everyone who performed with and against her deserved to win the competition. Julia has improved tremendously from last year, and continues to showcase her dedication and commitment to being a better singer and performer.