When it comes to popular music, the city that springs most readily to mind is probably Los Angeles.
Most of the biggest record labels have their headquarters there and innumerable pop stars and rock stars come out of the city. Still, that hasn’t always been the case.
Though there are all kinds of pop traditions coming from the United Kingdom in the ‘60s and ‘70s, people commonly forget about what a huge force Detroit was when it came to funk, soul and R&B music, much of it from around the same time period.
After all, who could forget the influence that Motown Records had on the music industry?
For proof of just how wide-reaching that influence really is, just consider this performance from The X Factor.
The audition we’re discussing dates back to the show’s 2012 season. Although the show still continues in other parts of the world, it has since been re-imagined and rebranded as America’s Got Talent.
Just like any other audition, it begins with the contestants walking out onstage and introducing themselves to the judges. As they explain, their group name is AKNU, an acronym for A Kind Never Understood.
To top it all off, the three of them are brothers!
As they explain, they’re going to be performing the song “Valerie” by The Zutons, which has a bit of a retro feel to it.
They’re primarily from Los Angeles, California and are hoping to make it as musical performances. As they explain, they’re looking to perform “Valerie” in honor of their mother, who’s also named Valerie.
Before they begin, judge Simon Cowell wishes them good luck… but adds that he hates the song. Although that news throws them off a little bit, they continue with their audition anyway.
Right as the music starts, the three brothers break into a dance formation—and the whole audience perks up.
Although Cowell was resistant at first, he seems a little brightened by the energy that these brothers bring to the stage.
It’s clear right away that they have great voices and that the song is a good fit. More than that, however, is that they have such a contagious energy and stage presence—especially in their choreography!
Though these shows are famous for churning out fairly traditional pop acts, this one seems very fresh and unusual, even if it is a bit of a throwback to Motown. At the end, the trio does a huge dance break to finish things off.
When it’s over, they get a huge round of applause!
In fact, the judges can’t even give their comments at first because the crowd was applauding so much.
After a moment, judge Kelly Rowland tells them that they were so refreshing and gave the crowd so much good energy. After that, judge Demi Lovato says much of the same—that she got the chills.
When it’s finally time for Cowell to give his comments, he says that this kind of retro Motown throwback would be something he hates… he has to admit that they may be onto something new! He even says he could watch the whole audition over again. When it’s all said and done, the brothers leave with all three yeses!
Congratulations to AKNU on their energetic and exciting performance! Watch the full thing in the clip below:
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Source: YouTube/The X Factor USA