Over the years, there have been some truly incredible musicians.
Depending on what your favorite kinds of music are, you may love artists like Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones as your personal bests.
On the other hand, you may only listen to classical composers like Beethoven or Mozart. For those who like soulful music, there are so many different artists to choose from—still, few are as powerful and consistently moving as Nina Simone.
Though it goes without saying, Nina Simone was known as the High Priestess of Soul for a reason!
While her original recordings are incredible, her legacy lives on through all the many young artists and creatives she still inspires.
Because there are so many different singing and musical competition shows on television today, it’s perhaps not surprising that so many singers try to cover her.
While it’s a tall challenge, sometimes people do unexpectedly good interpretations of her original songs. That was definitely the case on one episode of Britain’s Got Talent.
And as it turns out, the singer was quite young.
As the clip begins, 15-year-old singer James Smith introduces himself to the people backstage and explains his passion.
As he says, he’s been playing and singing his whole life and is more than excited for the opportunity. When he walks out onstage, he introduces himself to the judges.
Before long, they ask him what he’ll be performing and he says “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone. Upon hearing this, judge Simon Cowell’s eyebrows rise just a little bit.
With that out of the way, the judges all clear the way for him to sing.
He begins by gently strumming his guitar before setting into the lyrics as well.
Although the song has been covered countless times by now, Smith finds an incredible way to breathe a new life into it once again.
To begin, he drags out every single one of the lines as slowly as he possibly can, making sure everyone in the room feels the full emotion of every syllable and note. It doesn’t take much time to have everyone in the room on the edges of their seats.
Still, the best is yet to come!
After he has everyone in the room in the palm of his hand, he starts to approach the chorus.
Though he built up so much tension up to that point, Smith lets it all lose as he voice soars over the words of the chorus. Finally, he starts strumming more rapidly and picking up energy and the whole crowd is cheering him along.
As the song continues, he has even more confidence than he did at the beginning. Although it’s not easy to do Nina Simone justice, Smith creates something that’s all his own.
By the end, all the judges are smiling from ear to ear.
Since the clip was uploaded, it’s been viewed nearly nine million times.
As the judges give their feedback, everyone tells him that they were blown away by his confidence and his charisma.
When it comes to Cowell, even he says that the performance was fantastic—and though he was nervous about the song choice, it ended up paying off in a big way.
Congratulations to James Smith on his innovative performance! Be sure to watch the whole thing in the link below:
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Source: YouTube/Anthony Ying