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Judge for Kevin Bilchik

SAINT LOUIS, MO
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Portrait of Kevin Bilchik
“I was a writer first. I didn’t know I wanted to sing until I started putting my words to music,” says Bilchik, of St. Louis, Missouri. Blending rock and contemporary folk, his words and music offer a personal perspective with wide appeal. “When I perform my songs, it’s like taking a tour of what I’ve learned about life in the past 10 years. Every time I play, it’s a reminder that your whole life comes along with you wherever you go. You can’t run away from it. I’m hoping that people who hear my music feel that I’ve said something they’ve been thinking about, too.

Kevin’s life path swerved significantly from the expected. “Like a lot of people, I knew there was something out there for me, but I didn’t know what or where it was,” he says. “That’s when I started taking my own route. I caught rides to random places out West. I followed bands around on festival tours. I apprenticed in non-traditional jobs and lived in unconventional communities. Those times and places and people led me to some of the ideas and lessons that drive my songs today.

But there was always a guitar, he adds. “As a little kid, I took about two piano lessons before I quit, and I played the trombone for a couple of days. But I grabbed a guitar whenever things were uncomfortable socially, or when nothing was happening. So there was always the opportunity to channel my experiences into a song.” And he did. “I’ve spent the past 16 years finding my voice as a singer and writer, playing music on back porches, in basements, coffee houses and bars, working restaurant jobs, and writing lyrics on napkins and take-out order forms.

A chance meeting in a St. Louis guitar shop jump-started Kevin’s official music career. “The people I met that day are still some of my best friends, collaborators and critics,” he says. “And I still look at every day as another chance to pick up my guitar and see what happens.” Kevin currently performs as a solo artist and with his band.
 
 
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