Get to Know Hueston, the Rhode Island Native Turned “American Song Contest” Entrance-Runner

American Song Contest Season 1

Photograph by Trae Patton – NBC

“People think it’s just coastlines and tennis and, you know, sailboats, but that’s not the Rhode Island I came from,” Cory Hueston, higher recognized musically as Hueston, says of his house state in NBC’s “American Song Contest” premiere. “The Rhode Island I came from, it’s a lot rougher. Not a lot of money. There’s a lot of pain.”

The present, which is the States’ reply to the abroad hit “Eurovision,” presents a musical artist for every U.S. state (plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico), asks them to carry out an unique track after which leaves it as much as the viewers to resolve which state will earn the highest prize. Hueston, who spent his childhood in North Kingstown, is Rhode Island’s choose. Though his recorded introduction bundle reveals picturesque glimpses of the East Bay, he goes on to explain a Christmas with out meals and outdated associates who by no means received to develop outdated. Yet even so, Hueston has nothing however love for the Ocean State, closing with, “People here are very resilient. It’s a really small, tight-knit community. I’m really, really happy to be representing the great people of Rhode Island, and the culture that’s here, and I’m humbled to be able to do it.”

And Rhode Islanders are simply as proud to have him, particularly when his stripped down, soulful efficiency of his single, “Held On Too Long” earned him a spot within the semi-finals. We caught up with Hueston to study extra about his upbringing, his time on the present and what it was prefer to return to Little Rhody after years away.


Rhode Island

Photograph courtesy of Hueston/NBC.


What is one among your favourite reminiscences rising up in Rhode Island?

I like the entire state, to be trustworthy. I grew up in North Kingstown however frolicked within the different cities lots once I was youthful. You know, simply being a bit troublemaker. But I did all the time love going to Exeter. Driving via the Exeter woods with my mother as a child was a pleasant little getaway from the city vibe that I used to be in. Every time I am going again, I take a drive via Exeter.


How did you get into music?

My mother was truly in band earlier than I used to be born. She’s all the time been an enormous musical particular person—all the time singing round the home. But I didn’t get into music myself till we moved to Florida once I was seven or eight years outdated. We lived in suburbia for a couple of yr, however then my mother couldn’t afford it, and we ended up transferring to a rougher a part of the state the place I ended up dwelling till I used to be eighteen. It was an actual tough half—I might get jumped going house from faculty. Music grew to become nearly my reduction, my escape. I had a guitar and I might come house from faculty and educate myself play. It felt good to only sort of get away and I instantly knew it was my factor.

I ended up enjoying in a bunch of various bands, all the things from punk bands to ska bands to steel bands. Then I used to be on this one band and the singer stop proper earlier than a present. I knew all of the songs and I used to be like, “Alright, I can either lose the couple hundred bucks I was gonna make, or I can just sing the songs for the night until we find a new singer.” So, I went on the market and I sang the songs, and all people was like, “Wow, that was pretty good. You can actually sing!” That’s once I determined, “Okay, I guess I’m a singer.”


When did you go solo?

2019 is once I began to go solo, however I didn’t actually launch an excessive amount of. I sprinkled issues on the market, however I sort of took my time simply making an attempt to develop and determine what this Hueston factor is as greatest as I may.


American Song Contest Season 1

Photo by Trae Patton/NBC


Tell us in regards to the audition course of for “American Song Contest.” How did that come about?

So, I truly didn’t audition. Someone had reached out about “the Voice” a number of occasions and I used to be like, “You know, I don’t think it’s really my thing. I’m an original artist, I don’t really want to be doing the whole cover song vibe.” But in that dialog, this was in all probability round 2019, I mentioned, “If you ever have something that’s about original stuff, feel free to hit me up.” A pair years later, the identical particular person emailed and mentioned that they had this present that was just about the American model of “Eurovision.” I checked “Eurovison” out and I beloved it. I mentioned, “Oh awesome, I’ll definitely do this one.” Then he was like, “Great, now just submit a song.” And it’s humorous as a result of I had a bunch of music I used to be sitting on, however for some motive I simply instantly considered “Held On Too Long.” I truly wrote it like three years in the past. I used to be within the studio, and I used to be going via my songs and I might play that one and I believed, “You know what? I have a feeling that no one else is doing this.” I simply had this bizarre sixth sense. I’m glad I selected it!


We’re glad you probably did, too! On the present, you mentioned you wished your efficiency to really feel just like the intimacy of enjoying in a Rhode Island dive bar, which is one thing you ended up doing whereas filming your introduction bundle (shout out to the Narragansett Café in Jamestown!). What was it like coming again?

Yeah, that was tremendous cool. I hadn’t been to Rhode Island in in all probability 5 – 6 years. You know, me and my pops, we all the time had a sort of rocky relationship, however we’re in a extremely good place now, so it was good to hang around with him. It was actually very therapeutic, too. He’s in a great spot, I’m in a great spot… It was only a cool, very religious vibe. And it was good to see all the children that I grew up with—all my boys who’re nonetheless on the market. It introduced me again. That’s why that bundle is so actual and trustworthy with the message, as a result of that’s actually what I used to be feeling being there.


American Song Contest Season 1

Photo by Chris Haston/NBC


What was it like to listen to that you just had been voted straight via to the semi-finals?

Honestly, I didn’t suppose that was going to occur! I had the least quantity of followers out of anyone on the present. Or, I did—I don’t learn about now, I don’t know. The Hueston factor hadn’t actually taken off—I hadn’t  launched a number of music. So this was the right alternative to launch this solo profession. I used to be simply pondering to myself, “Hey, this will be a cool little jumpstart for me to get eyes back on me and yada yada yada.” But I used to be not anticipating to win. You’re going up towards these individuals who have 1,000,000 TikTookay followers…


Or Michael Bolton!

Or, proper, a legend! So, I believed, “Yeah, this is a fun trip. Thanks for the little boost!” And then I used to be pondering I used to be simply going to return to the bar with buddies I met on the present to drink and hang around, however then… Well, Snoop mentioned, “Rhode Island” and Kelly mentioned, “Hueston,” on the identical time. I didn’t even know what they mentioned. Then all people began speaking to me and I used to be identical to, “What the? Oh, I guess they called my name!” It was fairly cool.


So, when will we see you subsequent?

To be trustworthy, I don’t have any thought which episodes I’m going to be on. They simply inform me to indicate up and I do. But once I do present up, please vote for me!


Oh completely. Rhode Island’s received your again!

Oh wow, I recognize that, thanks!


“American Song Contest” airs on NBC on Mondays at 8 p.m., however if you need to maintain up with Hueston between appearances, comply with him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You may also see extra of his musical exploits on his YouTube channel, Spotify and web site, iamhueston.com.

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