Clayton Heinrich
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Clayton Heinrich

Naperville, Illinois, United States | SELF

Naperville, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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3 o’ clock sharp, registrations sheets filled up quickly, as the singers packed the city market parking lot.About 30 other singers came from near and far to compete for a guaranteed audition on American Idol in Milwaukee next week. When they got on stage, they let the vocals fly.But in the end it was the man with the guitar who captured the audience's heart.23 year old Clayton Heinrich made the hour and a half trip from Naperville."It feels surreal I’m not going to lie" says Heinrich."It’s a confidence boost having this many people rally behind me and cheer its helpful I’ll think about it in Milwaukee" says Heinrich.But when he heads to Milwaukee, next week he'll be without his favorite instrument."Its going to be different but I’m going guns a blazing" says Heinrich.And he's got the Rockford community behind him. - FOX39 News - Rockford, IL


Clayon Heinrich is vocally gifted artist producing his first solo album after a successful career with JACK PINE SAVAGE. His freshman album, Somehow, is sure to entertain your ears with guaranteed hits like Finally & One Step. Whether its the smooth vocals on Carrier Pigeons, the upbeat style of At Ease or the graceful lyrics of Break Your Fall, his debut album - Somehow - is a strong first showing that is sure to please. - The Show 104.5FM


ROCKFORD — Sporting short, dirty blond hair, a black T-shirt and well-worn blue jeans, Clayton Heinrich showed he’s a talented guitarist who has a voice that belongs on the radio.

As if that wasn’t enough, he seems like a pretty down-to-earth guy, too. Other than that, the 23-year-old Naperville resident really doesn’t have much going for himself.

Well, there is one other thing. Heinrich won the “Rockford Star” contest Friday during the city’s new downtown street market on Water and Market streets. The feat will put him near if not at the front of the line to perform before "American Idol" producers in Milwaukee next week and possibly a chance to appear on the hit television show.

Heinrich, who said he took up the guitar eight years ago and has been performing for the past four years, stood out among a strong talent pool of 30 contestants. The field was reduced to five finalists by a panel of three local judges: Andi Brooks of 97ZOK, Cedric Hanserd of Too Deep and Rockford Register Star reporter Georgette Braun.

The other four finalists to wow the audience were Jataun Tobias, 26; Brandi Bonner, 19; Stephanie Zibell, 27; and Hannah Poorman, 15, all of Rockford.

The Rockford Star winner was supposed to be chosen on live TV by audience applause. However, the audience cheered just as loudly for Zibell as they did for Heinrich, forcing the judges to briefly huddle and pick Heinrich.

“He’s got the whole package,” said Brooks, who was left almost speechless after Heinrich performed “Santeria” by Sublime. “He’s got the voice, he plays an instrument, he has it.”

Braun described “it” as “That look. It’s appealing. The women will love him.”

Hanserd added: “Ultimately, he was the best.” - Rockford Register Star


ROCKFORD — Clayton Heinrich of Naperville gets a huge leg up on others auditioning Wednesday in Milwaukee before “American Idol” producer-types. But the “Rockford Star” winner will have a long way to go.

Heinrich takes a letter confirming him as winner and identification directly to Patrick Lynn, supervising producer of the show.

He shows up at the Bradley Center by 7 a.m. and is guaranteed just one audition.

The Rockford winner bypasses having to wait in line starting at 5 a.m. Monday or Tuesday just to register for the show. (And registration doesn’t guarantee an audition spot.)

The “Rockford Star” contest has been spearheaded by WQRFand Creative Services Director Shawn Anderson. Promoters say former “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks won her audition spot at a similar contest in Arizona.

Heinrich may be passing up 10,000 people for at least the registration part. That was the turnout for registration this week for auditions in Nashville.

The “Rockford Star” winner may have to wait a bit Wednesday but will audition that day. That’s the end of any preferential treatment.

How long will the initial audition last? Maybe 15 to 30 seconds while they stand in front of a few producers with two or three others. Contestants are asked to be prepared to sing two songs.

Contestants who make the first cut go on to the next round, usually on another day, sometimes several days after the first audition. They get a little more time to sing. Then more cuts are made. The third round is the round we see on TV. - Rockford Register Star


Discography

Somehow (2010)

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Bio

Clayton Heinrich is an emerging singer/songwriter based in Chicago, Illinois. Heinrich has had over 8 years of classical choral training helping to refine a vocal timbre and control many liken to Brandon Boyd. While a diverse range in style exists in Heinrich's songwriting, similarities can be drawn to the melodic sensitivity of John Mayer, the progressive edge of Radiohead's Thom Yorke, the harmonic consciousness of Dispatch, the rhythmic drive of Dave Matthews and the mainstream appeal of The Beatles circa Abbey Road.

In 2010 Clayton Heinrich produced and independently released his debut album Somehow. All eleven acoustic guitar and piano progressive pop songs were composed, arranged, and performed by the promising artist. Heinrich delivers powerful, poetic lyrics covering self discovery, love, technology, war, and the struggle of the human condition. The eclectic blend of styles and moods appearing on Somehow prove Clayton Heinrich is an artist worthy of mass attention.

Heinrich has been creating and recording music as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the established Chicago-land band Jack Pine Savage since 2005. Between the years 2005-2009 Heinrich co-composed and recorded 20 songs as part of this ensemble. The songs appear on multiple Green Street Records compilation albums including No Rights Reserved (2007), Free for All (2008) and Jack Pine Savage EP (2009).