Palmetto Bay resident Leia Schwartz is one of only five talented young musical artists who will be performing in an innovative new musical reality show, called Musical Genius, that begins in July.
Besides being excited about being selected, she said she likes the show’s different approach.
“Musical Genius is a twist on shows like American Idol and The Voice,” said Schwartz. “Instead of what they call ‘glorified karaoke’ with contestants singing other artists’ songs from genres outside of their comfort zones, Musical Genius is going to have singer/songwriters write a new original song to a different theme every week. We also have the opportunity to perform at various venues in the community and share our music.”
Schwartz, who has a remarkable voice and has battled asthma much of her life, found out about the competition from her music teacher, John Rose, at Coral Reef High School.
“I was one of thousands to send in an audition tape,” Schwartz said. “I then got invited to a callback, and was one of five contestants that the producers saw ‘a spark of genius’ in to be chosen to be on the show.”
Unlike other shows, no one will be voted off. All the contestants will perform each week.
“The producers said that the system for deciding a winner will be different,” Schwartz said. “They said that they wanted to be more true to life, and that in real life artists don’t stand up on a stage and say ‘vote for me by calling this number.’ In real life, artists gain publicity and fans by having people follow them on social media, like Facebook and Twitter, liking, sharing and re-tweeting their posts and pictures, downloading their songs, buying tickets to their concerts and merchandise like posters and T-shirts.”
On Musical Genius, the contestants will get different points for each of those categories, which will be averaged into a “GPA” (Genius Point Average) every week. Each contestant will have a “Fan Club” with a Fan Club president to help promote them. At the end of the show’s run the person with the highest GPA will be declared the winner.
“I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity,” said Schwartz, who just got out of the hospital after another bout with asthma in time for her first performance. “Even if I don’t win, just the exposure and experience will be worth it.
“I have already had the chance to record in Crescent Moon Studios (Emilio and Gloria Estefan’s studio), worked with professionals in the industry such as music producers and vocal instructors, been invited to sneak peaks of movies, and had the chance to share my music with so many people. The big thing I’m excited about is being able to share my passion for music and show others just how much music has inspired me, hopefully sharing that inspiration in the process.”
Musical Genius will air in primetime on MyTVChannel 33, on Saturday nights at 8 p.m. starting July 6. The grand finale event will be a concert at the Cultural Arts Center on Aug. 3.
You can support Leia by liking her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ LeiaSchwartz305 and following her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LeiaSchwartz305. People also can buy tickets for the finale concert at www.musicalgenius.tv