Idol returns to ABC on Sunday, Feb. 19 for its Season 21 premiere.
Here’s more about William.
* He’s an 18-year-old musician of Tongan, Samoan and Irish decent who was born and raised in Hawaii.
* He’s now a senior at Decatur High School in Washington State.
* In spite of his young age, he’s already released a single — a song called “Dreams” in late 2020 as Iam Tongi. It’s a song he wrote for his sister’s wedding.
* While that’s his only release to date, you can check out other originals on his TikTok, where he has more than 76,000 followers and nearly 500,000 likes. Check out his impressive original “Gone” below.
* Judging from William’s social media, one of his musical inspirations was clearly his dad Rodney, who passed away in late 2021 at age 50. William said his father came from a family of singers. William is the youngest of five children.
* He got his start in music in fifth grade when a teacher helped him learn how to play the ukulele. From there, William picked up the guitar as well.
* In an October 2022 interview, William says his music has country, alternative and island influences. And as a songwriter, he says he specializes in love songs with a folk-indie vibe.
* William has ADHD, according to the intro to a 2020 appearance on the Rikishi Driver Talk Show and says music helps him focus.
* “I have a lot of things going on in my head. It’s really confusing at some points. Music really helps me stay calm and stay focused and feel at peace. I just really hope my music can help other people feel at peace,” he says in one of his TikToks.