Three brothers from the Edmonton area were crowned the winners of “America’s Most Musical Family” this past weekend, winning a recording contract with Republic Records and USD $250,000.
The Melisizwe Brothers — pronounced mel-li-seize-way — live in Leduc and take their inspiration from the Jackson 5.
The trio consists of 12-year-old lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Zacary James, 13-year-old lead pianist and back-up singer Seth James, and 16-year-old lead guitarist and back-up singer Marc James.
The James brothers chose the South African name “Melisizwe” because it means “leaders of the future” — and their future looks bright after winning Nickelodeon’s America’s Most Musical Family.
The sibling trio competed against 30 other family bands from across North America in front of three celebrity judges: singer Ciara, digital media sensation David Dobrik, pop icon and Broadway star Debbie Gibson, along with show host, singer and television personality Nick Lachey.
The Nickelodeon TV competition premiered on Nov. 1, 2019.
Over the course of the season, bands were eliminated through a process of the judges nominating their top picks of the week, and the show’s live studio audience selecting which of those bands should move to the next round.
During the two-hour-long finale, the audience voted The Melisizwe Brothers to be the winning band after they performed “Brave” by Sara Bareilles and “7 Years” by Lukas Graham.
The Melisizwe Brothers were first introduced to audiences with a performance of “All of Me” by John Legend — a song they performed in 2013 at their school talent show at Ecole Corinthia Park, in Leduc, located about 20 kilometres south of Edmonton.
The show said the performers continued to stand out throughout the competition with moving performances of “Water Runs Dry” by Boyz II Men, “Waiting On The World To Change” by John Mayer and “Let It Go” by James Bay.
Following the finale, The Melisizwe Brothers released their new original single, “Stadium”, as part of their contract with Republic Records — a division of Universal Music Group.
The boys became internet sensations in 2016 when a video of them singing a Jackson 5 song went viral.
They have since appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, “America’s Got Talent”, and “Showtime at the Apollo”, and Zacary was chosen to sing the theme song on the Netflix animated series “Motown Magi”c.
The Melisizwe Brothers will be performing their new single on “Nickelodeon’s All That” on Saturday, Jan. 25, and live on “TODAY with Hoda & Jenna” on Wednesday, Jan. 22.