Jonah Gonzales has soul, and he has one of the most unique voices and songwriting styles. He isn't one to put himself out there and try out for singing and songwriting competitions, thankfully he has an older sister who takes care of that for him. Jonah Gonzales' sister Madison Payne submitted his audition and failed to mention it to her younger brother. Jonah received a phone call telling him that he had made it to top 15 and would be competing in two days at Liberty Hall in Downtown Tyler for East Texas Idol. "Jonah called me asking me what I had signed him up for" she said while laughing.

Out of hundreds of submissions the top 15 were chosen and they ranged in age from 16 to 28. Contestants from Hallsville, Tyler, Lindale, Tatum, Mt. Vernon, and Longview all showed up for their chance at a guaranteed front of the line pass and audition in Shreveport on Monday September 4th. "The excitement grew with every round" said Payne who managed to sit up close to the stage last Friday night at Liberty Hall where the East Texas Idol competition was held.

Jonah Gonzales
Jonah Gonzales

Jonah Gonzales performed two originals, "Sorry Momma" and "Just for the Record" and covered "Tennessee Whiskey" and "Virginia". When Jonah went up for the final round he said "If I am going down, I am going down with an East Texas song" he then covered "Virginia" by Whiskey Myers, a band who calls Tyler, Texas home. "Jonah stood out because he's a songwriter, the audience was vibing off of his energy and clapping and cheering him on" said Payne. Jonah Gonzales was shocked when he was announced as East Texas Idol. "It means the world to me that my family and people I love were there." he said. You can listen and download his music for free on his website Congratulations to Jonah Gonzales and by the way, your mom said "Good job babe!"

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