Man who came to Illinois as refugee from Congo competes on 'American Idol'

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He calls himself Story Teller because that's what he wants to do with his songs. (WLS)

He calls himself Story Teller because that's what he wants to do with his songs.

Story Teller came to Illinois as a refugee from the Congo, and grew up in South Africa. His family spent time in Alabama, Wheaton and settled in Dekalb.

He began singing when he was young.

"Yes, my family has always been musically-oriented. My mother and father actually met in the church choir and that's how they had all of us, we were raised in the church choir, so music has always been part of my life," he said.

The artist started performing at Lewis University.

"I'm a mixture of everything because I have lived a nomadic life and I experience different genres, so I'm a mixture of everything together with some American styles like the blues, R&B and a little bit of hip hop. I just like calling it storytelling," he said.

Story Teller remembers the original "American Idol."

"I would watch the TV show and I never thought that one day I might even have the opportunity to say I auditioned in front of the judges, so it was just really overwhelming and mindblowing," he said.

Story Teller auditioned at McCormick Place with thousands of others.

"Yes, it was insane, it was really insane. I remember walking up and seeing the line and being like, there's no way this is happening. Katy Perry is so beautiful, and Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie has been my all-time idol since I was a kid, I always listen to his music, so to stand in his presence and to sing to him was a dream come true," he said.

American Idol airs on ABC 7 Sundays and Mondays at 7 p.m.
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