Last month we put out a call on Facebook for rock star nominees.
We were looking for the kid in your family or down the street who stands out and we heard from a lot of viewers!
The WREX newsroom spent the the next few weeks whittling it down to the top 3 talented kids in our area and today we introduce you to our first WREX rock star - Adem Dalipi, singer-songwriter from Belvidere.
When you hear rock star, what do you think of? A band, guitar, the stage, the lights.
Our first rock star fits the bill. Adem has already performed in front of large crowds, and he doesn't even have his license yet.
He has got the skills at several instruments
"I do guitar, piano, a little bit of drums, ukulele," Adem says.
He also has a voice that sounds way beyond his years. And at just 14-years-old, Adem Dalipi is belting his way out of his parent's basement on Youtube, one song at a time.
"I probably have nine songs already," Adem says.
He started performing them early on, mixing in covers of musicians like Vance Joy and Ed Sheeran. His family was his first audience.
"A bunch of my family members actually started saying, 'Oh, he could really sing. He's so good.' Of course, this is before my voice started changing and stuff," Adem jokes.
Yes, even young musicians have to go through the same stages other boys do. But eventually in middle school, Adem's voice grew into his talent.
"It was 6th grade when I started actually getting my name out there."
Adem is known as the "Spotify Kid" at school. He has already released one song on the music streaming site titled, "One More Chance."
Where does his inspiration come from?
"Some life experiences," he says. "You know, if I have a bad day, I'll write."
If you are thinking his talent must be because he comes from a long line of musicians, it doesn't.
His parents admit, they were kind of shocked when Adem's 3rd grade music teacher called them up and said their son had an ear for music.
"He said that he's definitely musically inclined, and that we should do something about it," his mother says. Adem always wanted a guitar, so that is what they got for him.
And it is the same guitar still hanging up on the basement wall. It is broken now, but a remains a reminder of where it all began, including his first big gig in front of 500 people.
"He was probably 12 at the time, at a dinner, and they kind of threw him up on stage," he parents say, adding that they were more nervous than he was.
"He had no problems. He didn't turn color or anything. He's got it, whatever it is."
It is apparent to others, too, that Adem has "it." When we caught up with him at a recent performance at Culture Shock in Rockford, he surprised a lot of people in the room who couldn't believe his age.
So, what's next?
"A world tour, that would be amazing, with my own fans," Adem says with a smile.
Click here to download Adem's song "One More Chance" on Spotify.
Click here to check out Adem's Youtube channel.
Coming up Thursday, will we introduce you to Will Nevitt, who is taking the martial arts world by storm, racking up a lot of hardware, but not letting it get to his head. And because of what happened to him at birth, find out why this fighter's parents call him their miracle baby. Only on 13 WREX.