Trivell Hill, a Life Line Resources events coordinator, singer and rapper, does what he can to promote the state's best performers.
Trivell Hill wants the world to know that Iowa's got talent.
In September, Hill, a 32-year-old events coordinator for Life Line Resources, helped organize the Iowa's Got Talent event as a fundraiser for the counseling program for families and troubled children. More than 40 acts competed, with hundreds in attendance.
Afterwards, producers from the TV show "America's Got Talent" got in touch with Hill and ended up inviting three performers from the show for a VIP audition in Chicago.
Fresh off the well-received Iowa's Got Talent, and the local shots at the national show, Hill wanted to keep the momentum going. In November, Hill and Life Line Resources put the focus on the Iowa hip-hop scene, hosting Iowa's Got Rappers. Next month, local vocalists will get a turn during Iowa's Got Singers.
"There's a lot of talent in Iowa, but people just don't know," Hill said. "I want to introduce the world to that talent, and that talent to each other."
Hill pointed to the new "Star Trek" movie when discussing the perception people have of Iowa. In the film, despite the futuristic setting, Iowa still has gravel roads. He wants the world to recognize there is more going on here.
The three performers selected for the "America's Got Talent" audition were dancers Ricardo Fierro and Jordan Willis, along with Hill himself. Hill didn't compete in "Iowa's Got Talent," but he sang a song as the emcee of the event. Based on a video of that performance and his work at Life Line, the producers asked him to audition. None of the performers will find out how they did until late January or early February.
Hill (stage name: Kyser) started rapping as a teenager, and began singing rock music about seven years ago when he joined the group Hypnotic. He's done well in local karaoke contests, and has two albums he is preparing to release. "G Rated" will be a more family-friendly album so the kids he works with at Life Line can listen, while "The Ugly, The Good and The Bad" will carry a "Parental Advisory" sticker. Both mix hip hop and rock, and feature guest appearances by other Iowa's Got Talent competitors.
Iowa's Got Talent and its spinoffs are all open to talent of all ages, and Hill stresses to performers that racy language and lyrics will have to be kept out of songs used in the show.
He plans to bring the main Iowa's Got Talent show back in September, and between then feature shows like "Got Singers" and "Got Rappers," with "Got Models" and "Got Comedians" possibilities for 2010.
In addition to the fundraising aspect, Hill and Life Line co-founder Vince Kelly see the events as a way to build up a community of local performers and spotlight a creative population that doesn't get a lot of attention.
"It's about having the opportunity to dream," said Kelly, 31. "It's something to trigger the thought process. Hopefully someone gets on the stage and realizes 'Maybe I can.'"