This Kid Rocks: Ishmael Montague, Enloe High School - WNCT

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This Kid Rocks: Ishmael Montague, Enloe High School

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

When most 16-year-olds get bored they might play a game on their phone or watch TV. But not Ishmael Montague. He's a junior at Raleigh's Enloe High School and he's turned the mundane into music.

Ishmael pursued his musical interests one day when he was sitting around the house.

"One day I was like, 'Hey dad I'm bored,' and he was like, 'Alright son, you just need to find something to do or you can do the laundry or wash the dishes,'" Ishmael says. "So I was like, 'You know, I've always been interested in how to produce music.'"

To most people, a sound board is just a jumble of buttons, but to Ishmael, it's a blueprint to a beat.

"I went from making terrible beats to like, 'Oh ok, I kind of get it a little bit,' to making stuff that people can actually perform to and sing to," he Ishmael says.

Not any beat will do, though.

"It has to be loud. That's one of my preferences. If it's not loud, it's not the same," he says.

 Ishmael's parents strategically placed his simple at-home "studio" in a large room, set away from the rest of the house. It wasn't long before he was surprising not only himself, but other artists as well with the work he was putting out."

But even for a singer who's worked with the pros as a contestant on seasons 13 and 14 of American Idol, David Leathers says Ishmael has got what it takes.

"You know, I'm thinking it's gonna be a guy older than me and I get there and it's a 16-year-old and I'm like, 'what in the world?'"

"He doesn't produce like a 16-year-old. He produces like a grown man," Leathers says.

Now Ishmael starts his tunes off at home and touches them up in a professional downtown studio with all the bells and whistles in order to bring his music to life.

It's hard work, but it's all worth it in the end.

"It's like, 'Wow, I'm sitting here listening to something that I've created,'" he says. "It's not every day that you get to create something; something totally new. So it's a good feeling."

Page Crawford

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