'American Idol' Winner Iam Tongi Added To Promiseland Festival In First Aus Show

6 September 2023 | 10:31 am | Mary Varvaris

"Iam Tongi has the potential to become a worldwide phenomenon, and we are so lucky to have booked him for Promiseland Festival in October."

Iam Tongi

Iam Tongi (Source: Supplied)

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William “Iam” Guy Tongi, the winner of the 2023 season of American Idol, is heading to Australia for the first time as part of Promiseland Festival.

The 19-year-old singer will perform outside of the US for the first time, too, joining a line-up that boasts the likes of Ms Lauryn Hill, Davido, Giveon, reggae singer Koffee, Aussie hip-hop group Onefour, Nigerian singer-songwriter Tems, New Zealand's reggae and roots outfit L.A.B., Stan Walker, Tenelle, and many more.

Iam Tongi is a half-Samoan, half-Tongan artist who, through American Idol, has already performed alongside James Blunt and Jack Johnson.

During his time on the show, Tongi moved the judges – Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan – and viewers alike with his soulful renditions of songs such as Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World, The Sound Of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel, Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me, ABBA’s The Winner Takes It All, Yusuf / Cat StevensFather And Son, and many more. You can watch his version of The Sound Of Silence below.

“Iam Tongi has the potential to become a worldwide phenomenon, and we are so lucky to have booked him for Promiseland Festival in October,” FestCo Events directors Emal Naim and Bernard Kumar commented in a press release about Tongi’s potential to hit the Australian market.

“His islander heritage is a perfect fit for the festival, and we have no doubt his soulful performances will add immense cache to the event.”

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Promiseland 2023 comes to life from Saturday, 30 September, until Sunday, 1 October, at Doug Jennings Park on the Gold Coast. Single Day and Weekend General Admission tickets are still available via the Promiseland Festival website.

"My partner Bernard Kumar and I had been working on the concept of a specialist festival to cater to Afrobeats, Amapiano, Reggae and R&B for some years, but our first attempts had to be shelved in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic," Festival spokesperson Emal Naim, of FestCo Events, said in a statement about this year’s line-up, which follows a hugely successful 2022 event.

Naim added, "We have all been deeply involved in the music sector as promoters, agents and international touring specialists for many years and knew that an event such as Promiseland was badly needed in Australia.”