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ROSLYN — Musically, he’s made it to the second round of the reality talent contest "American Idol" in San Francisco (2013), auditioned for "America’s Got Talent," did a little recording with Ellensburg guitarist Al Kaatz, who has toured with Bonnie Bramlett and Bo Diddley.

The 34-year-old from Roslyn writes and plays music every day to stay focused and professional. Around the Kittitas Valley, singer/songwriter Micah Jabez Heflen, is a full-time musician, a third-degree black belt martial artists, certified yoga instructor, and even did a little modeling.

MICAH J

Music fans know him simply as Micah J and he’s a rising star on the local scene, looking to reach new heights when the pandemic lets up and he can get back out there and lay it down live.

“I had the whole year planned with live shows and recording, but with the COVID-19, all that was wiped out,” said Micah, who grew up in South Cle Elum, but has traveled the Northwest playing music. “I write songs and record every day to stay focused.”

He’s played the Paragon Restaurant & Bar in Seattle, Swiftwater Cellars in Suncadia, The Hotel Interurban in Tukwila and every which the wind blows, as far south as California.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

"American Idol" and "America’s Got Talent" gave him first-hand knowledge just how competitive the industry is. It also gave him an idea that his music is worthy of being on the big stage with a little more work and polish.

“It was fun and I was glad to experience San Francisco music scene, but I didn’t get that far. I did an online audition and they accepted me. I auditioned further when I got there,” said Micah, whose music is available on digital outlets iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon Prime others.

“Their exact words were, ‘You’re really good at music, but not a match for the show.’ I also did an audition of America’s Got Talent.”

SOUTH CLE ELUM

The South Cle Elum native has three major passions in his life. He is of course a musician. He writes and records every day, has been with the Dynamite Supreme for around 10 years. His martial arts studies tend to keep him grounded mentally, centered and focused. He also studies psychology, which factors into his spiritual well-being.

“It’s hard not to get gobbled up in the industry. I think any industry has people that are there to take advantage of people. But the entertainment industry is just so in-your-face. Everyone knows about when you’re a celebrity it is hard to stay passionate about it,” he said. “My other passions are martial arts and psychology.

“I read psychology ever day and I practice martial arts every day to stay centered. There are definitely people out to get you in the entertainment industry. That’s one of the reasons I’m glad I didn’t make it further on "American Idol," because the contract was 18 pages long with a lot of fine print. They own you forever if you make it.”

PASSION AND DRIVE

Yet his music drives his passion and his spirit is connected to the Kittitas Valley. He’s been playing the guitar since he was 14, playing gigs at all the local hangouts in the Upper County. Even if his schedule takes him to the West Side, it also includes a local Sunday Night gig on this side of the hill.

“I love Roslyn. I’ve been here five years now. I like the idea that it’s calm during the week and like a city in the summertime,” said Micah, who uses Smyles Production of Roslyn for all his performances and audio tracks.

“During the (Farmer’s) Market it’s busy. Of course, this year the market was canceled, but it’s like a busy place pushed right up against the mountains.

“It works out for me in performing. Famous people come here. Justin Bieber was up here one summer. People like to come here to get away from it all. There’s pros and cons, but I like it.”

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