Who Is Ajii Hafeez on ‘American Idol’? The Season 22 Singer Slayed His Top 24 Performance

Ajii Hafeez has impressed judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie on season 22 of American Idol. After his top 24 performance, he’s now relying on votes from viewers to make it to the top 20. Who is the singer?

Who is Ajii on ‘American Idol’?

Ajii is one of the season 22 contestants on American Idol. He was 27 years old during his time competing on the ABC singing competition show.

Although Ajii auditioned for the show in Los Angeles, he lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works as security at the front desk of a nursing home. “I just protect the building, basically,” he explained during his audition. “I love everybody there. My coworkers got me to do this [show].”

Ajii explained that he works the night shift at his job and one of his colleagues heard him singing in the hallways every evening. “She’s like, ‘Dude, what are you doing here?’” he recalled, while also crediting his hometown of Brooklyn with getting him into music.

“Growing up in Brooklyn, you’re exposed to so many genres of music,” Ajii revealed. “My family didn’t have the means to go to music school or anything like that, so my hometown was my teacher. Everyone is a musician or an artist. Being surrounded by it made me keep doing what I’m doing now.”

In addition to singing in the hallways at work, Ajii said he also took advantage of a grand piano in the nursing home. “Sometimes during my break, I sneak in there and I’ll play the piano,” he told ABC7 NY. “You know, if [the patients are] there, they’re quiet, they’ll listen, and right at the end, they’ll say the same thing my coworkers say, which is, ‘What are you doing here?’ It’s a part of it. It’s what you do it for – the reaction and to make everybody feel good.”

Where Is Ajii on ‘American Idol’ From?

Ajii was born and raised in Brooklyn but revealed that his parents immigrated to the United States from Pakistan. “They did right by me and my brothers, man,” he shared. “I’m grateful for them. They’re still working, hard working. I’m here today making them proud.”

The singer’s parents came to America “with nothing,” Ajii revealed. “They showed me just chase whatever you want to do. For them, it was to make sure we had a great life.”

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When Ajii sang during the top 24 in Hawaii, his mom, Sabrina, was in attendance. It was the first time she ever got to see him perform live and she was in tears afterward. “I don’t have words to say,” she admitted, as she was overcome with emotion.
However, during Ajii’s rehearsal, she was able to articulate her feelings. “You are a very beautiful person,” she told her son. “I’m very proud of you.”

What Happened to Ajii on ‘American Idol’?

During his audition, Ajii sang “Lose Control” by Teddy Swims and received a golden ticket to Hollywood from the judges. “What you’re giving us is raw, but it’s that diamond in the rough stuff,” Katy gushed. “This is why we do this show. It’s people like you. Period. End of story.” She also predicted that Ajii would make the top 10 on season 22.

Lionel added, “You are a light. Everything you do is so real. It’s so fresh that you’re not coming out here trying to be like somebody else. It’s so infectious.”

During the Hollywood round, Ajii survived the Idol Arena by singing “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. He then performed “Too Close” by Alex Clare and was told during the Final Judgment that he made the top 24.

From there, the decisions were in the hands of American Idol viewers. However, the judges still offered commentary. The top 24 took place in Hawaii and featured Ajii singing “Higher” by Tems. Guest mentor Jelly Roll gave a standing ovation and told him, “It was beautiful. It was everything you practiced it to be.”

Ajii will find out if he makes the top 20 during the April 14, 2024, episode.

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