KJ Apa always seems to be cast in roles that require musical chops — or at least the ability to fake it. The 22-year-old New Zealand native, KJ (or Keneti James FitzGerald Apa) is best known for playing Archie Andrews. His character is based on the Archie Comics hit series Riverdale.
If you know the series, you know that Archie is famous for being full of big ideas.
One of his (great many) life pursuits is landing a career in music. We first got a taste for his musical style on Season 1 of Riverdale, when he sings an original song alongside the Pussycat Dolls. He’s also has both duet and solo scenes in Season 1 alone — and plenty of musical action since.
So what’s the deal — can KJ Apa really sing?
People everywhere are wondering if KJ’s the real deal in the musical scenes on Riverdale — or if he's just lip syncing? As it turns out, KJ can sing! And he does his own voice performances.
He’s been belting it out from an early age, even releasing his own musical instrumental rock album at the age of 14 called The Third Room. For the album, he was described as “the guitar prodigy from down under.”
And actually, he’d rather just play guitar than sing.
If you ask him, KJ says he prefers sticking to guitar. He grew up playing, and still does. In fact, he’s the guitarist in a real-life band formerly called The Good Time Boys, and now known as Legend.
He tells The New Zealand Herald, "We don't have music ready to put out into the world yet. We've recorded some music ... and I can't wait for it to come out so people can hear it. It's a huge rock and roll album that I recorded with my friends solely because I like playing that kind of music."
Yet, he’s used to getting casted for roles for which he’s expected to sing.
“Riverdale is a perfect example of 'I'm a musician,'” KJ shared with MTV in a recent interview. “But am I particularly enjoying the musical aspects of the project that I'm doing? Not really. I have to do it.”
“People just … keep forcing me to sing in all these projects,” he says, when he’d really rather play guitar.
Not only can KJ carry a tune, but he’s got a new movie coming out.
KJ takes the lead as Christian music star Jeremy Camp in the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group faith-based movie I Still Believe. The film “tells the inspiring true story of one young couple’s remarkable journey that proves hope can survive great tragedy, and that love tested is the only love worth sharing," according to Collider.
Because of the novel coronavirus and widespread self-quarantining/social distancing, the major motion picture is being made available on demand early. It hit theaters on March 13, 2020, and will be available on premium VOD beginning on March 27.
“I’m super uncomfortable when I sing,” KJ admits. “I went into the studio in Nashville ... and I think that really gave me perspective on the film. Luckily, it couldn’t have gone better. I think people are going to love it.”