The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

Enloe Student Feature: Tyler Butler-Figueroa


Tyler Butler-Figueroa is best known as the 11-year-old violinist who got the golden buzzer on America’s Got Talent. Showcasing a passion for music and commanding a crowd on stage, Butler-Figueroa won the hearts of America in 2019 with his performance of Kelly Clarkson’s song, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).” While he recalls those days with a smile on his face, there is much more to him than just that single moment; a current sophomore, Butler-Figueroa is a musician and artist, a friend, a proud Enloe student, and much more. 

When talking with Butler-Figueroa, he shared how he felt before and after those big moments. He explained the entire process–starting with how he began playing the violin at seven years old. It started as an after-school program, something he could do to take his mind off of the Leukemia he was fighting at the time. 

“When I was younger, I had cancer and then I had to go through that alongside bullying at school with the hair loss and everything. So, I mean, it was sort of a distraction at first and then as time went on, I just slowly got better,” he says.

After essentially excelling out of the program, Butler-Figueroa started teaching himself how to play. He was inspired to audition for AGT after seeing a fellow violinist in the season before him. “It started when I saw this guy, his name is Brian King Joseph. He was on a season before me, and I saw him on the show. [My family] was like ‘He’s really cool,’ and [I] wanted to get on AGT because he and I share a lot of similarities.”

The rest was history. After saving up and going through auditions, Butler-Figueroa found himself on the AGT stage. It was a fast process, but ultimately the end goal led to a world full of opportunities that he doesn’t take for granted. 

When talking with Butler-Figueroa, one might believe him to be tired of answering the same questions year after year; However, from my first instance of talking to him, I was met with a genuine, soft-spoken person who was ready to answer any questions I asked. 

When asked about what he thought about Enloe, Butler-Figueroa recounted his favorite memory so far: going to his first homecoming with his friends, the great environment and community being something he loves about the school. He is a member of the school’s symphony orchestra and enjoys performances around the school to help bring more awareness to the program. Once again, that sense of community and support is something that Butler-Figueroa cherishes, aiming to be more sociable and open with others here at Enloe. 

In his free time, Butler-Figueroa is an avid musician. He notes that he’s always playing music and it’s something he could see himself doing in the future. Even when watching him talk about it, you can see how much the topic means to him; music is a passion that is very close to him. He is also a musical artist himself, having just released his most recent single, “No Sleep.” 

“I mainly like music because of how diverse it is; there’s a limitless amount of music you can make. It brings people together, no matter who they are,” he says.

One prevalent topic of conversation, however, was that Butler-Figueroa says that it’s nice at Enloe because people usually don’t know who he is. He recounted his middle school days when kids would suddenly want to be best friends with him after seeing him on TV or asking him to come to their birthday parties just because of who he was. He had a hard time making friends because he never knew if people genuinely wanted to get to know him or if they were just using him for attention and money, both of which were common occurrences. Being at Enloe and finding the right people, he’s been able to make friends and develop genuine relationships with people he feels he can trust, people he knows appreciate him for who he is and not what he’s done. 

Despite all of this, he can still watch those old episodes and clips of him on the internet, and he appreciates the platform it has given him thus far. When asked about any advice he’d give to his younger self, “I would just say to myself: keep going. Since I was in COVID, I didn’t really feel a purpose in still playing [violin] once I got off the show, and I was still popular during that time. But I was homeschooled, too, so I wouldn’t really get out and it seemed like nobody knew who I was anymore. So I thought, ‘Why still play the violin?’ But I just kept practicing. Now, when people see me again, they’re like, ‘Oh, you’ve grown up so much, I can tell how you’ve matured in playing the violin.’” 

You can stream Tyler’s new song, “No Sleep” on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube music.

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About the Contributor
Sydney Woods
Sydney Woods, Staff Writer
(She/her) Sydney is a senior at Enloe High School and is excited to spend her last year writing for the Eagle's Eye! Though writing is one of her many hobbies, she also loves listening to music, viewing and creating art, reading, and watching Studio Ghibli movies.
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