Imagine if singer Phillip Phillips also just happened to play in the NFL. That’s the best way to describe Kevin Walker.
Walker won the Swedish version of “American Idol” in 2013. But he recently earned a spot on on a team playing in Sweden’s top soccer league. The world of music opened up to Walker after he got sick while playing on Sweden’s Under-21 squad in 2009.
“I got blood-poisoning,” explains Walker. “I was knocked out for a whole year. I had a lot of free time [because] I wasn't allowed to train — so I picked the guitar up.”
The illness cost him an entire season, but it got him started singing and writing music. And then he went out one night to a local casino to perform for a small crowd. A shaky video of him singing made it to the producers of Swedish Idol 2013.
Walker got a phone call asking him if he wanted to audition.
“I said, ‘why not, I’m free today so I’ll give it a go’.”
And his music career took off.
“I didn’t have any ambitions of winning the whole thing but it turned out brilliantly for me.”
It didn’t hurt that Walker has a charming Irish accent. His father, Pat Walker, a former professional soccer player moved to Scandinavia to play in 1983. Kevin was raised in a home where both Swedish and English were spoken.
Now the midfielder is juggling his music and his soccer careers.
Walker will be taking the field for Sweden’s Djurgarden soccer team next year; they are the 11-time Swedish champions and one of the best-supported clubs in the country.
“The things I can do, I’m really grateful for, and I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of funny stuff. I’m looking forward to the future and [what it holds for me].”