There isn’t a bigger band behind a bigger curtain than the one that plays for tens of millions of people every week on American Idol—and Brady Cohan is that band’s guitarist. With a repertoire of face-melting solos, R&B rhythms and nitpick-worthy finger picking—skills that won him national guitar competitions as a teenager—Cohan is a natural talent in the spotlight. He’s also a rising star behind the scenes. Whether as a touring musician (spanning the globe with Keyshia Cole, Queen Latifah, Stanley Clarke, Stewart Copeland of The Police, Natalie Cole, and more) or writing film and television scores, Cohan’s talents have had direct impacts on mass audiences while rarely stepping into the spotlight himself. Even the two bands he fronts—the Americana explosion of Like Me, Like You and the indie-hard rock trio Knee High—focus their respective efforts on placements for film, television and commercials.