Reed is from Ellsworth, WI, and has been performing onstage since the wee young age of 2, according to his Facebook profile. He lists his musical influences as The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Justin Timberlake, his family, and “love.” Reed attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where he studied music and philosophy. Reed's dad died in 2005, and Reed somberly explains his father's influence on his musicality to Pierce County Herald: “Growing up, he was fun and taught me a lot. I realized that when I first started being a solo performer, a front person for the band, just when I was coming into my own and when I could have learned so much more from him, he was gone.”
Despite his formidable solo audition for Idol, Reed is also in a band, Shoeless Revolution, and was formerly the lead singer of Three Beers Til Dubuque, according toThe Tap Milwaukee. Speaking with The Leader-Telegram, on of Reed's bandmates says: "Reed is a really good singer, but his voice is different than a regular pop voice. But he's just so entertaining. He's got this massive personality. He's this huge force that just comes at you."