An Interview With THE VOICE Season 9 Winner, JORDAN SMITH About His Performance At The First YOUTUBE Music Night of the Year at YOUTUBE SPACE LA, His Debut Album ‘Something Beautiful’ and More!
Posted On 11 Apr 2016
Tag: Adam Levine, Adele, Atlas Genius, Bill Appleberry, David Foster, iTunes, Jessie J., Jordan Smith, Lee University, LightWorkers Records, Live Rounds, Republic Records, Sara Bareilles, Something Beautiful, Stephan Moccio, The Voice, Whitney Houston, YouTube, YouTube Music Night, YouTube Space LA, yuna
The FIRST YouTube Music Night of 2016 was held a couple months ago at YouTube Space LA.
This monthly event features performances from today’s biggest and brightest artists. The first YouTube Music Night brought outThe Voice’s season 9 winner Jordan Smith, Atlas Genius and Yuna.
YouTube Music Night is an opportunity for 300+ attendees including industry members, YouTube creators, and YouTube staff to have a drink, listen to great music and connect about upcoming projects.
Jordan Smith showed the world his musical gift in 2015 when he became the “Best-selling artist in the history of The Voice” and the winner of Season 9.
Jordan’s honesty made history. Not only did he cement himself as The Voice’s biggest seller, moving 1.5 million singles in 6 months, but he launched 8 songs to the Top 10 of iTunes— the first artist from any season to hit the iTunes Top 10 every single week of the Live Rounds. He also became “one of two The Voice artists to notch three #1s during the show’s season.” Now, he shares his message through the songs on his forthcoming 2016 debut album for Republic Records/LightWorkers Records—”Something Beautiful.”
Learn more performer Jordan Smith in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! So, how’s 2016 been treating you so far? I saw that you got engaged at the very beginning of the year! That’s exciting! Congrats! How’s the wedding planning going?
Thank you! Wedding planning is coming along quite well! We are planning to have a pretty short engagement and are going to get married this summer! My fiancée Kristen has been a firm foundation for me throughout the last year and, despite so many changes in our lives, she has helped me remain true to myself and my message.
In a nutshell, how has winning last year’s season of The Voice changed your life? Who or what first convinced you to audition for the show? I read that you auditioned for it a couple years ago too. Is that right? What brought you back to it?
I have always been a huge fan of The Voice, and that fascination is what eventually inspired me to audition. I initially auditioned in February 2014 and was turned down. I was disappointed, but I continued going to school (I was a junior in college, music business major) and working two jobs and singing in my college choir. It wasn’t until an entire year later in February 2015 that a talent scout contacted me to say that he had seen a video of my singing online and asked if I had ever considered auditioning for a show called The Voice. As you may have guessed, I returned for an audition and had great success on the show. It was such a dream come true to even have the opportunity to do a blind audition, but winning the show was beyond my wildest dreams. Since then, it has led to so many other “dream come true” moments and my whole life has been turned upside down in a whirlwind of opportunities to do what I love- make music!
What do you think was the biggest lesson learned being on The Voice? What was it like having the support and coaching from such huge musicians?
I learned so much on the Voice. The entire show is designed to teach the contestants as much as possible about the music making process and simulate what it is like in the industry. Not only did we become seasoned interviewees and performers, but we were shaped daily as artists and people by everyone we worked with- especially the celebrity coaches. Working with Adam Levine was such a fun experience and most of what I learned from him were things he never had to say. The greatest lesson I learned is to remain true to yourself and your message throughout whatever circumstances arise. When you believe in what you’re doing, you can win the world.
What advice would you give to someone considering auditioning for the next season of the show? Do you still watch it today?
OF COURSE I watch The Voice- it’s my favorite show! Keeping up with Season 10 Blind Auditions is such a pleasure because I understand how exciting this time is for the artists and watching them turn those chairs around brings back so many emotions and memories. If I were to give any of the contestant advice, I would tell them to remain true to themselves and not try to compromise any part of who they are in order to be successful. It can be so easy to give into pressures and want to do things that don’t necessarily represent the person you are because you think it will please others. At the end of the day, it matters that you are happy and that you feel the judicial you are making in your soul. That’s good music.
In December, you became the “best-selling artist in the history of The Voice.” What does that feel like? Have you been able to really let that sink in?
Even now, it’s still so surreal to look back on the success I had during The Voice. It is a moving thing to know that people want to be involved in your art and the art making process. To have fans that were so actively engaged that they purchased my music is something I will never take for granted. I am where I am because people everywhere showed their support for me and the records I have broken are proof of that. I have the best fans EVER!
How did you get involved with the YouTube Music Night event a few days ago at YouTube Space LA? I was at the show and was blown away by your voice!
I was so honored to be a part of the YouTube Music Night event! It was so cool to see the inner workings of what has become a widely known and used website that plays such a key role in allowing artists like myself to connect with their fans.
So, where did you learn to sing like that? Have you had some vocal training before being on The Voice?
I grew up singing ALL. THE. TIME. My parents are both musical and we would sing together around the house and at home and at church. As I got older I sang in school choirs and musical theater productions and eventually went to college for music business at Lee University where I studied professional voice for three years before auditioning for the show. I guess you could say singing is in my blood, but I have also spent years working hard to become the best vocalist I can be (and I’m still working on it).
Who are some of your favorite artists? Who would you love to do a duet with in the future?
This one question I get all the time and the answer is always the same. Of course I love artists like Adele, Jessie J, and Whitney Houston, but my all time favorite artist and choice duet partner is Sara Bareilles. I LOVE her artistry and how beautifully she paints her lyrics with such moving music. She has been one of my greatest influences and I hope to meet her some day.
Can you talk about your forthcoming debut album, “Something Beautiful”? What’s it been like putting it together? What has been your favorite part of the process? Did you get to write much of the songs on it? When do you hope to release it?
To me, “Something Beautiful” is just one giant reward. I began work on this album immediately following my win on the show and putting it together has been one of the greatest adventures of my life. I have been able to work with so many amazing people to make this album happen and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I set out to make music that was as true to myself as it could be, and I have been surrounded by people from the beginning who have helped me along the journey to do just that.
If I had to choose a favorite part of the process, like many artists, I would have to say I love the time spent in the studio. When you’re working with living legends like David Foster, Stephan Moccio, and Bill Appleberry (who produces all of the songs for The Voice), you can’t help but have fun creating and pushing the limits. I even had the chance to co-write a song that made it onto the album and I couldn’t be more proud of the way it, along with every piece, has turned out.
Do you plan on touring a lot once the album is released? Are you excited for all of that?
I love any opportunity to connect with my audience in person and sing to my fans. Once this album is released, I hope to get on the road and do much more of that. I tried to pour as much of myself as possible into each song as we were recording for the album and, as a result, I connect with the story of each one very deeply. I think there is something about seeing that kind of performance live and I am excited about having that opportunity more and more as this journey continues.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs and really your singing?
I called this album “Something Beautiful” because I feel it is just that. I hand picked these songs because they tell a story or a message that I think the world deserves- and needs- to hear. There are beautiful parts of every day. Sometimes it’s a person. Maybe it’s a place or a moment. I want people to be changed and inspired by my music and my story, and it’s my hope that this album can encourage my listeners and bring hope and love and light into their lives. I pray that, for some, this album might be that beautiful part of the day that they’re looking for.