News Roundup: June 2, 2014

The Voice

It’s only been about two weeks since Josh Kaufman was named champ of The Voice Season 6, but the show’s coaches and alumni are already making offseason moves. We’ve compiled the notable happenings for you below in this first June edition of our The Voice news roundup.

Adam Levine’s Feature Film Debut Is Almost Here

We’re just a few weeks away from seeing coach Adam Levine make his acting debut. Begin Again, in which Adam plays musician Dave Kohl, has its limited release Friday, June 27 and then expands everywhere on July 11.

The cast also includes Keira Knightley as Dave’s jilted girlfriend, Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers) as a music producer, and coach Cee Lo Green as…well, he seems pretty much like a fictionalized version of Cee Lo Green.

You can check out the new trailer for Begin Again below. It includes Adam singing a new track, “Lost Stars,” which we assume will be included on the movie soundtrack that Adam’s own 222 Records is releasing at the beginning of July. You can pre-order your copy now.

Jake Barker Has A New EP

Fresh off being spontaneously added to The Voice Tour, Season 6 alumni Jake Barker – pictured at the top of this article, and probably best known for taking on Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved” before being eliminated in the first round of playoffs – has released a new EP. You can download the four-song Stage Fright on iTunes now.

James Wolpert’s Kickstarter Comes To An End

Team Adam’s James Wolpert was one step shy of making it to the Season 5 finals; he’s been working hard to parlay his exposure into the funds needed to release new music. James’s Kickstarter is almost over, but you still have time to donate and help him reach his goal.

As of Sunday night, when we went to press, James was less than $3,000 shy of his $25,000 target. His campaign ends tomorrow, June 3, just before 9 PM PST. To get more information or to donate, go directly to his Kickstarter page (kickstarter.com/projects/584074878/james-wolpert-makes-a-record).

Casey Weston’s Recent Music Video

Season 1 semifinalist Casey Weston recently dropped a new music video, “Back To The Start.” Take a look at it below.

New Tour Dates For Tony Lucca

One of the busiest alumni is Season 2 finalist Tony Lucca, who’s almost always on the road somewhere. This summer, he’s touring with both Tyler Hilton and Tonic’s Emerson Hart.

Tony and Tyler take to the road beginning July 8 in Louisville, KY and they wrap up July 22 in Nashville, TN. Then in August, Tony jets over to the West Coast to join Emerson for a short stint that runs from August 2 in Phoenix, AZ to August 9 in Seattle, WA. For all the tour dates and locations, hit up his website (tonylucca.com).

If you’re on either coast, these are great opportunities to check Tony out live – we’ve been to several of his shows, and he never, ever disappoints.

Blake Shelton Has A Pizza

You’ve probably seen the billion commercials for this, but it’s just too amusing not to mention. Blake Shelton has teamed up with Pizza Hut, and they’ve given him his own “Blake’s Smokehouse BBQ” pizza – which consists of bacon, ham, and pork covered with honey barbeque sauce. We think it should’ve come with a special latte.

The Voice season 7 will begin airing on NBC this fall; The Voice Tour launches in San Antonio, Texas later this month. For more updates on artists after the show, visit our sister site Big Red Chairs (bigredchairs.com) and follow it on Twitter (@bigredchairs).

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

News Roundup: May 14, 2014

The Voice

Just in time to promote their new singles – and the recently announced The Voice tour – the three finalists from Season 5 of the hit NBC show came back to its stage this week. BFTV caught up with Jacquie Lee and Will Champlin on Monday, and we’ve included the video of their performances as well as that of Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin in case you missed them. The songs are available on iTunes as well.

Jacquie spoke with us about being reunited with Tessanne and Will for the tour, which begins next month in San Antonio, Texas. “I’ve seen Tess and Will since [the end of Season 5],” she said, “and then I met Dia for the first time the other day…Dia is amazing. We’re both nerds. We get along really well and we’re going to have so much fun on tour. She’s already like a big sister kind of figure.”

About her new single, “It’s my first song that I’m ever releasing,” she told us. “We’ve been working hard on it…I worked my butt off after The Voice, and I’m coming back as a new artist, away from the show as my own person, so it’s a really cool feeling…I’m really honored to be singing it on The Voice stage where it all started.”

What’s been the coolest thing that’s happened to Jacquie since The Voice? “Ed [Sheeran]. Ed followed me on Twitter,” she laughed, but then teased, “I have some exciting news – just keep an ear open. You should just be hearing a lot from me really soon.”

Here’s Jacquie performing “Broken Ones,” which amusingly is just one word off the title of Dia Frampton’s first post-show single, that was called “The Broken Ones.”

Will Champlin was the third-place finisher in Season 5, and we asked him if there’s any one Season 6 artist that he would like to see take home the title – and therefore a guaranteed place alongside him on tour. “I don’t know. It’s hard to say and hard to speculate at this point,” he said. “It’s anybody’s game. I think they’re all talented and I know what it’s like to be in their position.”

Has his career after The Voice gotten the boost he hoped it would? “Yeah,” he told us. “I just know that it set me into a state of priority to work on the music that’s going to work for me as an artist. I’ve been just putting my nose to the grinder in the studio and trying to get this album done before the tour comes out and just try to drive it home.”

Will released his first single “Last Man Standing” a few months ago, and “Eye of the Pyramid” is setting a benchmark for him, too. “it’s going to radio without a label,” he told us, “which is another very cool thing.” That’s extremely cool, although we hope somebody wises up and signs this tremendously talented artist soon.

Here’s Will performing “Eye of the Pyramid.”

Tessanne was unavailable to join us for an interview, but here’s her performance of “Everything Reminds Me Of You.” According to her comments on Tuesday night, her post-Voice album will be available in June.

Thanks to the results of Tuesday night’s semifinal eliminations show, we now know that The Voice Tour will include Tessanne, Jacquie, Will, Season 1’s Dia Frampton, and Season 6’s Christina Grimmie, Josh Kaufman and Jake Worthington.

The seventh and final spot will go to one artist also from Season 6 – either Audra McLaughlin (Team Blake), Delvin Choice (Team Adam), Kat Perkins (Team Adam), Kristin Merlin (Team Shakira) or Sisaundra Lewis (Team Blake) – who receives the most Twitter votes. You can vote at the tour website (nbcthevoicetour.com/pick). Tickets for the tour are on sale now through Ticketmaster, so don’t wait!

In other news that you didn’t see televised on Tuesday, Team Adam has been busy. Fresh off his successful Kickstarter, Season 2’s Tony Lucca will be playing select West Coast tour dates this fall with Tonic’s Emerson Hart, including Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles; you can find more information at his website (tonylucca.com).

Season 1’s Casey Weston also released a new music video, “Back To The Start,” which we’ve included below for you to watch.

And if you’ve missed any of our recent The Voice alumni interviews, we’ve included some links to the last couple of them here: Nicole Nelson (Season 3), Nicholas David (Season 3), Caroline Glaser (Season 4), Kat Robichaud (Season 5).

The Voice finishes Season 6 this week and Season 7 will begin this fall.

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

The Voice 2014 Tour Is Official Now

The Voice - Season 5

After weeks of vague commercials and speculation, we now have most of the details about the upcoming The Voice summer tour, which was officially unveiled today.

All three Season 5 finalists – winner Tessanne Chin (Team Adam), runner-up Jacquie Lee (Team Christina) and second runner-up Will Champlin (Team Adam) – will participate, as will Season 1 runner-up Dia Frampton (Team Blake).

A fifth alumni will be added to the tour next month “by America via social media,” specifics of which were not disclosed. (You’ll recall just yesterday we offered our suggestions at Fan Voice.)

After the three finalists from the currently airing Season 6 are named, those three artists will also join the tour. Season 6 is slated to end on May 20.

The 31-stop tour begins on June 21 and ends on August 2nd; tickets for all dates except the Indio, CA stop go on sale this Thursday at 10 AM local time via thevoice.com/tour. Here’s a list of all the stops and show dates that have been announced:

21-Jun

San Antonio, TX Majestic Theatre

22-Jun

Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie

23-Jun

Houston, TX Bayou Music Center

25-Jun

Tampa, FL David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts

26-Jun

Fort Lauderdale, FL Broward Center for the Performing Arts

27-Jun

Orlando, FL Bob Carr Performing Arts Center

29-Jun

Atlanta, GA Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

30-Jun

Charlotte, NC Ovens Auditorium

2-Jul

Hershey, PA Hershey Theatre

3-Jul

Lowell, MA Lowell Memorial Auditorium

5-Jul

Atlantic City, NJ The Mark Etess Arena at Trump Taj Mahal

7-Jul

New York, NY Beacon Theatre

8-Jul

Baltimore, MD Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric

10-Jul

Toronto, ON Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

11-Jul

Niagara Falls, NY Seneca Niagara Events Center

12-Jul

Mashantucket, CT The Grand Theater at Foxwoods

14-Jul

Cleveland, OH Playhouse Square – State Theatre

15-Jul

Detroit, MI Masonic Temple Theatre

16-Jul

Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre

17-Jul

Minneapolis, MN Mystic Lake Casino Hotel

19-Jul

Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Riverside Theater

20-Jul

St. Louis, MO Peabody Opera House

22-Jul

Denver, CO Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre

24-Jul

Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre

25-Jul

Las Vegas, NV The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

26-Jul

Indio, CA* Fantasy Springs Resort Special Events Center

27-Jul

San Diego, CA San Diego Civic Theatre

29-Jul

Los Angeles, CA Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE

30-Jul

San Jose, CA City National Civic

1-Aug

Portland, OR Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

2-Aug

Redmond, WA Marymoor Park

Die-hard fans of the show will know that this is the second time that a concert tour has been launched for the Emmy-winning reality competition. The Voice Live on Tour was a limited tour that played after Season 1 of the show, featuring that season’s finalists and semifinalists (including Dia Frampton). The tour was quietly dropped sometime between then and the conclusion of Season 2 with low ticket sales cited as the reason.

What do you think of a revived Voice tour? Will you go? Do you believe it’s fair to determine the one alumni spot via social media? Let us know your thoughts on the announcement in the comments.

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Season 6 Premieres Tonight: Your Catch-Up Guide

The Voice

Tonight begins Season 6 of NBC’s The Voice, but there have been plenty of happenings with past artists – and the coaches – since Season 5 wrapped in December. Before you tune in to the new cycle, read on to find out what you may have missed over the last three months.

The major news is that coach Cee Lo Green announced last week that he will not return for Season 7, marking his second departure from his big red chair. Cee Lo’s best finish on The Voice was having the runner-up (Juliet Simms, season 2) – which Usher has already matched (Michelle Chamuel, season 4). No word yet on who will replace him, whether it’s Usher or anyone else.

In happier coach-related news, Blake Shelton has announced he’ll hit the road for a 2014 version of his Ten Times Crazier Tour; information can be found on his website (blakeshelton.com). And Adam Levine and his Season 4 artist Judith Hill performed on the same stage when both participated in CBS’s February 9 special The Beatles: The Night That Changed America. You can hear some words from Adam and see a clip of Maroon 5’s performance in the below video.

A few The Voice artists have turned out new music since December. Season 1 finalist Vicci Martinez has a new release, Otra Cancion, available via Bandcamp. Season 4’s Melanie Martinez debuted her new single, “Dollhouse,” on iTunes. According to iTunes, Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin will release her record in March.

We’ve also caught up with several former contestants to find out what they’re up to recently. You can check out our interviews with Season 3 finalist Nicholas David, Team Cee Lo’s Kat Robichaud from Season 4, and Team Adam’s Caroline Glaser from Season 4. Kat’s recent music video, as well as a music video from Season 2’s Pip, can be found in our January news roundup.

The Voice also won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Competition TV Show in January, over America’s Got Talent, Dancing With The Stars, MasterChef and the now-cancelled The X Factor.

Lastly, if you missed the various announcements over the last few weeks, we now know the full advisor lineup for Season 6. They are Aloe Blacc (Team Adam, after his appearance performing opposite Team Adam’s Will Champlin in Season 5), The Band Perry (Team Blake), Jill Scott (Team Usher) and Miranda Lambert (Team Shakira, her second go-around after advising Team Blake in Season 2). You’ll see the advisors in a few weeks, when Season 6 heads to its battle rounds.

The Voice premieres tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC. Stay tuned all season for our recaps, interviews and news behind the scenes here and by visiting BFTV’s sister site, Big Red Chairs (bigredchairs.com).

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Interviews From Last Night: James Wolpert and Xenia

The Voice - Season 5

Quick update for you this morning. TODAY.com has published my interview with Team Adam’s James Wolpert after his Top 5 performance last night. You can click here to read the article [note: it's been edited]. James is a great singer, and a better person, so fingers crossed that ‘the curse’ ends tonight.

Fan TV, on the other hand, has my interview with Xenia from her return to The Voice last week. You can click here to read that interview. She confirms that she’s no longer signed to Universal Republic Records, which I know at least one of you had asked about.

News Roundup: September 26, 2013

The Voice - Season 3

There’s a lot more happening than just the Season 5 premiere! News and notes from around The Voice universe:

The show won its first Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality Competition Program on Sunday night in Los Angeles. It had been previously nominated in the same category last year, but lost to CBS’s The Amazing Race.

In addition to its category victory, The Voice took home a trophy for Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Series, and earned nominations for Outstanding Art Direction For Variety or Non-Fiction Programming and Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series or Special.

Overall, in two years, The Voice has won two Emmy Awards and been nominated nine times. Congratulations to all the show’s Emmy nominees!

Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope is gearing up for the October 8 release of her post-show album Frame by Frame. That includes a related CMT event, Cassadee Pope: Frame By Frame, which premieres on October 4. Check your local listings for specific channel and airtime in your area. If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of the album yet, you can still do so here.

Season 2 finalist Tony Lucca announced on Monday that Season 1 finalist Vicci Martinez will be joining him and Brendan James on select dates of their upcoming tour. Visit Tony’s official website to check out show details and find out if you can catch these two talented musicians in your area this fall.

Tony is also finishing up the live performances in support of his recent EP With The Whole World Watching, concluding with a series of West Coast shows. The final segment begins with an October 9 show at The Griffin in San Diego. You can click here to read our recent interview with Tony about the tour, and here to download With The Whole World Watching if you haven’t already.

In new music, Season 2’s Chris Cauley dropped his EP My Turn earlier this month, which you can find here. Season 2’s Katrina Parker has her new CD In and Out of the Dark, which is here. And Season 3’s Cody Belew has released a new record, What You’re Looking For, which you can download here. Adanna Duru has a new music video, “Throwback,” which you can view at the end of this article.

Have you seen all of our off-season artist updates? While we were waiting for Season 5, we also checked in with Nicholas David (Season 3), Nathan Parrett (Season 2). and Katrina Parker (Season 2).

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

‘The Voice’ Artists Taking California Before Season 5 Premiere

The Voice

The Voice coach Cee Lo Green has reunited with Goodie Mob, and the group is bringing their “Age Against The Machine” tour to Los Angeles’ House of Blues tonight, and San Francisco Thursday. But the pet-loving singer isn’t the only performer from the hit NBC series to be visiting the Golden State right now. Fans who are eagerly awaiting The Voice‘s September 23 premiere can also see a number of their favorite artists live over the next two months.

There are three venues that are Voice friendly, with several singers on their calendar. The first is one of Los Angeles’s best music venues, Hotel Cafe. It plays host to Season 1 runner-up Dia Frampton for three shows on September 6, 9 and 16. Season 2 semifinalist Katrina Parker is hosting a release show for her upcoming album In and Out of the Dark there on September 10. Season 2’s Jamar Rogers is scheduled to appear on September 27.

Lestat’s Coffee House in San Diego is home to Rebecca Loebe from Season 1 on September 5, and Season 2’s Charlotte Sometimes will visit there on September 22.

Up north is San Francisco’s Hotel Utah, where Rebecca Loebe will perform on September 10, followed by Charlotte Sometimes on September 17.

There are also a variety of other cities playing host to Voice artists in the near future. Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope will be performing two dates in Southern California, at Chula Vista’s Sleep Train Ampitheatre on September 13 and then Irvine’s Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre on September 14. “11,” the latest single from her upcoming album Frame by Frame, was released on Tuesday.

August 31 sees Orlando Napier in Studio City and Jamar Rogers in Los Angeles. On September 6, Napier plays Santa Barbara. Rebecca Loebe will be in Altadena on September 8. September 12, Season 1 duo Elenowen performs at Los Angeles’ Bootleg Theater, a great and relatively undiscovered venue that’s hosted live music and exceptional plays for years. They then move to Santa Ana on September 13.

September 14, it’s Napier in Laguna Beach, Season 2’s Lee Koch in Temecula, and Elenowen in San Francisco. September 15 sees Season 2’s Nakia in Pioneertown, Season 2’s Whitney Myer in Bakersfield with her Whitney Myer Band, and Elenowen in Redding. Nakia appears in Mill Valley, CA on September 16, with Charlotte Sometimes arriving there on September 18. On September 19, Nakia plays in Sacramento. September 20, while Orlando Napier is at The Biltmore in Santa Barbara, Charlotte Sometimes visits San Luis Obispo.

It all leads up to when The Voice returns to the airwaves on Monday, September 23, with Green and Christina Aguilera returning to the series alongside coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.

You can find more information about every The Voice artist’s upcoming performances through September by visiting the concert calendar at Big Red Chairs.

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Artist Update: Katrina Parker

katrinaKatrina Parker is ready to spread her wings and fly. After making it to the semifinals of season two of The Voice, the soulful singer took the next year-plus to craft the perfect follow-up. Now that extra deliberation is on the verge of paying off, as she’s preparing for the release of her new album, In and Out of the Dark. Katrina recently took some time to sit down with BFTV to dish on the upcoming record, and what she’s learned about herself since she surprised America.

“I really took my time with this record. I spent months writing it, and then I spent months funding it, and picking out the right producers and the right kind of musical aesthetic,” she explained. “But I don’t feel pressure. More than anything I want it to be amazing. And I really do kind of want to step out from [the show]. As much as I love The Voice, this is the next part of my career.”

It’s been a long process from creating music to record release for Katrina, who launched a successful Kickstarter at the beginning of the year before heading into the studio. She called the whole experience “really surreal. We did the fan funding back in January; it got fully funded in mid February. We had a lot of pre-production. It was a lot of chasing schedules and coordinating. We spent a lot of time thinking about what we wanted to do on the songs. And then we crammed all the recording into like one or two months. But it’s been really incredible. It became clear to me that everything I wanted to communicate is on this record.”

What can fans expect from the album? “There’s going to be a lot of variety on it,” she revealed. “There’s going to be some radio-friendly singles. There’s going to be some ballads, of course. And there’s going to be a couple of indie rock tunes. But I think the thing that’s going to hold it all together is going to be the fact that it’s me, and my heart is in each and every song.”

“I think one thing that you maybe didn’t see on The Voice is that my music has a more powerful aesthetic,” she explained. “What you didn’t get to see is me being really powerful, and i think you get a lot of that on this record. i’m a tougher, stronger, more powerful person. I think it’s a natural next step.”

Part of that newfound strength comes from Katrina’s experience on The Voice, where she emerged as a surprise contender and made it through to the semifinals before coach Adam Levine opted to move forward with eventual third-place finisher Tony Lucca instead of her.  While some fans are still up in arms about her dismissal, she reiterated that she has no hard feelings toward her coach or anyone else involved with the series.

“The show changed my life. It’s made it possible for me to do music as a career,” she reflected, adding that she doesn’t feel any need to return, as other artists have done in the past. “I don’t think I need to go back onto that stage. I love The Voice and I feel like they already did so much for me. My to-do list is more about moving forward.”

That includes taking responsibility for steering her career now that The Voice is well in the past. Katrina knows that reality TV doesn’t create overnight superstars, and there’s only so long you can ride the wave of national attention before you have to stand on your own. She told us, “You have to work hard, you have to be scrappy, and you have to get as much out of the experience as you can, whether you were Top 48 or Top 8.”

Now Katrina is focusing on the launch of her new album. This past weekend she joined fellow Team Adam alumnus Judith Hill for a concert at Universal CityWalk Hollywood’s 5 Towers. There’s a CD release party scheduled at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, and she’s hoping to tour, provided that the logistics can be worked out. She knows that this is a big moment for her, one that can change the course of her career again, and she’s intent on not wasting it.

“I think the biggest goal for myself is to really get as much out of it as I can,” she said. “I really do want to pitch a lot of it to film and TV. The success will be if in six months I’ll still doing music full time and I’m still promoting this record because it has legs. Then I’ll know that for me it was a success.

“I have very high hopes for it. I am happy with it,” she continued. “This was clearly in my control. I worked with the people I wanted to work with. I did what I wanted to do.”

Katrina Parker’s album In and Out of the Dark releases on September 10; it can be pre-ordered through iTunes here. You can also keep up with Katrina by visiting her website (katrinaparker.com) or following her on Twitter (@katrinapmusic).

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Artist Update: Vicci Martinez

The VoiceVicci Martinez is still enjoying a newfound career success almost two years after she was a finalist on the first season of The Voice. Though the Seattle native was a talented musician well before the NBC series came into her life, the TV show vaulted her into the national spotlight, and Vicci has made the most of it. Universal Music Group, the record label affiliated with The Voice, offered her a deal after the show. She subsequently released her self-titled album, and now you can see the music video for the album’s first single, “Come Along.”

Big Red Chairs caught up with Vicci the day after she shot the “Come Along” video to look back on her album and talk about the journey she’s taken since we all fell in love with her voice.

The video for “Come Along” arrives ten months after the release of the album on which the song appears, but Vicci believes that the delay actually worked in her favor. “I was supposed to do a video this time last year and I think what happened was, the label was going to give me a chance to develop a little and see how the song and the record were going to go. But I’m really happy that it happened that way,” she explained. “It’s been a really busy year, but with a lot of evolution as far as me and this album, and playing it live and being able to have a relationship with these songs. Normally I write songs and I’ve been playing them for awhile and then I make an album. This is the opposite.”

“We’ve been visiting a lot of radio stations and the song has been going up on the charts the last few months,” she continued. “I’ve been really seeing a lot of success in actually going to stations and making relationships with people. I’m actually hoping I can do more of that. Just kind of having that one-on-one with the stations and the people. It’s kind of them taking a risk on me, adding the song to their playlist, because I’m a developing artist.”

It’s been a longer road for Vicci than many of the Voice artists who have followed her. She was the last finalist from season one to release an album, and of the four performers from that first cycle who were signed to Universal, she’s one of only two still with the label (the other being runner-up Dia Frampton). As so much of the post-reality show business now seems to rest on how quickly an artist can get material out before the next one takes their place in the public eye, Vicci is a breath of fresh air, a true artist whose primary concern is always for her work.

“I’m really happy,” she said about the trajectory of her career. “At first, everything was happening so quickly. I kind of thought, are they just going to drop me and forget about me, knowing that Javier [Colon] wasn’t with the label anymore [and] I think they let go of Xenia. I was like, ‘I haven’t even been released yet and it seems like they’re getting rid of people.’ Then they just kind of slowed it down. They didn’t put [the album] out in stores. I was like, ‘Oh my God, what am I supposed to do?’ I’m supposed to be with this major label [and] that’s why you sign with a label.

“My manager, Beth [Tallman], who’s just so wonderful, said, ‘Let’s go to the radio stations on our own and just go do it.’ And because of that and the song doing well, now the album’s in stores and now I’m doing the video,” she continued. “It’s been very humbling and it’s been very great to go through that process of starting from square one again. Really making the label recognize me as a real artist, it’s made it more rewarding.”

Where other artists might have expected more stardom after being a finalist on a hugely popular show, having been a working musician before TV came calling, Vicci is firmly down to earth. “I even had a line in one of my songs that says ‘Let go of all of your expectations,’ because you never know what’s going to happen,” she said, looking back at her experience on The Voice. “Adam Levine’s manager even took me aside once, and he was like ‘These shows are so unnatural for an artist. This is not how it happens. With Maroon 5, it took us being on the road for two years to get the songs to start charting.’ That’s the way it happens for everybody else. To expect everything to move that quickly, it’s just not natural. To have [the label] slow down and to have all these speed bumps come along the way, I think I needed to go through that. It was good for me to really just plant my feet again.”

While she still cherishes the time she spent as a member of Team Cee Lo Green, Vicci explained that she also wants to continue with a career that stands on its own, too. “I definitely am great friends with the people, the crew and the staff on The Voice, anything they’ve needed from me or anything I’ve needed from them. They’ve been so great. If they ask me to do anything I’m happy to do so,” said Vicci, who returned to the show in season two along with the three other first-season finalists. “But I think I’ve kind of gone through the trenches in the last couple years of kind of proving myself, not only to a new audience but also to my label. I feel like I have become a priority for them because I’ve shown that ‘Hey, you can’t get rid of me. I’m going to do my work here and I’m not going to just lean on The Voice to get any success.’ I’m in it for the long haul.”

“I don’t talk to Cee Lo anymore,” she continued. “I know I can lean on him if I need to talk to him, but he’s busy. It was great [working with him], and he did help get me out there and he sang on the record, but he’s not in this video. This was a song I chose and I invited him to be a part of the song. It wasn’t him pushing me toward doing this. This came from me. It was me choosing the song to be the single and now it’s working in my favor.”

If you see Vicci back on The Voice again, it might be in one of those big red chairs. “I always felt like I could somehow maybe be a coach one day,” she added. “But I think it takes going through the hard knocks to be able to come onto a show like that and really have advice to give and coaching to give. I don’t think I’m there yet.”

Right now, she’s hoping to get on a summer tour and planning to put more time into Vicci, including a potential second music video, before she gives any thought to a next album. When she does finally stop and look back, what’s going to make her think this whole journey from music to reality TV and back again has been worth it? “I think for me it’s just making sure that I continue to have good intention in my music, which has always been to inspire people to do what they love – any kind of art, anything that makes you feel passion and freedom in your work, in your craft, in your life,” she said. “That’s the biggest thing for me. That doesn’t just come through music. It also comes through action and your way of life. I have to make sure I’m living by those words as well. To me, that’s a success story.”

You can watch the video for “Come Along” on VEVO below. You can also keep up with Vicci by visiting her official website and following her on Twitter (@VicciMartinez).

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Excerpts appear at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @bigredchairs.

Artist Update: Tim Mahoney

Tim-Mahoney

While The Voice is going full steam ahead, one of BFTV’s very first favorites from the series is moving forward in his career as well. Tim Mahoney – the season one member of Team Adam that Adam Levine infamously thought was a woman when listening to his blind audition – not only has a new album out, but is broadening his teaching career, too. BFTV recently caught up with Tim to get the dish on everything he has going on.

Tim dropped his newest album, Shine Through, earlier this spring following a handful of individual songs, including his playful TV experience-inspired track, “Hey Adam Levine,” which caused a sensation when it debuted. “Post-The Voice, I have come out with a few singles, [but] as far as a new release of original material, it’s the first time since 2007,” he said. “I did want to do it different this time. I wanted to make it feel like we’re all musicians playing together, so we recorded it mostly live in a few days. The only tracks that are not [live] are ‘Hey Adam Levine’ and a track called ‘Truth Can Hurt.’ Not a lot of overdubs; didn’t want to get crazy with that. I didn’t want to make it seem too shiny.”

That’s because Tim has always been a down-to-earth working musician, traveling throughout his native Minnesota playing his gigs and paying his dues. Aside from The Voice and a previous audition for Rock Star: INXS – the series which fellow Minnesotan and season two Voice artist Jordis Unga placed fifth on – he hasn’t attracted the kind of national attention that other artists from reality competition series have.  He’s just quietly continued making solid pop-rock music.

“There’s a track on there called ‘Shadow’ which, it’s a really mellow, dark song, but I do feel it’s one of the best I’ve ever written,” he said. “I was with a girl for a fair amount of time, and we split up, and that song is about her. There’s some really fun stuff. The song on there I kind of just think is fun is called ‘Put A Line There.’ The single’s actually a song called ‘Shine Through,’ which I wrote for a guy who wanted me to write him a song [as] a surprise for his wife, and I ended up liking the song.”

As it’s coming up on two years since the end of Tim’s season of The Voice, does he now officially consider the show part of his past? “I’ve already kind of moved on but people haven’t,” he said. “The show is so big now. I talk about The Voice every single day, and I don’t choose to. I just mean that [it happens], from tweets to somebody mentioning Adam Levine. But hey, if it gets a few more people to a show, who really cares?”

Next month, Tim is turning his reality-show experience into a course to help others who have the same ambition. Entitled “Nailed It: How to Audition for The Voice and Other Vocal Competitions,” the one-day class will be held at Minneapolis’s MacPhail School of Music from 2-4 PM on Sunday, May 5. The cost is $50 and it’s open to hopefuls ages 15 and up. MacPhail voice instructor Andrea Leap will be teaching alongside Tim.

“I had the idea when people were calling and sending me messages asking [about] trying out for The Voice,” he explained. “They would ask, ‘Should I do it?’ One example was Chris Mann from season two. We had a two-hour conversation, and I told him he should try out and stick to his Josh Groban vocal style. He did just that and came in fourth place.”

In his MacPhail class, Tim will cover not only the obvious aspects of reality competition, such as song choice and performance, but also other less-discussed parts, such as the business and legal issues that await should you happen to make it onto TV. Anyone who’s interested in the course can find more information at Tim’s website (timmahoney.com).

While he may not have won The Voice, the longtime working musician has carved out a steady workload for himself. So what will make him consider his career worth it? “I think as you get older, those [things] change a little bit. At least with me they did,” he said. “You start to look at the reality of it. I’ve been living for music for awhile and I’ve done well. I started to realize if you can just touch some people, that’s the success.

“I had a woman who came to me about three months ago and said, ‘I love your music, I wonder if I can get it before it comes out,’ and she said the reason why was ‘Because I probably won’t be alive when the CD comes out.’ She has this extremely rare disease and she was hoping to get my new songs before she died,” he continued. “I went and visited with her. I brought my guitar and an unreleased copy of this new record, played some songs for her. And she still is alive, she didn’t think she would be. But it was kind of surreal. She said that day kind of made part of her life complete. That’s making it.”

Shine Through is now available on iTunes and through other music retailers. For more information on Tim Mahoney, you can visit his official website or follow him on Twitter (@timmahoneymusic).

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Excerpts appear at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @bigredchairs.