Artist Update: Pip

The Voice - Season 2

Pip was one of my favorite artists from season two of The Voice, and he’s been one of my good friends ever since. So I’m excited to report that he has a lot of interesting stuff going on – he’s signed a distribution deal with a company that’s tied to Universal Music Group (the record label behind the show, remember) and just came off a few shows on The Voice Tour. Click on over to Examiner for the latest from Pip!

Click here to read my interview with Pip at Examiner.

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

News Roundup: January 9, 2014

The Voice - Season 5

We took a few weeks off after The Voice‘s Season 5 finale, but now the news is starting to roll in again, so that means it’s time for a fresh roundup. Here are the latest news and notes from around the Voice universe:

Our show took home the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Competition TV Show on Wednesday night, over network sibling America’s Got Talent, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars and FOX’s MasterChef and The X Factor.

There were also a few other nominations for our coaches: Adam Levine and Maroon 5 lost Favorite Band to One Direction, Taylor Swift beat out Blake Shelton for Favorite Country Artist, Justin Timberlake trumped him for Best Male Artist, and Blake’s Based On A True Story was edged for Best Album by Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience.

Looking forward, with Season 6 just about two months away, the buzz has already begun. It’s now official that Miranda Lambert will be serving her second term as a Voice advisor, this time for Team Shakira. No word yet on who’ll be advising Teams Adam, Blake or Usher. The new cycle starts Monday, February 25.

If that seems like a quick turnaround to you, you’re right. After Season 3 ended on December 18, 2012, Season 4 didn’t start until March 25, 2013, and Cassadee Pope’s album arrived on October 8, 2013. In contrast, Tessanne Chin won Season 5 on December 17, 2013, and her post-show album is listed as arriving in March, a mere three months after her victory. We’re not sure what’s got NBC and Universal Music Group moving so quickly, but we’ll keep you posted with any and all future news about the new season and Tessanne’s upcoming record.

While you’re waiting for the new season to start, you can check out a pair of new music videos from some members of the Voice family. Season 2’s Pip has dropped the music video for his song “Hooked,” which you can check out below. He’s come a long way since he was on Team Adam years ago, but he’s still as adorable as ever.

And Season 5’s Kat Robichaud has also released a new video, which we’ve posted here, too. Clearly Kat is still just as badass as she ever was when she was on Team Cee Lo.

Congratulations to Pip and Kat on releasing their great new videos, and we’ll as always keep you posted on the latest from all of our former contestants.

For more on all things related to The Voice, be sure to check out BFTV’s sister site Big Red Chairs and follow us on Twitter (@bigredchairs).

(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.

News Roundup: October 3, 2013

The Voice

News and notes from around The Voice universe:

As mentioned in last week’s roundup, Cassadee Pope’s CMT series Cassadee Pope: Frame by Frame debuts tomorrow night. Check your local listings to find the specific channel and airtime in your area. It leads right into the arrival of Cassadee’s first post-show album, Frame by Frame, which hits stores on Tuesday, October 8.

On Monday, we posted our interview with Chris Mann, who had a lot of news to share with us prior to his concert at the City National Grove of Anaheim last Friday. That included the fact that he’ll have a second PBS special airing in November or December for Christmas, with an accompanying album – his fourth since leaving the show! To get all the details on what Chris has been up to, click here to read the full interview.

This week also saw some new videos from Voice alums on YouTube. Pip posted a cover of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” which you can find here. And we’ve finally located Purrfect the Cat – in this video from our friends at the show, who have dug up the “lost auditions” to be coach Cee Lo Green’s pet. Thanks to our Voice family for the laughs!

For more on all things related to The Voice, be sure to check out BFTV’s sister site Big Red Chairs and follow us on Twitter (@bigredchairs).

(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.

Blake Shelton & 6 Other ‘The Voice’ Artists With New Releases

Blake Shelton

The Voice coach Blake Shelton releases his new album Based on a True Story today (and if you haven’t ordered your copy yet, you can do so here), but he’s not the only one from the show who’s put new music out recently. Here are a half-dozen other artists you know from the show who have turned out fresh albums or EP’s in the last few months.

Tje Austin, Dreamin’ Big (get it HERE): A member of Team Cee Lo in Season 1, this soulful singer returns with a CD he’s been working on for some time, and that extra time and effort shows in a pleasant R&B collection that ranges from the heartbreakingly touching (earlier single “Right For You”) to the more uptempo (“Not A Thug”) and the slow jams (“Back 2 Me”). He’s not necessarily upending the genre, but he doesn’t need to; he’s got a voice that practically melts in your ears. For those of you who need something smooth to relax with, this is the album you want to add to your collection.

Tim Mahoney Band, Shine Through (get it HERE): Tim Mahoney was responsible for one of The Voice‘s first-ever memorable moments, when coach Adam Levine mistook him for a woman during his blind audition in Season 1. His unique voice didn’t get the appreciation it deserved on the show, but Tim has continued to deliver solid, enjoyable rock ever since, and this new album is more of the same. Whether it’s the earnest title track or the simple and painful “It’s Over,” his album is perfect for those who love a good singer-songwriter without a lot of fanfare. This album also includes his Voice-inspired single, “Hey Adam Levine.”

Nakia, Drown in the Crimson Tide (get it HERE): The semifinalist for Team Cee Lo during Season 1 (who competed with Tje Austin during the battle rounds), Nakia is more than doing his part to keep the blues genre in the public music consciousness. Whether it’s the uplifting “Dream Big” or something like “Pieces and Castles,” this six-song EP from the Texan has plenty of soul and a certain funky element to top it all off. This is music from an artist who’s secure in his sound, and while it may not be for everyone, those who want something different than the usual pop and rock will enjoy this one.

Pip, No Formalities (get it HERE): A fan favorite during Season 2, Pip has definitely found his groove with this six-song EP, which comes off confident and catchy. Danceable beats mix with memorable choruses and Pip’s refreshingly clear vocals to create songs that will roll around in your head for hours afterward. This is a wonderful debut release that’s purely good, clean fun, and establishes exactly what sound fans can expect from Pip in the future. It includes his first post-Voice single, “Who Cares.” If there’s any issue with No Formalities, it’s that it leaves you wanting more. Of all the recent releases from Voice artists, this is the strongest.

Casey Weston, Find the Moon (get it HERE): Team Adam’s Season 1 semifinalist has put out her first new material since appearing on the show, and while you’d probably still call her a country artist, there’s a surprising amount of range on this new CD. This is the Casey Weston album we’ve all been waiting for. The distinct twang to Casey’s voice is put to good use across the board, but it’s the songs that change, with tracks like “Into Your Heart” having more of a pop-rock edge while others such as “Like You” stay closer to country. What’s most remarkable about Find the Moon is that you can hear the added maturity, both in Casey’s voice and in her lyrics, compared to her self-titled release from two years ago. You can also read the BFTV interview with Casey Weston here.

Kim Yarbrough, Brand New Day (get it HERE): The Team Adam singer with the powerful voice from Season 2 has mostly been busy on stage and screen (did you see her on TNT’s Southland earlier this month?), but has just released her new CD-single. If you didn’t figure it out from her performances on the show, Kim can blow the doors off with the strength of her voice, and “Brand New Day” is an anthem reminiscent of power-pop singers like Kristine W. The original version runs a bit long, and it’s a little bummer that the album is comprised of remixes of one tune, but that one tune proves that a full album from Kim will definitely be intriguing.

The Voice continues tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC.

For more on The Voice and its artists, you can visit BFTV’s dedicated The Voice blog, Big Red Chairs.

(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.

Countdown to ‘The Voice’ Season 4: What Have You Missed?

The Voice - Season 3We’re just shy of a month from a brand-new season of NBC’s The Voice, and only about two months removed from America crowning Team Blake’s Cassadee Pope the winner of the show’s third cycle. What’s been happening with the show and its artists since Cassadee won the title?

As has been heavily publicized, Season 4 will be the first with new coaches Shakira and Usher, who were introduced in the fall. You can read some of their early thoughts on joining The Voice here. This may also be the only season for the new arrivals, as previous coaches Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green – who are on a break this time around – have expressed interest in returning for Season 5 this fall. However, it’s worth noting that nothing has been finalized yet beyond Season 4.

The guest mentors this year will be Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum (Team Adam), Sheryl Crow (Team Blake), Joel Madden (Team Shakira) and Pharrell Williams (Team Usher).

Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope officially signed her recording deal with Universal and has been hard at work writing and recording ever since, according to her Facebook. Universal released a CD version of her Voice performances here. Cassadee posted a video update on her progress here.

Runner-up Terry McDermott hasn’t slowed down since leaving the show, either. In fact, he recently released a new single “Pictures” via SoundCloud, which he co-wrote with Dave Burman. His performance of “Baby, I Love Your Way” with Peter Frampton from the Voice finale was retroactively released on iTunes here.

Here’s a short list of major developments with other Voice artists, past and present.

Team Adam: Season 3’s Amanda Brown appears on the soundtrack to the recent Universal release Identity Thief, starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. Her teammate Bryan Keith brought some new music to his live show at the Gramercy Theater; you can watch the video here. Season 2’s Pip released his EP No Formalities; you can get it here. Tony Lucca is hard at work on his new album, and performing some new originals on the road, like “Reckless Love.” Kim Yarbrough is preparing for the release of her single “Brand New Day” (here’s a teaser video), guested on CBS’s Vegas, appears in the March 6 episode of TNT’s Southland, and her Nickelodeon project has been ordered to series. Katrina Parker is working on new music of her own after the successful funding of her Kickstarter project. Season 1’s Tim Mahoney released his next CD, Shine Through, which includes his Voice-related tune “Hey Adam Levine.” Casey Weston has a new album on the way; you can pre-order it here and stay tuned for an upcoming interview.

Team Blake: Season 3’s Suzanna Choffel released her new single “Guardians.” Season 2’s winner, Jermaine Paul, postponed the release of his post-show album Finally until sometime later this year; you can pre-order it at Amazon, although there’s no specific street date listed there. Season 2 alum Jordis Unga is in the home stretch of putting together her new album, and also won a Grammy this year for her work on Jimmy Cliff’s Rebirth, which took the trophy for Best Reggae Album. Erin Willett has recently posted a new cover.

Team Cee Lo: Season 3’s MacKenzie Bourg has dropped his debut single. Season 1’s Nakia is releasing his next EP, Drown In The Crimson Tide, and is playing a few tour dates in his home state of Texas. His battle round partner Tje Austin put out his new CD, Dreamin’ Big. Also, Paste Magazine wants to help you make your own Cee Lo Green.

Team Christina: Season 3’s Devyn DeLoera released a music video with Ready Revolution that you can find here, along with several covers on her Facebook page. She has new music coming your way on March 4. The busiest Voice alum by far is Season 2’s Chris Mann, who recently taped Chris Mann in Concert for PBS to be aired in March. Also next month, Chris will be announcing tour dates, one of which is New York’s Highline Ballroom. Lindsey Pavao put out her new single “No Revelation.” Moses Stone released new music; you can find “Beautiful Nightmare” here.

Season 4 of The Voice begins March 25. For the latest on all things related to NBC’s hit singing competition, you can visit Big Red Chairs.

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.

January News Roundup

Howdy, The Voice fans! You might have noticed things got a little quiet around here in January, and for that I apologize. As some of you know, I work as a full-time TV reporter, which means I had to go off and cover all the new shows coming out this month. On top of that, I got sick. So, I’ve condensed all the news from January into this one handy post.

Here’s some of the important stuff that happened this month:

  • We learned who some of the mentors are for Season 4 of The Voice. Team Blake has Sheryl Crow (good choice, but will she be as funny as Michael Buble?!). Team Shakira has Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden (who is also a coach on The Voice Australia). Team Usher has Pharrell Williams. Team Adam, we’re looking in your direction…
  • Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope officially signed her record deal with Universal, and gave us a video update on what she’s been doing – find that here.
  • Blake Shelton put out a new single, “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” and announced spring tour dates. Go here for all your Blake info.
  • Pip‘s EP No Formalities is now available on iTunes, and Tje Austin has released his new album, Dreamin’ Big. Still to come is Tim Mahoney‘s new album, Shine Through. Stay tuned for reviews of all three coming this weekend!
  • Mathai is working on her new EP, tentatively set to release in February. Stay tuned…
  • Terry McDermott posted a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and some of his original music on SoundCloud.
  • Adam Levine hosted Saturday Night Live. You can find links to almost all the sketches Adam was in, over here.
  • Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera took home some People’s Choice Awards.
  • Katrina Parker launched a Kickstarter effort to fund her next release – go here for that.
  • Kim Yarbrough is busy acting: she’s got a guest spot on the upcoming season of TNT’s Southland and her Nickelodeon pilot was just picked up to series! Congrats, Kim!
  • Lots and lots of tour dates. Be sure to check out the tour calendar to see if your favorite artist is back on the road in January or February.
  • And congratulations to new coach Shakira on the birth of her son Milan!

Is there anything that I missed over the last month? Shoot me a comment and I’ll get it added to the site!

Backstage Blog: September 18, 2012 – Two for the Road

Backstage Blog: I’ve just come back from almost two whole days on the road in Los Angeles, covering two fantastic concerts put on by alumni from The Voice, and while I’m exhausted, it reminded me yet again that I have the best job that I could ask for. The only way I could have more fun in my life is, maybe, if Adam Levine called me up and asked me to join Maroon 5 on tour.

I want to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to Season 2’s Lindsey Pavao, Pip and Karla Davis, who played The Mint on Monday (where the above picture comes from), and Season 1’s Rebecca Loebe, who was at Hotel Cafe tonight, for putting on wonderful shows and spending time with me besides. It’s nights like these that are the best part of what I do. When an artist from The Voice invites me out to their concert, or offers to do a follow-up interview, it’s a huge compliment. It means I’ve made friendships that are still here well after the show’s moved on. And I would say of the true, close friends that I count in my life, most of them are from The Voice.

I’ve never been that popular, so it’s a pretty awesome feeling when I walk into a room having anything to do with the show and get greeted by name. Or, as in the case of Monday, show up for a concert and realize there are a half-dozen people there that know me from Twitter. Tonight, Rebecca made a reference to me onstage, which made me geek out a bit. That’s never happened before. I know that when I’m with my Voice friends, I’m wanted there.

One of my favorite stories from The Voice comes from Season 2, and the very first interview I did with Karla. I had the habit of introducing myself to all the artists by mentioning my Twitter handle (@bigredchairs), so that they’d know we’d talked before and I wasn’t a complete stranger. Karla got super-excited and mentioned to me that the artists all talked about me. My jaw dropped and I got choked up for a second, because it threw me that these talented, amazing folks would be speaking about me. That was the moment the lightbulb came on over my head and I realized that I was doing something that was actually important to people. The artists I’ve met through the show have been just as supportive of me as I’ve tried to be of them.

That extends to the Voice fans as well; all the folks I’ve interacted with are the sweetest and most supportive fans, not just of the artists but of each other, too. Half the fun of Monday night was showing up alone and fitting right in like I’d come with a half-dozen buddies. (I’ve got to tip my hat again to Haley and Cara, who shared their table with me.) It’s been really neat to realize that I have fans, and fans who don’t just read me, but ask about me, too.

Big Red Chairs is a labor of love; while I write about The Voice for a number of media outlets, I don’t get paid for probably two-thirds of what you see on this site. Anything that happens outside of the show – concerts, album reviews, follow-up interviews – is on my own time and any expenses are out of my own pocket. That’s made quite a few people look at me like I’m crazy. Yet honestly, when it means I get to spend time with my friends, write about their accomplishments, and know that I’ve got plenty of fans behind me? It’d be crazy not to be a part of all this.

This blog reminds me of a fabulous Justin Hopkins video, so I’ll just sum it up by letting you watch the vid.

Until next time, never be afraid to find your voice,
Brittany

(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Exclusive to Big Red Chairs. No reproduction permitted. All rights reserved.

Interview: Team Adam’s Pip on His Debut Single ‘Who Cares’ and Life After ‘The Voice’ Season 2

Team Adam’s Pip was one of the fan favorites on Season 2 of The Voice, and it’s not hard to see why: in addition to being phenomenally talented (all four coaches turned their chairs for him), he also had one of the best personalities. I dare anyone to spend five minutes with the Georgia native and not fall in love with how down-to-earth, polite and positive he is. The night that coach Adam Levine had to cut him thanks to the instant elimination rule, when he should’ve been the one upset, he ended up comforting me, because I was upset at having to say goodbye to one of my new best friends.

Right now, he’s got reasons to smile. Yesterday saw the release of “Who Cares,” the debut single off his forthcoming album No Formalities. If you somehow haven’t downloaded it yet, you can do so here.  This coming Monday, September 17, he’ll be performing alongside teammate Karla Davis and Team Christina’s Lindsey Pavao at The Mint; if you’re in the Los Angeles area, you can still get tickets here. I recently caught up with Pip to discuss the new single, what life is like after his time on The Voice, and his fabulous fans (hello Pipsters!)

“It’s gone really well. It’s gone better than I expected it to,” he said of the initial reaction to the new track. “It’s just been really cool to finally show everyone what I’ve been working on!”

Although a lyric video for “Who Cares” is already on YouTube, Pip added that next on the agenda is a proper music video for it. “That’ll probably be out by the end of the month,” he explained, “then we’ll do single number two and the video for that. Then the full record will be released; November is when we’re hoping to get it out. Our goal is really to get signed [to a record label] in the next six months, so we can start actually promoting this album and working on the next one.”

What is he looking for when he signs that record deal? Pip expressed a sentiment that’s very familiar to all the fans of The Voice. “I’m looking for someone who’s going to want to do the things that I want to do, and not try and make me into another artist,” he said. “Someone who can really get behind me and really help me to make that an even bigger thing.” And yes, that includes his trademark bowtie-wearing style, which isn’t going anywhere.

If it sounds like Pip is fast-tracking his plans, that harkens back to one of my things to watch for in Season 3: he confirmed that his decision to release the single this week was related to The Voice‘s fall premiere. “It really was all based on Season 3 entirely,” he said. “We knew that when people watch these shows. they’re kind of like ‘What happened to those people from last year?’ I think it’s smart to do it right at the beginning [of the new season] instead of waiting. People get invested in the new people; everyone has new favorites.” He’s not the only Season 2 artist to take that approach; both Cheesa and Moses Stone recently released new singles and Chris Mann has an album coming out in October.

While he might not have a record deal yet, Pip has one of the most vocal and most supportive fanbases that any artist from The Voice has ever had. The “Pipsters,” as they’re named, have distinguished themselves as not only rallying behind Pip himself, but also each other and fellow fans of the show. Having myself enjoyed interacting with the Pipsters over Season 2 and beyond, I asked Pip to chat a little about them.

“They are amazing,” he said. “[They're] thanking me for putting out music. And I’m like, ‘No, guys, it’s backwards, thank you for helping me get here and to put out music.’ This thing wouldn’t even have gotten off the ground if not for that Kickstarter. I don’t think I ever expected to have this much impact on people. It’s amazing to see that just being on a show for four episodes, really, can bring you into people’s lives so much that you can have a relationship with them. They respond as a group and as a family of these people.”

Yet if anyone’s deserving of having superfans, it’s Pip, who has given back to his fans and to the Voice community in general as much as any other artist who’s ever been on the show. Together with Team Cee Lo’s Justin Hopkins, he helped coordinate the “After Party” concert when Season 2’s artists weren’t given the chance to do The Voice Live on Tour. He’s incredibly active with his fans on Twitter, via his website, and in Ustream chats. Not only does Pip sing with a maturity beyond his years, established artists could learn a thing or two from him about how to conduct themselves.

That good feeling was one of the things that was particularly special about the sophomore run of The Voice; the artists felt even more like a cohesive group, whether it was amongst each other or how they interacted with their fans. There are many fond memories of UStream chats between rehearsals, celebrating birthdays, and a ridiculous amount of hugs. “Season 2 had this crazy vibe that got us all to become this huge, amazing group that helps each other,” Pip said. “That was kind of the most amazing moment of the show for sure, becoming such a family with all of them. We still talk to each other and hang out.”

Is there anything in particular that he looks back on fondly? “I think the whole experience of being able to be with these people who are crazily talented,” he added, “like Juliet [Simms] and Chris; they were very sort of mentor-ish in a way. It was so cool to just be around them and hear all their different stories.”

Now he’s on a journey to make more stories of his own. As far as his long-term plans, he explained that he wants to “tour as much as possible. I’ve worked so hard to get here to perform, to be in front of people. That’s definitely my passion is being on stage and being out there. I would just put on giant, amazing arena shows that people had to have the best time [at]. I want to make music that makes people move. I want to give music to people and I want them to come to my shows and say, ‘That was one of the best times of my life.'” Something tells me that, as talented of an artist and more importantly, as upstanding of a person as he is, he won’t have any problem achieving that goal.

“Who Cares” is now available on iTunes. You can connect with Pip via Twitter or PipMusic.com.

For more from Brittany Frederick on The Voice, visit Big Red Chairs and follow me on Twitter (@bigredchairs).  

(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.