Artist Update: Team Cee Lo’s Todd Kessler

The Voice - Season 3

Todd Kessler may not have made it past the battle rounds in Season 3 of NBC’s The Voice, but he left the audience wanting more from the soulful singer. Thankfully, Todd and his band The New Folk are busy in 2013, and Todd recently connected with BFTV to reflect on his time as a member of Team Cee Lo and tell me what’s in store for the future – including whether or not he’ll reunite with Nicholas David.

Todd made a huge impression on Voice fans when he teamed with eventual third-place finisher Nicholas for an outstanding version of the Hall and Oates classic “She’s Gone.” If you need a reminder of Todd’s time on the show – or just want to relive that fantastic duet – you can check out the performance in full below.

How did Todd get to that moment? He earned his degree in Music Theory and Composition in 2005, and immediately got started on his career. “The day after graduation I was in the recording studio starting week on my first album [2006’s We Are The Musicmakers],” he explained. “Right after school I really hit the ground running. I had been playing for quite awhile professionally on and off, and then about a year after I graduated, right around the time I finished my album, I went full-time.

The Voice happened because I had some friends tell me about the show after the first season. I was a little skeptical because I never liked American Idol and never saw myself going down that path,” he continued. Todd was eventually persuaded to try out for the show’s second season, and “I made a couple callbacks but didn’t end up making it to the blind auditions. But then I went out again for Season 3.”

“I went into it really knowing that I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” he said of his experience on the series. “I went into it with a completely open mind and with the mindset that I’m just going to enjoy the ride. That being said, you definitely hear stories from other shows. You hear the nightmares of reality TV. You think ‘I really hope it’s not like that.’ And it wasn’t. Everyone from the PA’s to the casting to the producers, they treat everyone with such respect and treat everyone as artists. I was actually very plwasantly surprised at how well we were treated.”

Although his time on The Voice was relatively short, Todd has benefited from the experience both professionally and personally. When it comes to his career, “I’ve definitely seen a difference,” he said, even though he was also montaged during the blind audition phase. “I had released an album right before I was on The Voice [2012’s Sea Fever], so I already had that going for me, but I have noticed a difference – more fans at my shows, definitely a lot more press. What The Voice did, it kind of gave me a story if you will. It gave something for people to latch onto.”

While he says the show’s producers did a “really good job” of getting his personal story out during the battle rounds, there’s one part that he wishes would’ve made it to air. “I’m an identical twin,” he revealed. “I think it would’ve been cool for people to see us together and see our relationship. One day on set during the blind auditions, we were doing some preliminary reality filming and my brother and my wife were kind of waiting around [while] I was over in hair and makeup, and one of the main producers walked by my brother and said,'”Todd, what are you doing?'”

What is Todd doing? He and his band The New Folk are hitting the road, and they’ve launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds to buy themselves a van for their touring. They hit their $3,000 goal yesterday, but fans can still contribute until noon PST on Tuesday, and every pledge helps the band with other expenses. “Whatever money we raise is really going to help us out,” Todd said.

That’s not the only way his fans can support this tremendously underrated performer. “Just as an artist we appreciate so much when people share our posts or our videos. Any support we can get is so huge because there is so much competition out there and so much noise out there on the Internet,” he continued. “Any help we get from our fans is what makes us better artists and gets us out there to more people.”

You might even hear that much-requested collaboration between him and Nicholas in the future. “We talk about it every time we speak on the phone which is pretty regularly considering we both have new babies at home,” Todd said. “He’s still kind of working out what his obligations are being a finalist [on The Voice], and what he can and can’t do in terms of playing and recording music. I’m going up to Minneapolis this summer for some gigs and so we’ve been talking about doing something. It’s just a matter of logistics.” Fingers crossed that we’ll be hearing a lot more of Todd’s amazing voice in the future.

Todd and The New Folk are heading out on tour. You can find more information at their official website, follow Todd on Twitter (@toddkessler), and visit his YouTube channel. You can also give the band a listen by checking out the music video below.

(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.

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