Jesse Larson, Aliyah Moulden, Savannah Leighton, JChosen, and Autumn of "The Voice" on NBC - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Krista

Voice Artists 

Interview with Jesse Larson, Aliyah Moulden, Savannah Leighton, JChosen, and Autumn of "The Voice" on NBC 3/1/17

I tried to ask some questions on this conference call, but two of mine were already taken by other interviewers before I got there, and then I was told that I couldn't ask the other question because it didn't deal with this part of the process. It was a fun call, anyway...

Moderator: Kaitlin Blanco
March 1, 2017 1:00 pm CT

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to The Voice Season 12 Advancing Artists Press and Media Call. During the presentation all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards we will conduct a question and answer session. At that time if you have a question please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. If at any time during the conference you need to reach an operator please press the Star followed by the 0.

As a reminder this conference is being recorded Wednesday, March 1, 2017. I would now like to turn the conference over to Ms. Kaitlin Blanco with The Voice PR. Please go ahead.

Kaitlin Blanco: Thank you. Hi everyone, thanks for joining our call today. Joining us today from Team Adam we have Jesse Larson, from Team Blake we have Aliyah Moulden, from Team Gwen we have Savannah Leighton and JChosen, from Team Alicia we have Autumn Turner and Lilli Passero will be joining the call on Friday morning.

Out of respect for all journalists queuing up, please ask only one question at a time. You will have the opportunity to follow up. And if your question is for the larger group please designate one artist to speak first. I will now turn the call over to the question and answer portion. Go ahead.

Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen if youíd like to register a question please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. You will hear a three tone prompt to acknowledge your request. If your question has been answered and you would like to withdraw your registration please press the 1 followed by the 3. If you are using a speakerphone please lift your handset before entering your request.

One moment please for the first question. And our first question comes from the line of MJ Santilli with MJís Big Blog. Please proceed with your question.

MJ Santilli: Hi, my question is for Jesse. Hi Jesse.

Jesse Larson: Hi.

MJ Santilli: I was wondering during your video package you mentioned that you had worked with - that Prince had called you and that you had worked for The Voice contestant Judith Hill. Could you talk a little bit about that?

Jesse Larson: Oh sure. Yes I had gotten a phone call and my band that I was playing with called MPLS had gotten a phone call from Prince and his people and they asked us to come out and do a private performance for him so we did. We ended up going out there and we played I think five or six songs.

And when we left we got a phone call and they had asked for the guitar player to come back the next day and jam with Prince. And so I did which was, you know, crazy. So I did go back the next day and then I ended up meeting Judith Hill that day and realizing that I was getting called back for an audition to be in Judithís band that Prince was putting together for his Hit and Run USA Tour in 2015.

So about a week and a half later I got a text message saying Jesse are you ready to quit your job and be put on a retainer by Prince. And so I did, I had to go in the next day and put my two week notice in to my career that I had for 15 years managing an auto parts store. And the following Monday I started working at Paisley Park as Judith Hillís guitar player and backup singer working for Prince.

MJ Santilli: You said that only lasted about four months so what - how did that end?

Jesse Larson: Well Prince just changed his direction. Heís kind of like that or he was kind of like that where he was always changing directions and ideas of what he wanted to do. He always had a bunch of projects going at the same time.

And so around that time was when he started his Piano and a Microphone Tour so he only did like one or two full band shows after our contracts werenít renewed and then it was just straight to the Piano and a Microphone. And it was kind of like the beginning of the end unfortunately if you know what I mean.

MJ Santilli: So did you record anything with Judith?

Jesse Larson: No, Prince did all of the guitars and vocals and bass on her album. I was just going to be her - whatís that?

MJ Santilli: Did you meet him?

Jesse Larson: Oh yes I worked with him every day.

MJ Santilli: What was he like?

Jesse Larson: Every day for 10 to 12 hours. Just as you imagine like what everybody else, you know, describes him as. Heís very reserved, very introverted, like a very like deep thinker. You know, he would just be a presence in the room pretty much all day, just be observing and making sure that what we were doing was his vision and his idea of what Judithís sound was supposed to be. You know, so I mean every day he would sit there and watch us and coach us and guide us through the music and our show.

MJ Santilli: Thank you.

Jesse Larson: Yes of course.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Mark Franklin with Voice Views. Please proceed with your question.

Mark Franklin: Yes my question is for Aliyah. Congratulations on a very nice audition Aliyah.

Aliyah Moulden: Thank you so much.

Mark Franklin: I think you surprised everyone though by picking Blake. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that. I thought I even heard your mom screaming ďPick Adam.Ē

Aliyah Moulden: Well my mom was screaming ďPick Gwen.Ē

Mark Franklin: Oh okay.

Aliyah Moulden: But yes, I was just so shocked that he even turned around for me because he is an amazing coach and he has won the show so many times and he really cares for his contestants because I watch the show a lot. And the things that he told me, he kept talking about the future and going to the end and the distance. And I just really, really could see that he was genuine and that he really cared.

And so were the other - so was Gwen and so was Alicia but it was just kind of like he - like - it was kind of like he was talking to me as if we were already working together. And I just really, really was star struck by him. I mean, Iím a huge fan and I just couldnít believe that he even turned around for me. It was a blessing. And so I went with him because even though I donít sing country music I just went with the one who I felt was going to connect with me the most.

Mark Franklin: You seemed fearless, I mean, not nervous at all during that performance. Was that the case? And if so what did you attribute that to?

Aliyah Moulden: I wasnít nervous the day actually. I think itís because I get my nerves out the days before. Especially before any performance I can - I try to get all my nerves out before the day of because if I get nervous the day of I wonít be able to sing because my throat closes up when I get nervous. And also everybody on the team was so supportive and my mom was so encouraging.

And there was nothing really to be afraid of because everybody was there for a reason and you were - everybody was so well prepared that there was - if it didnít happen it was just because it wasnít meant to happen. And I wasnít nervous. I think I was so excited that it kind of like - I just couldnít stop jumping around. It was funny.

Mark Franklin: Okay. All right, thank you very much and best of luck moving forward.

Aliyah Moulden: Thank you so much.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Beth Kwiatkowski with Reality TV World. Please proceed with your question.

Beth Kwiatkowski: Hi, I have a question for Autumn, JChosen, and Savannah. Can you each talk about which coach you were hoping to win over going into your blind audition and then why you picked the coach you did? Like if you ended up picking a different coach than you initially anticipated, Iím wondering what was said to change your mind. So if we could start with Autumn maybe.

Autumn Turner: Hi. So I originally 100% always wanted to go with Alicia Keys but I wasnít sure. You know, of course we donít know what the outcome is going to be until it happens right in front of our eyes.

And the moment Adam turned and he was the first one, like first ten seconds, and I was like thatís it. If it has to be Adam like you know, it will be Adam. And then Gwen turned and Iím like now I have a choice. So the whole time as each coach was turning around I really had no idea. And then as they started speaking to me I was like I donít know. I might not even pick Alicia anymore.

And then the final thing that she said like, you know, have fun and be yourself, that was it for me. I knew that I wanted her for a reason. And my mind was almost changed about 17 different times throughout the whole conversation with the coaches but I wound up just sticking with my initial gut.

Beth Kwiatkowski: Great, how about you JChosen?

JChosen: Well letís see, coming into the blinds when the chairs started to turn I really didnít know who I wanted to pick honestly. I was telling people Alicia Keys, I was telling myself even Adam.

But the thing that got me to pick Gwen was just simply her saying, you know, she had - pretty much her being diverse. And I know coming into the show I just didnít want to perform to one audience and I said okay, I wanted to - my people always tell me, my mom always tell me to dream big so I donít want to - I never want to put myself in a box and say okay well letís think outside the box and grow.

And so when Gwen had said what she said I can give you both sides because I have been in boy groups and I have the female tendency so to me all that just summed it up to be diverse. And I was like well at that moment I was like okay, it was a last minute decision. And I went with Gwen because I wanted the diversity.

Beth Kwiatkowski: Awesome, and how about you Savannah?

Savannah Leighton: Well I always like loved Adam and I wanted him to turn so bad for me just because I have always been a huge Maroon 5 fan and a huge Adam Levine fan. And then Blake and Gwen were the only ones that turned and then so I was like - as soon as I got done singing I was like okay, itís definitely Blake, you know, because I love country music too.

And then Gwen started talking to me and she was like telling me how she has been in my shoes before and she just made me feel like she could really help me like with my confidence and stuff. Because thatís the main thing for me is confidence and I feel like she can really like help me build my confidence and so that is the main reason why I picked her.

Beth Kwiatkowski: Great, thank you guys.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Sophia Gottfried with Please proceed with your question.

Sophia Gottfried: Hi, this question is for Autumn. Congratulations.

Autumn Turner: Thank you.

Sophia Gottfried: Iím here at, I wanted to learn a little bit more about your connection to Montclair and the area and how that has influenced your music.

Autumn Turner: Well I went to middle school and elementary school in Bloomfield so I was always near Montclair throughout my life when I was little. And then in high school I went to an all-girls private school in Montclair. So I was, I mean, there five days a week for high school and a lot of my friends that I went to school with also lived in that area so I was there all the time hanging out with them.

And then I went to Montclair State University and I had a minor in musical theater. So with musical theater as my background and for my minor in school, I mean, I guess Montclair is a very diverse town. Itís, you know, super connected to music and art and very artsy and everybody has got their something, you know, that they love about Montclair and I think for me itís the art side of it and they appreciate music and there is always festivals and things of that nature.

And so I actually sang for Montclair Stage which is run by a woman who - she was a lot of stuff in Montclair but Montclair Stage, every summer they have a show every weekend I think on Church Street. And basically I ran into her one day, she asked me to perform for them when I was in my old singing group and I did that.

So between Montclair State and Montclair Stage with the shows that they had, I have done a lot of things with music in Montclair and I think being in this area and living in this area currently has helped me shape a little bit more of the direction I want to go with my music.

Sophia Gottfried: Yes.

Autumn Turner: But Montclair is very important to me.

Sophia Gottfried: And Alicia appealed to your east coast connection.

Autumn Turner: Yes, her being from New York so it was - yes exactly. It was - she talked a little bit about how she just thinks itís so cool that, you know, weíre very kind of the same mind, very down to earth. I donít know that - again watching last night was insane so Iíve been trying to keep rewatching it to remember what everybody said.

But I donít know if it was shown but I do remember her saying to me that, you know, east coast, down to earth. And so for her to make that connection I thought that was very, very cool of her to say that so it just, you know, all made sense for me to be on her team.

Sophia Gottfried: Thank you so much and good luck.

Autumn Turner: Of course. Thank you very much.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Krista Chain with TV MegaSite. Please proceed with your question.

Krista Chain: Hi, my question is for Jesse. Hi Jesse.

Jesse Larson: Hey.

Krista Chain: My question was on your audition Adam was the only one that turned. Were you - did you have a coach picked that you would have picked other than Adam or had you planned to go with Adam?

Jesse Larson: To be honest with you I think a little bit I wanted Alicia Keys to be my coach but just because I love her music, I love her style, I love the way she carries herself, I love her as an artist. But Adam would definitely have been my second if not my first choice. Iíve been a big fan of his music for a long time as well.

So and to be perfectly honest with you, I donít think it would have made a difference either way who ended up turning their chair if, you know, as long as I got a chair turn because every coach is, you know, amazingly talented and gifted as an artist and a musician and Iím just so fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing people. So I donít think it would have mattered either way but as far as having Adam as my coach now I am very, very happy and I feel very fortunate.

Krista Chain: Okay great, I really enjoyed your performance by the way.

Jesse Larson: Thank you very much.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Bobby Jones with the New Music Buzz. Please proceed.

Bobby Jones: Hi, this question is for JChosen.

JChosen: Yes sir.

Bobby Jones: Did you ever think that, you know, if you had a chance to win this thing, you know, what are you going to do with the kids and how will you winning give a platform to the kids that you teach?

JChosen: Honestly winning - I havenít been - I havenít actually thought about if I win. Right now I guess Iím just taking it step by step. But if I did win I definitely would come back and, you know, support where I came from. I was always taught never burn the bridges that help you cross. And so I would definitely come back and love on my kids and just give back to the community. Because I mean, thatís who really makes you.

Bobby Jones: Right, right. Do you think - have they watched the show?

JChosen: Oh they have and I have been getting a lot of publicity here at school and itís just - itís amazing.

Bobby Jones: Well Iím excited for you, thank you.

JChosen: Thank you.

Operator: As a reminder, once again ladies and gentlemen to register a question it is the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. And our next question is a follow-up question from the line of Mark Franklin with Voice Views. Please proceed.

Mark Franklin: Yes my question is also for Jesse. Jesse you talked about being in the music business for 15 years. The story with Prince is fascinating but can you fill us in a little bit on the other things youíve done musically to this point?

Jesse Larson: Yes of course. When I was 16 is when I started playing guitar and it kind of started with, you know, just like having friends over and playing, you know, back yards and garages and stuff like that and then it kind of progressed into playing bars and clubs when I was 17, 18 years old.

So we were - we as in me and my brother and the people we had in our band were playing bars when we were 18, 19 years old. And then from there I got into a couple other like original groups and stuff, you know, just playing the bar scene, things like that. Nothing too crazy.

And then about five years ago we started a band with a bunch of my friends from around here called MPLS like Minneapolis, MPLS, and we released an album two years ago called Hello and we have been, you know, touring around a little bit. Weíve opened up for Mint Condition a couple different times and we played First Avenue a couple of times here in Minneapolis.

And at this point weíre just kind of, you know, supporting our album. Weíre working on writing another album currently as well. But, you know, to be honest just like what Iíve done for the past 15 years is really just work really, really hard at what I do.

Mark Franklin: Right, and so youíre still active with that group and what type of music do you play?

Jesse Larson: Yes sir. We do like - the basis of what we do is like the Minneapolis funk sound from the 80s like the Morris Day and the Time, Prince, you know, all that stuff. And from there we kind of add some soul, R&B, hip hop influences, stuff like that. So itís pretty diverse. And we have five front people in the band. We have a rapper and four singers.

Mark Franklin: You have a pretty big band?

Jesse Larson: Yes itís a lot of fun. People really enjoy it and I have a great time with it too.

Mark Franklin: Okay. All right, thank you very much and best of luck.

Jesse Larson: Thank you very much.

Operator: And our next question is a follow-up question from the line of Bobby Jones with the New Music Buzz. Please proceed.

Bobby Jones: This question is also for Jesse. What was the steps that it took for you to get on The Voice, like what made you make your decision like you know what, let me try The Voice. Because it seems like you were pretty comfortable with the band that youíre in.

Jesse Larson: To be honest I got a phone call and they said, you know, we saw your, you know, weíve seen you on social media and some YouTube clips and stuff like that and weíre really interested. Weíre wondering if youíd be interested in possibly auditioning for the TV show The Voice.

And to be honest at first I was a little hesitant just because I wasnít sure if that was the direction personally I wanted to go with what I do. Because I have always been a side man. Iíve been like the lead guitar player, back on my vocals and I sang a couple of songs in the night, so it was a big step for me to get in the mindset of being, you know, an artist and being the person in charge, you know, the focal point of a musical performance is kind of hard me to get in that head space.

But to be honest like it was my wife that kind of pushed me into it. You know, I had told her that I had got the phone call with interest in having me on the show and she said do it. Please do it for me. And I was like, you know, I think that was all I needed to believe in myself that I could make it happen and that I could do it. And so yes, thatís kind of how it happened. And then, you know, now Iím here which is crazy.

Bobby Jones: Weíre definitely looking forward to seeing you move on throughout the competition. Thank you.

Jesse Larson: Oh thank you man, appreciate it.

Operator: As there are presently no further questions I will turn the call back to you Ms. Blanco.

Kaitlin Blanco: Thank you. All right then, that wraps up our call for today. Thanks everyone, enjoy the rest of your day.

Jesse Larson: Thanks, you too.

Woman: Thank you.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen that does conclude the conference call for today. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your lines.


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