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Interview with contestants from "The
We weren't able to make it to this
conference call interview, but I put it up here for any
interested fans of the show...Please enjoy it!
NBC UNIVERSAL Moderator: Abby
October 9, 2018 1:00 pm CT
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome
to The Voice Season 15 Artists Advancing Press and Media
Conference Call. I would now like to turn the conference
over to Abby Freemire with The Voice PR. Please go ahead.
Abby Freemire: Hi, everyone. Thanks so much for joining
our call today. Joining us today from Team Adam
we have Natalie Brady and Jarred Matthew. From Team Blake we
have Kayley Hill. From Team JHUD we have Mike Parker, Zaxai
and Colton Smith. And from Team Kelly we have Adam and
Jerome from OneUp and Erika Zade.
you. Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to register a
question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your
telephone. Our first question comes from MJ Santilli with
MJís Big Blog. You may proceed with your question.
Santilli: Hi. This question is for Erika. Were you hoping
that Blake turned because of your unusual story?
Erika Zade: Honestly, yes, because when I was younger I used
to sing country music so I had really looked up to him and
thatís why I gave him my demo. But, I mean, itís live and he
didnít turn but at least I got to talk to him and that was
MJ Santilli: Yes. Whatís it like working
with Kelly Clarkson?
Erika Zade: Oh, Kelly is the
best person. Sheís such a good mentor. I mean the way she
instructs - you can just take everything and itís so helpful
and sheís just the sweetest so I love her.
Santilli: Thank you.
Erika Zade: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question comes from Mark Franklin with
The Voice Views. You may proceed with your question.
Mark Franklin: Yes, I also have a question for Erika. Erika,
how are you today?
Erika Zade: I am great. How are
Mark Franklin: Pretty good. Hey, your Voice bio
talks about your involvement in something, you know, Youth
Arts Foundation. I was hoping you could tell us a little
Erika Zade: Yes. So the YoungArts
Foundation is a foundation for kids in the arts between the
ages of 15 to 18, I believe, and itís theater, musical
theater, photography, songwriting, etc. and it has alumni
such as Kerry Washington, Josh Groban and Viola Davis.
And so I just started songwriting and found the
organization and submitted three songs and then I was lucky
enough be picked for my songs. So then I went to a showcase
and wrote a score for a band and we put on that showcase and
it gives you scholarship money to colleges you want and
introduces you to other artists and itís such a great
Mark Franklin: Cool. And could you tell
us a little bit more about your own music, how you would
describe your sound and whether youíve released anything to
Erika Zade: Yes. My sound is so weird. I
try to classify it as best as I can so I usually say like
dark pop. If I had to kind of state artists that are similar
to me, I would probably say like Jorja Smith or Billie
Eilish because I song-write basically every day. And I
havenít formally released any music yet but I have like a
couple originals on my YouTube page but I mean itís just me
and my guitar so theyíre nothing too exciting. But, yes, my
music is so hard to put into a category, itís just so weird.
So thatís me.
Mark Franklin: Iíll have to check some
of it out. Hey, thank you very much and best of luck.
Erika Zade: Thank you so much.
Operator: Our next
question comes from Jonny Diaz with South Florida
Sun-Sentinel. You may proceed with your question.
Johnny Diaz: Hi, Erika. Thank you for taking the time to
chat with us and congratulations on advancing in the show.
Where did you grow up in Miami and who are some of your
musical influences from South Florida?
Erika Zade: So
I grew in Broward. I donít know if youíre familiar with
Johnny Diaz: Yes, well weíre based in
Broward. Weíre in Fort Lauderdale.
Erika Zade: Oh,
makes sense. But Iím living in Pembroke Pines and around
here I obviously listened to a lot of Selena growing up and
a lot of country music as well so, I listened to the Dixie
Chicks. My parents were really big on Fleetwood Mac and that
kind of shaped me as a songwriter and then I kind of
ventured out into different genres.
Johnny Diaz: All
right. Thank you. Thank you.
Operator: Our follow up
question comes from MJ Santilli with MJís Big Blog. You may
proceed with your question.
MJ Santilli: This
question is for Jarred.
Jarred Matthew: Hi. Hello?
MJ Santilli: Hey, how are you?
Iím good. How are you?
MJ Santilli: Iím great. If
your music (really) picks up, would you be willing to leave
science behind or would you try to develop?
Matthew: Yes. I get that question a lot. I think my
objections in pursuing the show was really the time we put
my music in the forefront since itís been in the background
for so long. Iíd definitely be willing to give my music a
shot and to see how it goes. So I think that, science is
always something that I love and Iím passionate about and I
always want to be involved in. But if pursuing this show
means I get to go out there and sing then Iím pursuing it
MJ Santilli: You know, I think Brian May, the
guitar player for Queen, has a degree in astrophysics so
youíd be in good company.
Jarred Matthew: Yes, Iíve
MJ Santilli: Yes.
Yes. Thatís actually really interesting because I know a lot
of physicists that are really talented musicians. I donít
know what the link is there but there seems to be a
connection with music.
MJ Santilli: Cool. Thank you.
Operator: And we have another follow up question from
Mark Franklin with The Voice Views. You may proceed with
Mark Franklin: Yes. I had a question
for Mike. Mike, how are you?
Mike Parker: Iím great
buddy. How you doing?
Mark Franklin: Pretty good.
Hey, did you ever get a chance to participate in any college
football? Because I thought somewhere I read that you
accepted a scholarship to play for the University of
Mike Parker: No. So Maryland was the first
commit that I made my junior year. I first committed to
Maryland, and then through sequence of events, I
de-committed. Committed to Virginia Tech -- de-committed
from Virginia Tech. Committed to Arizona State and then they
pulled the scholarships at the last second so, no.
The only school that I went to after high school was Atlanta
Metropolitan. Itís a sister school of Georgia and I played
football for a prep school in Atlanta. But, no, I did not
play football as a NCAA athlete.
Mark Franklin: Okay.
And then can you tell us when you first got interested in
music and how that happened?
Mike Parker: Yes, for
sure. My parents -- they were in a band when they were
younger in the 80s and I guess music has just always been a
part of my family, my lifestyle here at home. So itís tough
to pinpoint exactly where, you know, I realized that I had
my musical ability. But I know I started singing at church
around nine years old. And, yes, from there I was always
playing football in high school. But every single year I did
a talent show. I donít think I ever missed a year of a
talent show in high school so that definitely played a role
in how I view music now. Itís something that will always be
in me no matter what Iím doing. No matter what I think Iím
doing, I know that Iím always going to be singing and making
Mark Franklin: Okay. Well great audition, best
of luck moving forward.
Mike Parker: Thank you so
Operator: And our next question comes from Beth
Beacham with Hollywood Junket. You may proceed with your
Beth Beacham: Hi. Good morning, everyone.
Congratulations. I was wondering is Joey or Kirk on the
Kirk Jay: Yes I am
Beth Beacham: Oh, hi
Kirk. How are you?
Kirk Jay: Iím great. How are you?
Beth Beacham: Good. I really enjoy your style. I wanted
to know, because youíre a singer, I actually also grew up
listening to country. Iím curious who were your strongest
influences growing up? We have a lot of country singers we
havenít really heard on this show yet -- Charlie Pride being
one of them. So Iím curious, which country artists are you
wanting to reintroduce to the public through your singing on
Kirk Jay: Right now I love Gary LeVox, lead
singer of the Rascal Flatts but he has been one of my
biggest influences - one of my biggest inspirations coming
up so like I listen to him all the time so definitely Gary
Bless The Broken Road was actually one of the
first country songs I ever heard and I was so attracted to
the points and the sound that he brought. So yes, definitely
Rascal Flatts -- definitely Gary LeVox.
Thank you, Kirk, and have a good day.
Operator: We have another follow up
question from MJ Santilli. You may proceed with your
MJ Santilli: This question is for Kayley.
Only Blake turned for you but Kelly seemed to have some
regrets. Who were you hoping would hit their button?
Kayley Hill: I was definitely hoping that the two of them
would hit their button. Obviously, you only need one chair
to get to the next round and so I was, honestly so happy
with how it turned out. It didnít matter to me that it was
just Blake that turned but, in a perfect world, Kelly would
have turned for me too. But I think she regretted it, at
least I hope.
MJ Santilli: I was surprised she
didnít. She almost did.
Kayley Hill: I know.
MJ Santilli: Who were some of your favorite artists? You
seem to have a real affinity for those 70s singers. Who do
Kayley Hill: Well, you know, I love Dolly
Parton. I love Alison Krauss and Union Station. I listened
to a lot bluegrass and definitely have my own music inspired
by bluegrass and rockabilly. And during the last five years
is when I really started getting into Fleetwood Mac and I
love Stevie Nicks and her sensibility as an artist. And so
Iíve incorporated a lot more of rock, I guess, into my sound
as well but I listen to everything. I mean give me some
Motown and, you know, Celine, I just have a lot of respect
for fantastic artists that have put a lot of effort into
their instruments and their writing and their performance.
Thatís who I really model my own after.
Cool. I really enjoyed your audition. Thanks.
Hill: Thank you.
Operator: Our next follow up
question comes from Mark Franklin with The Voice Views. You
may proceed with your question.
Mark Franklin: Yes.
And my question is for Kirk Jay. Kirk, how are you?
Kirk Jay: And how are you?
Mark Franklin: Pretty
good. Hey, hey, you mentioned your band in passing during
the bio package, I was wondering if you could tell us a
little bit more about it. When you started it? How long
youíve been performing? Whether youíve opened for any big
names? That type of thing.
Kirk Jay: Well me and
Kuntry Funk started about maybe two years ago and weíve been
playing everywhere, man, all over the place -- country
clubs, venues, coliseums, casinos -- all kind of great
I got a chance to open for Lou Combs at the
Rock Bottom in Montgomery last year - may have been two
years ago. Iíve got a chance to sing with Alabama at the
museum in Fort Payne. Thatís probably it though.
Mark Franklin: Okay. And is it mostly a cover band or do you
do original music, too?
Kirk Jay: We definitely have
original music but, for the most part, weíre doing covers
but we do have original music.
Mark Franklin: Okay.
Okay. And whyíd you go with Blake?
Kirk Jay: Weíre
the same height -- Iím definitely kidding. Blakeís - man,
heís a country guy. I mean he loves country music, I love
country music. He definitely can help me as far as pursuing
my country career and thatís what I need. I need somebody
that can guide me and help me along my journey so Blakeís
definitely the guy for that.
Mark Franklin: Great.
Thank you very much, best of luck.
Kirk Jay: Thank
Operator: Our next question comes from Michelle
Fredericks with Multimedia Social. You may proceed with your
Michelle Fredericks: Hi. This questionís
Jarred Matthew: Hi. Iím here.
Michelle Fredericks: Hi. Itís Michelle over at physical
sciences at UC San Diego. Quick question. Congratulations
and weíre all rooting for you over at UC San Diego, by the
Jarred Matthew: Thanks, Michelle.
Fredericks: What is some advice you can give to our students
who are also interested in science but also interested in
pursuing music at the same time?
Jarred Matthew: I
think the biggest problem that I had was I wanted to be
taken seriously within the physics community. And I felt
like if I was playing music and advertising it and talking
to people about it that maybe that could tarnish, in some
ways, my reputation I guess in the physics community which
if Iím honest, itís not a thing.
If anything, what
Iíve experienced from being on the show and being a part of
the music scene in San Diego is that everybody is just
incredibly supportive. Itís been really beautiful and
wonderful and itís been a great experience.
advisor at UC San Diego, Steve Boggs, is the best. Heís been
so supportive and so awesome and everybody on campus in the
Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences has been super
excited and cheering me on and sending me texts about how
excited they are for me.
So I think the advice that I
would give them is that academics obviously takes up a lot
of time and a lot of hard work and effort goes into that and
but the thing is itís really good to have a balance. If it
wasnít for music -- if it wasnít for writing and performing
-- I just would have been miserable so itís really
important. I think my advice to students would be to find
that thing that you love thatís outside of your field and
work at it and try to get good at it and do things that you
enjoy because sometimes you need a break. I guess thatís it.
Michelle Fredericks: Thatís awesome. Thank you so much
and good luck and we are definitely rooting for you.
Jarred Matthew: Thanks, Michelle.
Operator: Our next
follow up question comes from MJ Santilli with MJís Big
Blog. You may proceed with your question.
Santilli: Okay. I hope I pronounce your name right, Zaxai?
MJ Santilli: Hi. How do you feel
about Jennifer using the block on Kelly and what did that
Zaxai: Honestly, I didnít even know what
happened till like maybe halfway into the song. And after I
realized, oh wow, she blocked Kelly, because I was really
nervous and honestly, just really exhausted and tired. So I
guess when everything kind of hit me, I was pretty much just
ecstatic and thankful that they turned around.
the fact that JHud used her only block, I mean it felt kind
of good. So special because she could have used that with
the plethora of artists that you clearly see on the Season
15 roster. And when I say the Season 15 rosterís amazing,
itís amazing. So the fact that she did that, shows that Iím
doing something right, that she sees something good in me
and Iím just thankful for that.
MJ Santilli: Yes.
What has it been like working with her?
sheís a riot and sheís a true musician. I love working with
her. Sheís a sweetheart. She just knows what to do, like
little ideas, and sheís just overall sweetheart and a really
hard worker. She means what she says by when she calls
somebody, you know, JHud Productions, working to the last
minute, working to the bone. Sheís awesome and I appreciate
that because thatís just what Iíve instilled in myself and
musically, at least.
MJ Santilli: Cool. Thank you.
Zaxai: Youíre welcome.
Operator: Our next follow
up question comes from Mark Franklin with The Voice Views.
You may proceed with your question.
Yes. And this is for Adam and Jerome with OneUp. How are you
Man 6: Hey, good. How are you doing?
Mark Franklin: Pretty good. Hey, you were both doing
your own things musically prior to the show. I was wondering
what prompted you to form a duo and if you see it as
something that extends beyond The Voice?
Well we met because we were doing a video shoot together for
a vocal group that I have been working with and then we fell
in love pretty much immediately, probably within a month,
and then we wrote together. And because we spend all of our
time together and we both love singing so much, we just
started making Instagram videos together. And I think that
we both realized through that how much we loved singing
together because we have similar sensibilities as far as
musicianship goes and the style of music that we love. So at
this point, we are ready to make this our endeavor for the
rest of our careers. We really want to build something
together so that weíre touring together and that weíre
creating together. So, yes, this is a beginning of a very,
very long-lived thing, we hope.
What about - what do
you want to say, Jerome?
Jerome: No. You said it
Adam: Okay, yes.
Franklin: And the blind auditions were obviously filmed a
while back, had you performed much together out in public
prior to that?
Jerome: Actually our first public
performance was for our blind audition on The VoiceÖ
Mark Franklin: Wow.
Jerome: Öwhich made it even that
more important for us because we had sung, you know, on
Instagram and made little videos but we had never actually
shared a stage together. So that process of putting
choreography together and learning where our voices are
strongest and how we should highlight those parts of our
voices, thatís what made this experience so incredible.
Weíre still just learning each other every day and we
learned new things about each other musically and itís been
Mark Franklin: Okay, and why Kelly?
Adam: We knew going into it that Kelly was one of our top
choices because in watching previous seasons, sheís the one
that we resonated with the most, just her energy, her
personality, her excitement and passion for singing.
Mark Franklin: And sheís from Texas.
sheís a Texas girl and so is Jerome - well Jeromeís not a
Texas girl but, yes. And the primary reason, (the day of),
because even JHud kind of threw us for a loop getting up
there and being so lovely and wonderful but Kelly was the
one that observed and stated something about what a
beautiful picture of love it was seeing us up there with our
family and that was at the heart of what we wanted to get
across to America is just seeing love in a new way.
Mark Franklin: Great. Okay. Thank you very much and best of
Adam: Thank you.
Jerome: Thank you.
Operator: Our next follow up question is from Beth
Beacham with Hollywood Junket. You may proceed with your
Beth Beacham: Hi. This questionís for
Colton Smith: Yes, Iím here.
Beacham: Hi. How are you?
Colton Smith: Great. How
Beth Beacham: Iím good. Just curious, itís
cool that Jennifer turned around, thatís initially who you
were hoping for. I was wondering, what are you hoping to get
out of JHud - out of Queen JHud?
Colton Smith: Oh my
gosh. Yes. I was really hoping that Jennifer would turn
around initially just because I kind of see my personality
in her. Sheís just larger than life and, you know,
So I guess thatís kind of what Iím
hoping for going forward and what I was expecting after my
blind -- getting to work with her was just kind of that
over-the-top personality and going above and beyond to
pull-out the biggest parts of my personality and my voice --
Beth Beacham: What have you learned so far?
Like whatís the most surprising thing youíve learned about
yourself or your singing so far after being on her team?
Colton Smith: Oh my gosh. I guess the biggest thing is
just to not put myself in a box genre-wise. Yes, sheís
really big about living outside of what people think you
should or shouldnít do and thatís kind of my mantra as well
so, yes, thatís a huge thing.
Beth Beacham: Okay.
Thank you. And Zaxai -- when Jennifer turned around you
looked like you were just so shocked or thrilled. But after
that, what were you expecting or hoping to learn from
Jennifer? And also what has been the most surprising or
unexpected thing that youíve learned about your voice or
your singing style so far?
Zaxai: I guess Iíll work
backwards. So, what Iíve learned I guess about myself
singing and my voice would just be the little places and
placements in my voice I was just too afraid to use.
Iíve always been known as the smooth singer, the melodic
singer and for the most part I do a bit of that, but like
taking risks and just going places I didnít feel
comfortable, you know. And being on a show like this, of
this caliber, you have to go somewhere that youíve never
been before. Playing it safe will get you nowhere, so
working with JHud, sheís big on that. Sheís big on just
letting you be a musician but at the same time pushing you.
And like Colton said, sheís a larger-than-life singer,
artist, person, and I knew she could do that. She fills up
the stage with just her presence alone, her personality
alone, her voice -- like sheís just epic -- epic, epic,
And Kelly too, sheís also been through this
whole singing competitions so she understands the pressure
that weíre all going through. So that was just a major plus
And to go back to your first question. I
was shocked but more just grateful and excited and thankful.
And like I said, I didnít know what happened up until, you
know, I think when the dust settled and I looked down, sheís
like, ďShe blocked me.Ē And I looked down, Iím like, oh
whoa, so I was honestly just excited, elated that I got a
turn, and that she chose me and then she blocked Kelly and
all that, it was just awesome.
Beth Beacham: Okay.
Great. Thank you so much, best of luck to both of you.
Zaxai: Youíre welcome. Thank you.
have another follow up question with MJ Santilli with MJís
Big Blog. You may proceed with your question.
Santilli: Hi. This is for Adam and Jerome from OneUp.
Either one of you can answer this question, I guess, but it
has to do with your talk about your love of Motown music and
you sang a classic Motown song. But as a duo, will that be
strictly what you sing? Songs from the Motown catalogue or
will you stretch out to other genres?
Jerome: We will
definitely stretch out to other genres. And basically, what
we were saying about the Motown sound or Motown music, is
all of these songs were timeless. So the type of music that
we want to make is something that is timeless and I think
that that doesnít have to be married to any specific genre
of music. We listen to literally everything from country to
rock to alternative. And through all of these genres, there
are timeless songs that people will remember forever.
So I think thatís our goal is to continue performing and
trying to make timeless music but Motown is a great example
MJ Santilli: Right. Do either one of you
Adam: Yes, we both
do actually. And weíre starting to write more together now
and weíre going to be working on a full album. Weíre
collaborating with another duo thatís based here in New York
City. Theyíre a powerhouse writing team so weíre really
excited to release some music probably over the next year.
MJ Santilli: Oh, cool. Okay. Thanks. Good luck.
Jerome: Thank you.
Adam: Thank you.
Our next question comes from Angel Cipriotti with Prince
William. You may proceed with your question.
Cipriotti: Hi. My question is for Mike.
Angel Cipriotti: Hi. So Jennifer didnít turn
around until pretty much the end of your song. Who were you
expecting to turn around?
Mike Parker: Well I was
hoping all of them would turn around but you know, nerves
kind of get to you when you get up there. Itís a scary stage
and, things donít go as planned sometimes or as you practice
because you really canít practice for a stage like that or
just really the emotion.
But, yes, I expected all of
them to turn around but when she turned around at the last
second, it was wild, it kind of freaked me out and, it was
nuts -- it was as nuts as it looked.
Thatís good. Thank you.
Mike Parker: No problem.
Operator: Our next follow up question comes from Mark
Franklin with The Voice Views. You may proceed with your
Mark Franklin: Yes, and this is for
Natalie. Natalie, how are you today?
Hey, Mark. Iím great. How are you?
Pretty good. Hey, you auditioned with a classic rock song,
but I was wondering how that compares to your original
music? If you can tell us a little bit about that.
Natalie Brady: Yes, sure. So my original music, up until
this point, has been a little all over the place because Iím
pretty diverse as far as what my palette is tasty for, you
know? I grew up with my dad being such an eclectic artist
himself and so, you know, I started out writing Motown; I
started out writing country; I started, rock - it really
wasnít genre-specific for me coming into being a songwriter
because it didnít really come naturally for me.
when I started writing, I just started writing whatever felt
good at the time. And now that Iíve gotten a little further
into the discovery of who I am as an artist and who I am as
an artist with my band because I really try to not identify
just being a solo artist because Iím not, you know, my band
is what has helped define me as an artist and give me the
sound that really speaks to me and speaks to my soul.
And so, myself, Mike Spurgatt - which is one of my
guitar players Ė and John Sathe, theyíre both from the
Midwest like myself and we really just connected. And, weíre
writing songs that are more like a gritty southern
rock-blues-country kind of fusion.
If you could think
along of the lines of maybe a female Blackberry Smoke or
something along those lines. A female Black Crowes, just a
lot of soul, a lot of grit. A wide range and variety just
stacked with harmonies because we all sing in our band. I
have five lead singers that could sing in my band.
So, yes, to answer your question in a nutshell, it would be
just that southern gritty rock-blues-country kind of
swag-thing. Itís something that I think could appeal to
everybody, so, weíll see. Weíre working on it now.
Mark Franklin: And have you released anything or where are
you in that process?
Natalie Brady: Well, everything
that Iíve been working on for the past two years Iíve been
working on with Kent Wells. Heís produced Dolly Parton and
heís been with her for over 20 - 25 years. And I just wasnít
really happy with the direction of where everything was
going just because it was kind of all over the place.
And musically speaking, with my band, we record as a
band primarily and I just really wasnít set on where things
were headed and I went through this evolution and got my
band together like where I have it now and itís great.
We havenít released anything formally. Iíve done a
couple testers here and there and I have a few songs on my
ReverbNation that Iíve written but nothing formally yet, so
weíre getting really close. We start full production next
month on our new album.
Weíre actually working along
with Randy Kohrs; heís a Grammy award-winning artist and
musician and producer and hopefully weíll get that wrapped
up before the end of the year and look at the new year with
Mark Franklin: Okay, and then why Adam?
Natalie Brady: You know, my top two picks were actually
Blake and Kelly and neither of them turned. And when I saw
how quickly and excited Adam had turned around, I guess I
just had it within me to just go with him.
really had immersed myself in each of the artists that are
the judges and, I love Blake, heís from Oklahoma; you know,
Jennifer is phenomenal, sheís a powerhouse female singer and
then Kelly, of course, sheís just ridiculously good.
But Adam, when I started getting into his influences of, you
know, the Motown, the rock, the classic rock, even as far as
going into, like, James Taylor route, those kind of things,
he has a little bit of everything.
And so as an
artist, for me and my love for all genres of music and kind
of incorporating that into my shows and my performance, he
really spoke to me the most. And I guess in that moment,
when I saw him turn around, I was like, you know what, letís
go with Adam because he obviously - he heard something that
he really thought he could cultivate and he enjoyed.
Mark Franklin: Okay. Thanks a lot and best of luck moving
Natalie Brady: Yes, thank you.
Operator: We have no further phone questions at this time.
Abby Freemire: All right, then that wraps up our call
for today. Thanks so much everyone and enjoy the rest of
Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does
conclude the conference call for today. We thank you for
your participation and we ask that you please disconnect
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