Just as The Voice Live Tour kicks off, our friends in LA sat down with music’s hottest emerging stars.
Since the host of NBC’s new hit singing competition The Voice just happens to be our friend Carson Daly, we were given an exclusive look behind the scenes of the preparations of the nationwide tour with the top eight finalists!
Kicking off the anticipated six-date tour starting in Los Angeles, the lucky eight finalists are finding out what life in the spotlight is like by performing on stage in front of thousands.
We sat down with each of The Voice Live performers Beverly McClellan, Vicci Martinez, Dia Frampton, Javier Colon, Nakia, Xenia, Casey Weston, Frenchie Davis and season one winner Javier Colon for a sneak peek of what it’s like to hit the road together, how their coping with the sudden onslaught of fame and recognition with adoring fans, and what part their superstar mentors are playing in their new found music careers.
[pullquote quote=”He helped me grow so much as an artist and performer, which I’m so grateful for.” credit=”The Voice finalist, Xenia, on her mentor Blake Shelton”]
Nabbing two finalists from each of the Voice judges’ teams, The Voice Live Tour is a pumped up, more personal version of the acclaimed competition show. Following closely to the show’s formula, each of the top eight performers will belt out the same hits that helped advance in the show, but this time adding their own personal finesse and originality to create a compelling live show that stands alone from the TV show.
Each of the top eight finalists sat down with us to give us an insider’s take of all the hard work and preparation it takes to pull off such a spectacular live show, especially to those gripping with their new fame title after only recently being thrown into spotlight from the popularity of the TV show.
Take the young, bashful high school student Xenia, who’s never performed in front of an audience on this scale before now. Taken under the wing of Voice mentor [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Blake Shelton[/lastfm], Xenia was coaxed out of her shell during the show and more and more let her personality shine through. Xenia told us that Shelton was always supportive of the creative direction she wanted to take with her music and never discouraged her to take a chance with her performances.
“He helped me grow so much as an artist and performer, which I’m so grateful for,” Xenia tells us. “Any questions I have, he’s there for me.”
Fellow Voice mentor [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Adam Levine [/lastfm] is equally as supportive of his young finalist, high school senior Casey Weston, who, despite being voted off early on in the live shows, is still coached by Levine to keep on reaching for her dream.
“He’s been really nice and supportive — he’s chill,” says Casey. “He just said it wasn’t the end and that I’ve got a long road ahead me. It was really good advice to hear.”
Although the newbies on the Voice Live Tour are just growing accustomed to their new found fame status, the more experienced performers on the tour are showing them the ropes and guiding them through the whole transition.
Top four finalist and half of the rock duo Meg & Dia, Dia Frampton, has been performing professionally with her sister since the age of 14, and shares her wisdom with the up and comers on the tour.
“I went way further than I ever thought I would,” she explains, adding that those thinking about trying out for next season shouldn’t “be afraid of being original…let your personality shine through,” because, ultimately that’s, what people take notice of.
And it’s no coincidence that season one winner and fan-favorite from the beginning, Javier Colon, took the coveted title as “The Voice” and scored a $100,000 record deal after winning, he’s been performing and touring for years. The cool, calm and collected member of the touring cast, Javier knows what to expect on the road of a major tour like this one, having already performed on a grand scale as the opener for [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Mya[/lastfm] years before.
But although he’s accustomed to the ins and outs of touring, his sudden bout of fame is still catching him off guard, telling us, “It’s been a whirlwind; it’s been awesome. I haven’t changed much except that I’m busy.”
And that seems to be a general theme amongst all the touring members of the Voice Live Tour. Even though each of these eight finalists are now figuring out how to manage their newly established fame, they’ve remained humble and have become extremely close and connected with each other.
We discovered that not everything on the Voice Live Tour is all work and no play, but rather a close-knit camaraderie among new friends sharing the same passion and enthusiasm for music, and they’re ready to make the most of it.
Having shared the same journey while competing on the show, each of the top eight finalists have bonded through this once in a lifetime experience and know it’s equally important to share each other’s company as it is rehearsing.
One of the wild childs of the group, Vicci Martinez is hard at work with tour rehearsal and recording new material for her upcoming album (hopefully due in October), but this party girl knows when it’s time to cut loose. Looking forward to performing live just as much as the VIP after parties that are in store, Vicci has no trouble taking full advantage of this experience.
Having represented her Mexican heritage to the fullest, Vicci muses about the night before and getting a little tipsy with a bottle of Tequilla, tells us, “it’s really important to take time and enjoy the company you’re with, and let loose!”
Vicci’s partner in crime and life of the party on the Voice Live Tour, is the raucous, fearless rocker Beverly McClellan, who’s enjoying her new status in the spotlight. Though she’s been performing in front of audiences for over 20 years, it’s only until her appearance in the top four finalists that “people recognize [her] a lot more.”
Always catching you off guard, Bev’s energetic, charismatic personality and laid back country vibe is easy to relate to and is definitely fun for everyone in her presence. Now fans have a chance to see her at her best live on stage, which she assures is completely different from the TV show.
[pullquote quote=”We all support each other very much. All the annoying people went home in the battle rounds.” credit=”Frenchie Davis on her tour mates “]
“It’s gonna be personal,” she told us. “Now ya’ll get to see what I’ve been doing for 20 years. It’s live, ya’ll!”
It’s not just fans of the show who find Bev’s outgoing personality addicting, fellow tour members look forward to collaborating with Bev, as well as other members, during their time on tour. The big, boisterous voice of the group, Nakia, can’t wait for their duet of “Beautiful” during the concert, saying “that for me will be the highlight of the tour…I’ve been dying to sing with her.”
The collaborative efforts between the cast is apparent during their live tour, with plenty of duets in the show as wells as members making plans to work on material together in the future. There’s no doubt this solid group has each other’s back through the show and beyond, which translates into a phenomenal on stage performance for fans to enjoy.
“We all support each other very much,” Christina’s star Frenchie Davis says. “All the annoying people went home in the battle rounds.”
Now with a six-date tour in place and ready to premiere Wednesday night at the Gibson Amphitheatre, this is just the start for many of the top eight Voice finalists, including Frenchie who’s already begun reaching out to record labels and producers to begin work on original material.
“You have to stick while the iron is hot without getting burned,” she told us.
The kickoff show of the Voice Live Tour is expected to be full of surprises and entertainment from some fresh talent who battled it out to prove the had “the voice.” Who knows, maybe some of the superstar judges, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Christina Aguilera[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Cee-Lo[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Adam Levine[/lastfm] or [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Blake Shelton[/lastfm] will make an appearance during one of the shows!
For more information on the inaugural tour of the first season of The Voice competitors, visit NBC.com for tickets and showtimes, including the first stop in L.A. at the Gibson Amphitheatre on Wednesday, July 27th!
Watch AMP’s exclusive behind the scenes look of The Voice Live Tour: