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The Voice Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

The Voice

This is an interview with Team Adam & Team Blake on February 28, 2012 about the show The Voice.

Question:
Whitney, can you talk about how Adam's style and success fits with who you are musically?

Whitney Myer:
I really dig Adam Levine because I feel like he kind of straddles more than one genre, which I would like to think that I do as well. And that was part of my reason for choosing him because I feel like musically we're a fit that way, because he has like, soulful influences and I feel like I have similar qualities as an artist.

Question:
Adley, I was just wanting to know if you ever did figure out why her heart was pointing her toward Blake, and if him being from Oklahoma and also being a fellow country singer played into her decision?

Adley Stump:
Yes, absolutely. I was fortunate to have that option in that actually what happened, I knew I wanted Blake from the beginning, not just because of how much I believed he could help me vocally, but also because of who he is and what he stands for. Blake doesn't let anybody else define who he is or what he does. And that's what I wanted to surround myself with, and whether people disagree or agree with that, he has a strong sense of quality about music. And I felt like that had something deeper than just vocally talented.

Question:
Adley, you mentioned that you had only started singing ten months prior to your audition. Can you tell us sort of a little bit more about your journey?

Adley Stump:
I've been in Nashville about 8 1/2 months. I got an offer to move here with an artist development deal, publishing and smaller record deal from a private company. And about a month before I graduated I had been singing about eight to nine months, just goofing around in Stillwater, and started to take it seriously my senior year in college is when I started taking it seriously, but never thought I could do it.

I was playing in a saloon about once a month in Stillwater, Oklahoma, just you know, goofing off for my friends. And we were able to gather a huge crowd, but it was all in good fun. And then me and my mom put a video on the Internet and Nashville saw it, and said he saw a spark in me that he believed in, and he started conference calling and he asked me to move out to Nashville and said he would back me if I did. And so that's kind of how that happened. And I was in a room in a mix at the exact same time, and like, I moved out here to Nashville and The Voice started almost right away.

Question:
When you go into the battle rounds, do you have any idea what that's like, who you'd like to be paired with, up against?

Adley Stump:
I do know, but I don't think this is a question I can talk about

Question:
If you were going to do a battle round, who on Blake's team would you like to be up against, and what would you like to sing?

Adley Stump:
Bbeing on the show, it's so new. All of this is so new. I feel like I'm learning how to be an artist, how to grow vocally as I'm growing through this process. Part of that is me challenging myself not speaking but I'm getting used to the sound and tones of my voice.

Question:
Going into the blind auditions, did you have a team preference?

Lex Land:
I did actually want to be on Blake Shelton's team. I thought that he was a really great coach last year and I felt that regardless of the outcome of the show that if any coach was going to continue to support me and to mentor me with whatever happened that it would probably be him, so I was thrilled when he turned around. And in the heat of the moment, I wasn't really sure who I was going to choose, but I ended up sticking with my initial feeling, and I'm really glad that I did.

Question:
Whitney, you had said that Adam felt very genuine in what he said to you and how he sold it. Prior to going in did you have hopes for any specific coach, since you ended up with having all four to select from?

Whitney Myer:
Going into it, I did have kind of a couple coaches in my mind. I was kind of going back and forth between Cee Lo and Adam in my mind, and of course I didn't expect to have such a variety of choices. But you know in the end Adam really sold it and he seemed very genuine, and I felt like we had just a couple minutes of communication, was really good, and I really got a good feel for him, and the genuine thing is really important to me. I wanted to be able to relate to my coach. And not that Cee Lo was ingenuine, but I just felt like I connected quicker with Adam with what he was saying.

Question:
Lex, you auditioned a little bit late in the process when there were fewer spots available on the teams. Did you guys really feel that pressure? Were you aware of that when you were getting ready to sing?

Lex Land:
We were not aware of how the teams were filling up or you know, when we would be auditioning. So we really didn't have any ideas of anything like that.

Question:
On the show you said that you were having a lot of anxiety before you performed. What was it like waiting to go on? Where was that coming from?

Lex Land:
It's been a little bit strange, because I normally am not nervous. And I remember I of course get butterflies or whatever any time before I perform. But being nervous on stage is just really foreign to me. So honestly that day, it felt the same. I had butterflies, and when I got on stage I felt totally fine, and I think that it's a really nerve-wracking situation. But when I started singing and the coaches turned, it was less nervousness and more of just like, almost being emotionally overwhelmed. I was just so happy that Louise and I had made it through that it was really hard to maintain my physical composure at that point. So there was definitely nerves involved, absolutely, but you know, it was just one of those things that came out of the blue and smacked me in the face.

Question:
Lex, could you give us a little idea of your life before the show? Were you working full time as a musician or did you have a day job?

Lex Land:
As far as what I do, I've been a full-time musician for a little over a year now, maybe a little bit longer than that. I do pick up odd jobs when I can. I do administration before, like reception or I've - you know, I'm a cashier. But because I am a musician, I find it really difficult to keep jobs because I would have to leave to go on tour or to do special opportunities like The Voice or things like that, so you know, my personal life can be a little difficult because of that, which is why an opportunity like The Voice is so huge. But mostly I am a full-time musician. I sing jazz in restaurants and stuff where nobody listens and they eat the steaks that I could never afford and all of that stuff.

Question:
They had listed several songs that they said were original songs of yours they said had been on TV shows like Castle and Private Practice and that. And I wasn't sure what that meant. Does that mean you've had songs you've written for other people? Has your songwriting career been going?

Lex Land:
Yes. Yes, actually, my career has been going great. This is certainly going to be helpful for me and that's another reason why The Voice is such a great opportunity. I have released albums already of my own material, and some of those songs have gotten TV things, so I think I don't know. Maybe eight or ten TV shows have used my own original songs that I did record. They are me singing.

Question:
Adley, what was it that helped you discover your passion for music, and what it was about the voice that you felt you were ready to try out for it?

Adley Stump:
Music has always been a driving force in my life, and this was a completely unknown gift to me that I had, a completely unknown talent. And music had always been a huge part of my life. Never did I dream big enough to think that I could ever give it back. I've done choreography my whole life. I was doing choreography for my sorority. They basically dared me to try out for the solo part for this show that I was choreographing, and I'll take a dare from anybody, so you know, I did it. And I think everybody was kind of shocked at how it sounded. I was kind of shocked by how it sounded, and they ended up giving me the part and I went on to win an award across Oklahoma state with it.

And I felt like this torch had been lit in my heart that I just needed to go start a wildfire with. I'd been a performer my whole life but I'd never let myself sing. You know, I'd goof around in the shower and stuff, but then the encouragement of you know, my friends and my sorority sisters at the time led me to start playing in that saloon. And I couldn't stop.

And I found The Voice because I was a broke college student, and I thought, man, I'm broke. I need to go be on Jeopardy. So I Googled how to be on Jeopardy, and there was a list of reality shows pulled up. I found The Voice on there, and you know, I saw auditions in Nashville at the time I was interested, and I was like, ???Oh, I was always wanted to go to Nashville.???

So I hopped in the car, drove through the night, and auditioned on a whim. I didn't expect this. I did not expect this, and I was going left and God said, ???No, you're going right.??? And I'm just trying to hold on and be the best version of myself to fill this role that I feel like I've been given to play.

Question:
Whitney, we heard that you performed with your dad and uncle prior to the show. How will that experience help you through the show?

Whitney Myer:
The experience of performing with my dad and uncle has really been helpful in like, molding who I am and giving me the confidence to kind of do what I do. And it was the first time that I'd really stepped away from that by myself, and it was a huge growing experience for me to do that and not have them behind me, but I mean, they've shaped who I am as a musician. I've played with my dad since I was 14, and with my uncle since I was about 16. And really, I mean, it's given me the confidence to go out there and just have somewhat of a level of professionalism and give me the strength to sing in front of those megastars.

Question:
Lex, some of the judges compared you to the sounds of Sade. And who do you compare your sound to, because you have like a really cool sultry voice?

Lex Land:
I listen to so much different music that I think it amalgamates and comes out as me. I definitely like take a lot of cues from Judy Garland as one of my all-time favorite singers, and Jeff Buckley is another one of my all-time favorite singers. And I also listen to a lot of jazz and mid-country jazz. So I would say if anything, maybe I'm flattering myself. I hope I would sound something like any of those people.

Question:
Lex and Adley, how are you approaching the competition, not only as competitors, but also teammates to support each other?

Adley Stump:
Lex and I, we're good friends. And we are apples and oranges. And so we are directly competing against each other I guess, but you know, you just think it's what they're looking for. If it's Blake that chooses Lex over me, she has the sound that he felt he could win with.

And there's nothing I can do to change that, so it doesn't change any of the friendships on the team. I mean, there was so much humility, and you know, we become like family out there. So you just encourage each other, and it's never a malicious thing, or it never was that I was aware of oh, how can I take this person down. It was whatever they're looking for, I'm going to do my best. You do your best, and it's really out of our hands from there.

Lex Land:
It's a strange situation to know that we're all being pitted against each other, but we get to spend so much time with our teammates that we really do become like family and become very close friends, and we all know the situation that we're in, because of that, everyone's just really happy to support one another because whatever happens at blind auditions or battles or whatever it's going to be yes or no.

And there's so many variables and factors that could land someone going home or not going home. We all know that, and so everyone's in the same boat, and so we really do support one another. It'll be interesting to see if that attitude continues the farther the show goes.

Question:
Adley, what is it about being from Oklahoma that puts the heart in your music and in your voice?

Adley Stump:
Music is something that doesn't have a language barrier to it. It has absolutely built me to be who I am. It's been my biggest encourager in the hardest times of my life, and really just changed the way that I see the world and the way that I communicate with the world. Blake says it best when he says we are telling stories, and you know, I released an EP in December that tells my story over the last eight months. I got here, we started writing it, and six months later we released it. And my producer Chuck Emmett, he says that every project is like a time stamp in history for who you were at that moment in time. And looking back now, he couldn't have been more accurate.

That album is about strength, and you know, so I've latched onto that. Make me feel powerful. And songs are brave. They're much braver than I am, and so to be able to write music and get on a stage and perform it with everything that I am, it's the most vulnerable feeling in the world, but it's the best thing I could possibly ever do.

Question:
Adley you come across very intelligent, very polished. Obviously you said singing came naturally to you. I'm wondering if the marketing and the business end of this whole equation has also come naturally for you?

Adley Stump:
I'm just watching how God from my eyes, placed the puzzle pieces of my past to be able to be in this moment and be the best that I can be. I worked for a non-profit called To Write Love on Her Arms: Presenting Hope and Finding Help for People Struggling with Depression, Addiction, Self-Injury and Suicide, for two and a half years, and I was the president of that at Oklahoma state, sort of representing that, meeting the need where it's at.

And I formed community groups, and I was forced to speak to people. Every Tuesday night I was a discussion moderator and never letting there be awkward, dead silences, and so through my experience with cheerleading, learning how to conquer stage fright, learning how to perform, learning how to be in front of an audience, between cheerleading between my leadership roles in my sorority Pi Fi, and between speaking every Tuesday night in front of a group, I feel like that has helped me so much to be able to focus on the music, focus on learning how to be an artist, learning how to sing, and going through this whole process has taught me really how to sing.

That's been part of this journey for me, and I feel like America's getting to watch me grow up and learn how to be a singer and how to be an artist. But I'm trying to pull from my record and other gifts that I felt like God had given me to be able to do what I'm supposed to do now.

Question:
Adley, I was kind of surprised by the time line there. You mentioned you've got an album that you've already finished or that you've almost finished. And I thought this was all happened to you within the last year. You know, there's people who go to Nashville and they spend about 20 years trying to get an album made. Tell us the time line of how, from the time you had that first contest that you won in college to right now?

Adley Stump:
It really was all jam packed in there. I won a contest the end of my junior year, had summer break, came back my senior year and I was like, ???All right. I want to do this.??? So I started playing out in that saloon once a month, and then that's when my video got on the Internet. My mom posted it up, and an investor from Nashville. We started talking and he brought me to Nashville, and immediately we produced the album in five months.

I probably won't ever, ever do that again, but I wanted to have something. We were getting meetings very, very fast, and we were gaining some interest very, very fast, and I knew The Voice was coming, and I wanted to have something available to show people. You know, when you're on TV, that's not always the best representation of yourself, and it's not always the full representation of yourself.

And so I wanted to be able to you know, show people, hey, I can write. And hey, this is kind of what I sound like and this is what I'm going through. So we have an EP. It's seven songs. It's not a full album. We just put something together in five months, wanted to have it readily available for when the show hit and to show people at these meetings that we were getting with larger labels and agents and everything like that as a representation of hey, I'm Adley. Here's who I am.

Question:
When was that contest then, the one you won at the end of your junior year?

Adley Stump:
It was a show in Spring. It was the very end of April, right before school let out I think. April 2011.

Question:
Whitney, what went through your mind when Adam thought you could win the whole thing?

Whitney Myer:
I was flabbergasted that you know, such a successful artist like Adam said that to me. I was completely awestruck and humbled by that comment. And I mean, at that moment, that's kind of honestly what sold me on Adam. I was leaning towards him anyways, because he was so genuine. But that comment if somebody can get behind me that much, and he really thinks that I could do that well on the show, then of course I want to work with him. So that was the selling point for me with Adam.

Question:
If you couldn't be on Adam's team, who would be your second choice?

Whitney Myer:
I know we're on the line here with Blake's team. I think Blake's so genuine and he seems like such a cool guy, and you know, down to earth. And he said he was a fan, which was so cool. Like, the other ones were very you know, complimentary, but you know, none of them said like, I would buy your album.

Like Blake said I would download your song. Like, that's cool, and so I feel like I might have gone with Blake because he might not have been the first choice to think of for my genre, but he just seems like such a cool guy. I think I would have wanted to kick it with him and like get some direction from him that way. So I think he would have been my second choice.

Question:
What it's like for you to have a newfound following on Twitter?

Lex Land:
I would say that that's probably the most exciting thing about this process thus far. I mean, and not to say that singing in front of the coaches and getting their well-wishing and fighting over you and all that stuff isn't exciting, but to be able to build so much a career that I work so, so hard at all the time and have for a long time to get a little bit of this boost, and you know, a new following pointed towards I guess the career that I've already established is really, really rewarding and really validating and very, very exciting.

Question:
Orlando could you talk about being the last person chosen for Team Adam? How did that make you feel to be the one that sealed his team?

Orlando Napier:
I didn't really know that I was the last person. It feels great to know that he - you know, he wanted me on his team and he won last season. And I mean, that's a big compliment itself, and he's kind of picky I think, at least from watching him last season and knowing who he chose. So I feel really honored that he was fighting for me like that, and yes.

Question:
Adley, what was the retribution for her mentioning you singing on the potty as a little kid on national television?

Adley Stump:
As you all saw last night, obviously, she's crazy. She's a fireball, and you know, some days, I'm like, mom. It's one of those things. You know, she's so supportive, and I get a lot of my personality from her, that you know just kind of fiery, and you know, we don't always have a filter. But you know, it's all in good humor. I can take a joke, especially from her. So yes, apparently that was the first time I ever sang was potty training. I've heard a lot worse, so you know, it doesn't faze me too much.

Question:
Since your career is so new, were you surprised at the answer that she knew back when you were two that you had a great voice?

Adley Stump:
That was more of her just probably trying to get joking. Her story is you know, when I was potty training, if I sang the alphabet, she'd give me a Skittle. So you know, it's probably not genuine talent. I mean, this has been a whole shock for our whole family. I was looking for cubicle jobs in public relations my senior year and just playing in that saloon for fun, and never, ever, ever knew where this would lead. So you know, I'm like - when I got the offer, I said, ???Mama, I'm going to move to Nashville. I only have one life to live. You know, I really don't want to do PR that much.???

So I mean I'd love to take this, see where it leads. And they were like, okay. You know, they trust me and they trust the decisions I make, and so this was a shock. I don't think she really thought I could sing when I was two.

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