Jordan Smith, a 21-year-old Harlan native now living in Tennessee, is a contestant on NBC’s ninth season of “The Voice.” Passing the first leg of the competition, Smith is now a member of Team Adam as he moves forward in his musical journey.
Speaking with Team Adam’s publicist Shauna Wynne, who will be representing Smith, she said on Tuesday, “Jordan has a very unique voice …Jordan grew up in a musical family. His father was a professional pianist and his mother is a singer, so making the decision to pursue singing at Lee University, in Cleveland, Tennessee, where he performed at the Presidential Inauguration with his choir, was an easy choice. Jordan wants to show people it is OK to be yourself, even if you’re different, on The Voice.”
Judges on “The Voice” were unanimous Monday night in declaring Smith and his unique voice to be something special.
Smith passed the blind audition easily on the NBC season nine premiere. Judges Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams turned around quickly and Adam Levine followed after a pause.
Singing Sia’s “Chandelier” as his first song, Smith’s soaring voice impressed all four judges.
Stefani said to Smith, “You do not look like your voice,” and rushed to hug him after his performance saying “You are so amazing.”
Shelton praised Smith on his voice saying, “your voice…it’s unbelievable.”
Levine said, “Seeing these people smiling and clapping and the judges, their reaction to you, it’s a beautiful experience.”
Smith told the judges after his performance, “Being different is what makes me special. It’s OK to be different. It’s my gift and this is an amazing opportunity to share it. It’s OK to be yourself because you’re made that way — that’s how God made you.”
Smith added he sings in his church and “that is his roots.”
After hearing remarks from all the judges as to why he should chose any one of them to be his coach, Smith chose Levine to coach him as the season and the competition progresses.
In an interview with Smith on Tuesday he was asked how his life has changed since Monday night’s performance and having a four-chair turnaround. Smith said, “Getting four chairs was a phenomenal feeling. Since last night I have just received so much support from my family and from everyone in my hometown, but also I’ve been getting a tremendous following on Twitter, Instagram and on my Facebook page. The likes of my Facebook page have over doubled.This has been pretty overwhelming, all of the support and reaction from people watching the show.”
Smith commenting on the celebrity attention given to the show and his performance said, “The experience on the show has just been unbelievable. I’m really blessed to be a part of it. It’s an incredible feeling to know a lot of hard work getting to this moment and a lot of cool opportunities that I could never have earned without having just been gifted with, blessed with have led to this. I hope that somehow anything I said or my music inspired someone else watching. That’s what I want most of all. It was just an incredible — incredible thing to experience that and know that so many people were watching.”
Offering advice to people who are thinking of starting the same journey he has taken he said, “Don’t be afraid to be yourself — who you are. This show is about expressing who you are as an individual and they are so supportive of that. The entire process is designed to highlight each person’s personality and what makes each person unique. So, I would encourage everyone to just be yourself and do what you do and what you love. Don’t try to change yourself or try a certain kind of standard of what you think they might be looking for. In that security of being yourself is also being open to trying new things and to growing and learning and changing. This has been a huge learning process for me. That is one of my favorite parts of the show is how much I have gotten to learn working up to the blind auditions. Be yourself, but also be open. Always remain teachable, be who you are and always be willing to keep growing.”
Before choosing Team Adam as his coach, Smith said he was torn between Levine and Pharrell Williams.
“I’m a music major in college and I knew I could learn from the producer side of things from Pharrell, so I was really interested in working with him and learning about the business and different aspects of it. But, in that moment, Adam had so many good things to say. They both had wonderful things to say and they were both extremely encouraging, but when it came down to it I think I felt a more emotional connection to Adam. He behaved a little different than I usually see him behave, which showed me that he did understand where I was coming from and that he was emotionally connected in what was happening and in me. I knew that if I made that connection with him not only would my singing be important and what happens on the show be important, but that I could perhaps cultivate a good working relationship with him to help me grow and learn. He is also a phenomenal musician. He has a great ear. I went with Adam and it was a wonderful decision. Immediately after he came upon the stage and said some of the nicest things to me. That was the confirmation to me that I made the right choice.”
When asked how he felt when all-four judges wanted him on their team he said, “All four of these superstars wanted me on their teams to work with me and invest in me as an artist. That was an amazing feeling. In the end I went with Adam, but no matter who I chose working with any of them would be a phenomenal opportunity. I am thankful for the chance to meet them and have the chance to work with one of them.”
In ending Smith was asked what he’d like to say to his hometown fans and he replied, “I just want to say I am so thankful for my hometown. I’m so happy and proud to say I’m from Harlan and from Kentucky. I owe everything I am as a person to this place and to the people here who have invested in me. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and can’t say thank you enough for fostering the growth and love of music in me. But, also being such a good place to grow into a good person and a Godly young man. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.”
You may follow Smith’s progress on his Facebook page and also on Twitter. You can now download his performance on iTunes. Watch The Voice on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde