Exclusive: Evan McKeel Reaches “Higher Ground” On ‘The Voice’

The Voice - Season 9

One of this season’s most talked about performers, Evan McKeel made a lasting impression during the Blind Auditions. Though he did a great job performing the Mutemath track “Typical,” he displayed his diverse vocal skill set with an impromptu rendition of the Stevie Wonder tune “Overjoyed” (Gwen Stefani’s reaction was priceless and, from where I sit, justified).

The Voice - Season 9
THE VOICE — “Team Pharrell Battle Reality” — Pictured: (l-r) Riley Biederer, Evan McKeel — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

McKeel went with Pharrell as his coach and he advanced after his Battle Rounds performance of “Higher Ground” (another amazing Stevie Wonder track) with Riley Biederer. 

The vocal chops are definitely there, and though it’s impressive that McKeel can tackle Wonder’s tunes with aplomb, the real depth to his voice comes from an organic place. Whether it’s singing in a church choir or playing music for people with dementia, McKeel’s artistry is rooted in human connection.  It’s something that McKeel has taken to heart, as you’ll probably witness from our interview below:

Under the Soundcloud bar I’ve also broken down the topics that were discussed during the interview:

  1. Performing “Overjoyed” and its positive reaction from the judges and fans of The Voice. (:37)
  2. On music being a language that brings people together (he also talks about doing music therapy with dementia and Alzheimer patients).  (2:19)
  3. How working in a church choir shaped him as an artist and person. (3:56)
  4. On improving “300%” as an artist by working with Pharrell, Rihanna, Missy Elliott, and his vocal coach on The Voice. (5:11)
  5. Evan talks about his love for Stevie Wonder’s music (I also mistakenly referred to my favorite Wonder tune “All In Love Is Fair” as “all is fair and love,” which is a horrible mistake!) (5:45)

Check out The Voice Monday and Tuesday evenings on NBC.

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