Twenty-one-year-old powerhouse Jordan Smith initially wowed The Voice coaches with a jaw dropping performance of Sia’s hit song “Chandelier” during the Blind Auditions, and after the four chair turn he picked Adam Levine as his coach. Smith advanced through the Battle Rounds with his spirited “Like I Can” duet with Regina Love (she was stolen by Gwen Stefani), and now he faces Viktor Király in the Knockouts.
Levine accurately pointed out after the Battles performance that Smith, along with his one of a kind vocal ability, knows how to emotionally connect to a song. Smith is one of this season’s frontrunners, and one of the huge reasons for his success is his strong, abiding relationship with God that was forged in Harlan, Kentucky.
Is singing a talent that some people are just born with, or is it a skill they develop over the years?
Singing is something that you can be born with and just be a natural, but I also think even people that have a natural talent need to work on it and get better over time. Taking lessons, working on it, and just singing more, and getting better in whatever ways you can and learning can constantly improve your voice.
So I think it’s something you’re born with. But to be great and to be a well rounded musician, you have to work at it and practice.
Did learning your craft at Lee University help your current journey on The Voice?
My experience at Lee was the perfect preparation for this. Everything that I’ve done, even down to the practical things like learning to be constantly on time and how to take care of myself on the road. Just being around other people, (whether it’s) personal and public relations, down to even (learning all) the small things really prepared me for this experience. All of it just came together perfectly for this chance on The Voice.
What has been like to wait for your shows on The Voice to air?
The show itself is a very challenging and rewarding process. It’s a lot of long days and a lot of hard work. But it’s also filled with exciting experiences and cool things so that was really rewarding and I really enjoyed it.
After all the pre-recorded performances were done, having to wait this entire time to share them with America has been so difficult. I have my own core group of my family who knew what was going on, but otherwise I did have to keep it a secret to a lot of people.
It’s been really hard to keep a secret but in the end it was ultimately rewarding to see their reactions and support and the outpouring of love that I’ve received.
As far as the outpouring of love and support, how was Harlan shaped you as a person?
Harlan is a really small town in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. It’s not the wealthiest town and we don’t have the fanciest restaurants or the biggest buildings but while we don’t always have the biggest and grandest things, we are rich in culture and people.
The people are so loving. And I appreciate that heritage and their support and love. It’s grown me into the young man I’ve become now. I really appreciate the value for Christians and for God there. My faith was cultivated (in Harlan). I’m a man of faith because of my upbringing there and because I’m constantly surrounded by people who love God and who encourage each other.
The faith that they have there – it’s just ingrained in the mountains. It’s such a good heritage of God loving people and that’s the biggest thing for me. I have them to thank for my faith.
Does your faith also help you through the joys and hardships that you experience in life?
Oh absolutely. My faith is the thing that gives me strength and that I find joy in. At the end of the day with my problems and concerns, I can turn to God and I can have peace in my situation. That’s been the main thing that’s carried me through this. My relationship with God has kept me grounded and has been my foundation through all of it.
What have you learned thus far from being part of Team Adam on The Voice?
I think the most important thing I’ve learned is that it’s an awesome thing to be a good technical singer, but the most important thing is to let your heart show in everything that you do and to present music that is authentic and full of emotion and passion. That has been the greatest thing I’ve learned and the greatest gift of this journey is to discover that part of me.
Finding where my music comes from? What is it in my life that motivates me to make music? For me, that’s been my journey of self acceptance and my faith. That’s been the greatest thing I’ve learned from all the coaches. Not only do you need to be a talented musician and sing well, you need to be able to sing from your heart. That’s what moves people and that’s what makes really good music.
Thank you so much Jordan!
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