The Voice artist Jessie Pitts initially picked Gwen Stefani as her coach during the Blind Auditions (Pitts performed Brandi Carlile’s tune ‘The Story’), and although she lost in the Battle Rounds to Ryan Sill, Blake Shelton stole Pitts and kept her in the competition.
After advancing during the Knockouts with a refreshingly subtle rendition of the Elton John classic ‘Your Song,’ Pitts is now prepping for the Live Playoffs under the guidance Shelton. Pitts, who was raised in Alabama and traveled to Nashville to pursue her music dreams, has one of the more unique voices in the competition, and hopefully she continues to gradually sneak up on America.
How crazy has this whole experience on The Voice been for you?
It’s crazy. It’s surreal. I know I’ve said that word so many times but that’s the only way to describe it. I would never have imagined to be in this position – to be going to Lives.
My goal was to get a chair turn, and that happened. And then the goal was to win my battle but that didn’t necessarily happen, but I got stolen. I’m simply thrilled and grateful to be where I am – going into Lives, it’s crazy.
Is part of that process for you taking things one step at a time on The Voice?
Yeah, well I try to stay humble (but) my goal is to win the whole thing. If I’m saying (to myself) ‘I’m going to win the whole thing and I’m going to be The Voice,’ I feel it’s easier for me to work really hard and that’s going to get me there.
It’s different for everyone and for me it’s definitely a step by step kind of process. I just have to put everything into the song I’m singing in that round.
In a big picture way, is being stolen an advantage since you can learn from people like Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton?
I definitely think it’s an advantage because Gwen taught me so many different things. She taught me a lot of stage presence tips and (utilizing your) emotion and Blake is teaching me technique, and tips about my pitch and timing.
So I get the best of both worlds by getting to combine both of their advice and use that to make my song better.
What’s it like to have Blake Shelton in your corner, since he’s been a huge supporter since your Blind Audition.
It means a lot to me even though I didn’t choose him in the beginning, he decided to steal me anyway. Blake was always the one that I was going to go with before I even tried out. But Gwen just made a connection and I think it was the right decision because Blake stole me and what happened was meant to be, I guess. Right now I’m on the team I’m supposed to be on. Blake’s such a big supporter – it’s like he’s my biggest fan right now and that feels really great.
Can you see your own improvement on The Voice, or is that something you’ve still yet to process?
Well, I was talking to Blake the other day and he said I kind of snuck up on America, and that really hit me for the first time that I really had changed.
For me to sneak up on America, I must have been doing something right and it means a lot that people can see my improvement because I definitely see it in my voice, especially. I’ve learned so much from this whole process, so for everyone to notice that – it feels really great.
You seem to have an easy emotional access to whatever song you’re singing. Is connecting with the audience one reason you love to sing?
That’s the thing that’s always been important to me when I’m singing. I could be singing my ‘A, B, C’s’ but I’m going to get emotional about it (laughs). That’s how I am as an artist. You can be a great singer and sing perfectly and technically, but if there’s no emotion, it can’t move the audience. So my goal is to touch the audience in a way that many people can’t.
Having worked at a record label, does that give you an advantage in seeing a different side of the music industry?
In addition to working at the label, I was also studying music business at Belmont University and I think it’s an advantage because I know the ins and outs of this business. And I know how you can get trapped into certain things. (I know) what kind of people you want on your team, and what kind of people you want working with you.
So I think I’m prepared going into the music business. I’ve worked (at the label), I’ve studied music business, so now I want immerse myself (as a music artist).
So specifically, what kind of people would you like to work with moving forward?
That’s a good question. I don’t have any criteria right now – I just want people that really see my vision and know who I am as an artist.
Blake Shelton is an amazing connection that I have now as well Gwen Stefani. No matter what, I feel confident that I’m going to find a place in the music business that is meant for me.
Is making close friends on The Voice another great part of the experience?
Absolutely. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve taken from this competition. I have lifelong friends that I have met here. Everybody just wants everyone to succeed and do the best that they can on the show. I was surprised at how well I got along with everyone. I was pleasantly surprised at how everyone has each other’s back.
What are your impressions of Los Angeles?
I love L.A. – I would die to live here some day. It’s just so different. There’s so many opportunities out here – it’s different from Nashville. I love Nashville because it has a big city in a small town feel.
But L.A., there’s just something about it – I would love to move out here at some point.
Lastly, what are you looking forward to next on The Voice?
I’m looking forward to passing through the Live Playoffs and I’m excited to be on the stage by myself once again and step up my game even more. I feel like I have to top my last song. So I’m excited (and) I’m working hard to do that.
Thank you for your time Jessie and continued success on The Voice.
Thank you so much.