At 18, country singer Allison Bray is a veteran on The Voice. Though she didn’t get a chair turn on season six, Bray didn’t hide in a corner and pout about the setback. Instead, she diligently worked on her craft to finally come back and get past the Blind Audition with a heartfelt rendition of “Merry Go Round.”
Bray sees her time on The Voice with a bigger picture in mind. Although having that singular vision of winning it all is understandable, Bray is focused on building a career anchored in longevity. In our interview, she discussed being mentored by Blake Shelton, having perseverance, and why bluegrass is pretty much embedded in her soul.
You’ve mentioned Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, and Loretta Lynn as influences. If a neophyte to country wanted to explore the music, would you lead them in that direction?
I would definitely suggest that. It is important with any type of music to get back into how it started. I actually started out in a bluegrass background. Pretty much my whole family played bluegrass instruments. I grew up with the absolute roots of country music and I think my bluegrass background influenced my love for Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn – all those great people.
Getting a feel for the passion behind country music, that can help you almost with any type of music because country music is the root of all Western world music. I do believe that learning those small things can help you as an artist.
How great is it to team with Blake Shelton – since he has a reverence for country music’s roots as well as having a mainstream take on it as well.
I had three coaches turn around during my blind auditions. I chose Blake for that sole purpose. Blake has lots to offer, not even from a music approach, but he is a great influence for me the advertising and music business aspect. He knows everyone and their moms (laughs). I think having him in my corner is going to help me a lot as an artist. Even if I don’t make it far on the show I think he will always be there for me as a person.
We will always have some type of connection or friendship because we both share that love for old country music. I think maybe later on down the road he can help me outside the show and help me push my career in country music. He can expose me to some wonderful people and help me out a little bit. I really went with him for that reason. I really wanted to go with Gwen because she’s a girl and she could help me with my voice. But I have to think past the singing because it’s a business and it’s something you have to be well seasoned.
You have to know how to market yourself, you have to know what they want to hear, and I think Blake can help me with that because he’s a country music artist.
A lot of people would have given up after not receiving a chair turn on The Voice, but you came back and took another chance. Where does that resilience come from?
I have never been a quitter – ever. Thankfully growing up my parents were very strict and very hard on me as far as doing things I said I was going to do. My dad made sure that no matter what happened or what I did, that I finished what I started. When I didn’t get a chair turnaround, I had some unfinished business and he was definitely the one who said, “You’re not putting yourself on the show, you need to go back there and show everyone that you have what it takes.”
Those words will be instilled into my brain until for my whole life and will be until the day I die. I don’t call myself a quitter. I will always keep going back. Not getting a chair turn was a good thing for me. It’s a very humbling experience, let alone not getting chosen. The fact that I had the opportunity to come back a second time has been a crazy experience and hard for me to grasp. I’m enjoying it nonetheless and I’ve had the time of my life on the show.
Can you talk about the song you chose for your Knockout Round?
The song I chose reflects me as an artist. The first two songs I performed on the show have been more so laid back. The reason why I enjoy doing country music is that it tells a story. The song I chose is more upbeat and it’s more fun for me to perform.
If I had more fun doing it on stage, then I have a better shot at conveying a story and an image. I think this song will give me an opportunity to show everyone that not only am I a vocalist, I’m also a performer.
If anyone comes out and sees me on a weekly basis, they’ll know that this type of song is my favorite to do just because it’s fun.
How has it been being part of “The Voice” family?
I just tweeted that last night. I said there is not a tighter bond than the ones we have on the show. Not only between the contestants but even the staff of the show and the crew. The good thing about The Voice is they will always care about your well being – they care about you as an artist.
The music industry is so cutthroat and so straight to the point. Most of the time it’s about them making money and they don’t care about how you do or what you want to do.
(With) The Voice, they want you to succeed and that means the world to someone like me. Not only that, but we all live together throughout the course of the show. We get really close to each other – before we go to bed every night we sit around the fire at the hotel and play music and sing with each other. It’s a bond that’s hard to break and it’s a bond that we will keep outside the show. I’ve made friends that I will have for the rest of my life.
The Voice is by far the best musical experience that I’ve had thus far and probably one of the best ones I’ll ever have.
Good luck moving forward and thanks for your time.
Thank you! Thank you so much.
The Voice continues with its Knockout Rounds tonight at 8 pm et/pt.