Barrett Baber – The Voice
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) What originally made you want to be a part of “The Voice?”
A) In truth, I was really reluctant to do it at first. It was something I had shied away from. I had auditioned for “American Idol” when I was twenty-two and it was season two of that show. I made it a good ways, to the Top 48, but I kind of just had a weird experience with that show because of the format. So, I was kind of reluctant to try out, but my friend Luke Wade (who I had met playing some shows) really said that it was a positive experience for him. He pushed me to send in a link and he even sent in a link for me to one of my YouTube videos to one of the casting directors. I thought if Luke endorsed it, he wouldn’t say I should do something if it wasn’t a good thing. That was really what did it for me. I went in auditioned and saw the thing through until I was on the show. I really didn’t expect to have the success that I did. Obviously, it worked out pretty well.
Q) What was the best advice you received from your coach Blake Shelton?
A) The cool thing about Blake Shelton is that (I always thought this and said this) he is a true musician. He knows when not to play. Really good musicians know when not to play. That’s the approach he took with me, working with me and understanding who I was as an artist who had been making money for some time. It was to allow me to sort of drive the boat (if you will) and he was in the passenger seat with that break that Driver’s Ed teachers have. If at any time he needed to, he could press that and say, “Do this,” or “What about that?” I think rather than one specific piece of wisdom it was really cool to see that take place because it showed me what kind of person he was and it also showed me what it takes to be a great musician. It’s the little moves that you make on songs and the little production additions you do as far as instrumentation. He showed me there are little things that really can take a song to the next level and if you pay attention to those things you can really get it right. I think watching that was more beneficial than anything he said. He was leading by example and that’s a valuable lesson for me to learn as a person in my position and I was glad I got to.
Q) What were some of your favorite performances on the show?
A) I really loved sitting on that stool and singing “I’d Just Love to Lay You Down” by Conway Twitty. That was really a moment that people can identify as the moment where I defined who I was as an artist and made people understand the music that I want to make beyond the show. That was one of my favorite, but also I was really, really proud of my entire night of my performances for the finale. I got to pay tribute to one of the greatest country singers of all time, Glen Campbell, who is from my home state of Arkansas. Then, I got to do Thomas Rhett and give a nod to the kind of country music taking place today. It was a great song, soulful song, by a great writer and performer. Then, my last performance I got to do “Silent Night,” but I got to do it my way. I had a large hand in the sound of that, the vibe of it and the instrumentation of it. I got to stand behind the mic stand and do a solo performance where I got to deliver a big vocal. That was a chance for me to say, “Beyond the production, big sets, lights and smoke and all that stuff is just a big soulful vocal.” And “Silent Night” is a great song to do that. So, that whole night was a great way to go out. It was a great cap off to the whole experience.
Q) What was it like for you getting to sing with Winona Judd?
A) The performance was, without question, the most nervous I had been on the show. I’m pretty cool and calm headed, but she’s a firecracker and such a legend that I just wanted to do it justice. I wanted to make sure that no matter what happened she shined and that it was “our moment” not my moment. I think we did that and she is so cool. She’s such a caring person and very disarming. It was so much fun and, of course, both of us are the same way that when we get out on the stage with the crowd that it’s impossible for us not to get excited and do some fun stuff. You put two people like that on the stage at the same time you know some good music is going to happen. I feel really good about the result and it was a lot of fun. That was my very last night on “The Voice” and it was a great moment to share with a legend in country music.
Q) What is next for you?
A) I’ve got some really cool things going. I’ve started work and already some doors are opening for me that I’m really excited about. I’ve got a really good team in place. I’ve got some people who are working with me and for me to help see this thing through. I should be able to start making announcements about some of the awesome opportunities taking place for me in the next few days if not a week or so. People are going to be excited. I hope that they know I’m out here working. I don’t view what happened last week on “The Voice” (coming in third place) as a let down or maybe a failure. I felt like just making the Top 4 was going to set me up to do something special musically. It sure has! I’m already getting emails and phone calls from people that I would never have dream of hearing from. And here I am! Now, the trick is to work very hard and make sure all my ducks are in a row so I can go capitalize on this opportunity that I’ve been given. I’m going to make it happen! My goal is to now become the person that everyone says took this opportunity that is “The Voice” and turned it into something special. I think with my work ethic and certainly with the infrastructure that is built around me for making music for so many years that there is no question that I can do that.
Q) You are a part of social media. Why is that such an important way for you to connect with your fans?
A) I think the reason why social media is so popular and why it works so well for people who are trying to get into the entertainment industry is because it allows fans to really feel like they have a sort of an inside look at your life and who you are as a person rather than that moment where they come to your show and see you play. That’s why, for whatever reason, it is interesting to find out what you had for lunch, how you are feeling or if you had a weird interaction with a waiter. It adds a human element to who we are, celebrities or people who are well known. That’s why it is so popular. It makes us tangible people and people can feel like they know who we are even if we don’t know each other. For me, it’s always important to reach out and connect with the people out there in social media land as well as I possibly can. That is what makes me unique and draws people to what I do. I’m genuine in the way that I am. I’m a family guy. I love my wife and I love my kid. So, when people see me tweeting pictures of me doing fun stuff with my kids that’s a validation of who people think I am. That’s the cool part of social media and what is important to establish who I am, get the word out about shows I’m playing and the music that I’m making.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your music?
A) If I had the opportunity to look every single person in the eye that I would just say thank you. The opportunity that I was given I am well aware that while I was the one in California singing and working hard, that the opportunity was an “us” and “we” moment, not just a “me” moment. The reason I got to stay as long as I did and even an opportunity to win the title was only because people were taking time out of their day to vote for me and money out of their own wallet to buy songs and gift them to other people. That’s a humbling thing for me to think about, that so many people that I don’t know for whatever reason connect with me and my story and want to see me succeed. There’s not much more that I can say to them other than thank you and that I’m going to try to continue to really make them proud as a person, and most importantly as a human being, and secondly as a musician and with the music that I’m gong to make in the future.