Chris Blue – The Voice
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) I read that Alicia Keys said that you had this uncanny ability to no matter how nervous or upset or whatever you’re feeling, that you just go and sing and you can’t even tell and you just pour everything into your voice. How do you do that?
Chris Blue: I have to be honest with you — that’s kind of a thing I just I’ve learned to just kind of pray about and just, you know, leave it in God’s hands because at the end of the day, all we can do is our best, you know? Some may like. Some may love. Some may neither. So just go out there and present the gift that’s been placed inside of you and leave the rest there. And so, that’s all we just try to do.
Q) So, what’s next? I mean, I guess that’s what’s on people’s minds (i.e.) hit the ground running and then where do you go from here?
Chris Blue: Absolutely. I don’t even know if we hit the ground running. I think we hit the ground jetting because we’re ready to get it. Being out here, indulging in this process has enabled me to embrace hard work. And so that’s kind of my world now. And my mindset going in — and I kind of got onto about this — is you know, we won The Voice last night. And that was last night. And we enjoyed the moment. But today’s a new day and it’s time to, you know, hit the ground going full speed. And so that’s what’s next for us. We want to go ahead and get music out, start working on music, and start making history. Onto the next goal.
Q) What was one or two pieces of advice maybe that Alicia gave you during the course of your time on the show that you took to heart and carried with you?
Chris Blue: I’ve kind of maybe used this a lot but it’s one that just really sticks me. I can remember doing the live round. She pulled myself and my other two teammates aside, Stephanie and Vanessa, and she said to me – she said to us, rather, “Don’t forget who you are.” We said, “What do you mean, coach?” “You’re a human being. So when you hit the stage tonight, don’t try to do anything. Just be it because you’re a human being, not a human doing.” And that’s something that I will always remember. And I’ll always keep with me. Be present. Be in the moment. Be a human being, not a human doing.
Q) I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how you and Alicia chose the songs that you sang.
Chris Blue: It was very collaborative. We would talk about it. She would have ideas. I would have ideas. And we would seriously come together and bring our ideas to the table and what we felt, you know, worked or would work we went with, you know. And sometimes we would go back and forth for a little and then one or the other would just kind of cave in and say okay, well I think you’re right. Or I think you’re right and we’ll just kind of go with what we feel at the moment. And I think that that was the most important part of our process in picking songs, was making sure that whatever song we chose was a song that we felt because if we don’t feel it or if I don’t feel it or if she doesn’t feel it, no one else will. And so that ultimately kind of helped us decide our choices week by week.
Q) In The Voice is it frustrating as an artist that you have to do so many covers and you don’t get to show your original work until the end, until this week? And do you wish that there was more opportunity to show yourselves as artists by singing more original work?
Chris Blue: No, not really. I believe the beautiful thing about music is the interpretation of music. The beautiful thing about songwriting again is its interpretation. You and I are two completely different people. Therefore, a song may mean one thing to you versus myself it could mean something completely different. So, although I may not, you know, be singing an original song, the song that I’m covering, my interpretation of that song now becomes tailor made to me because I’m now singing that song as opposed to the writer who wrote it or the singer who performed it. So, I think that’s the biggest thing — making sure that I’m able to connect with whatever song I’m singing to make it an original song. It’s no longer a cover song when I sing it. It becomes an original song because it’s my interpretation of the cover of that song.
Q) When you first tried out for The Voice, what song did you pick and why?
Chris Blue: The open call song I chose to sing was “Love and Happiness” by Al Green. We were fortunate enough to be able to sing it on the show, so that was pretty cool. I chose that song because several reasons. I felt like it’s a song that I was comfortable with. It’s a pretty nerve-wracking process and I wanted to make sure I sang a song that would kind of help me through that. Also, I felt like it showcased, you know, vocal ability. At the same time, was able to present a different side of my artistry. It kind of opened the door to a more classic feel that maybe isn’t as popular, so it would be something that would stand out. But ultimately, it’s a song that I just absolutely love and I wanted to make sure that no matter what, I went inside of that audition singing something I loved, something that brought joy to me, something that represents who I am and something that I could feel when I sing, which is love and happiness. That’s important because if I don’t feel it, neither will you. So that’s why we went with that song.
Q) And I love your Tracks of My Tears, too. Did you grow up with a lot of oldies?
Chris Blue: The funny thing is I grew up in church. And so, anything outside of gospel music or church music rather was not really welcomed in my home. However, Al Green and Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, they all kind of had a church sound or a similar sound or feel to their music. And so, I think some of those things were kind of looked over, if you will. And I don’t know. I just I’ve come to appreciate it and I feel like I’ve always been like an old soul in a young man’s body, so I’ve always just been able to gravitate toward the classic sound and classic style of music.
Q) Chris, I was wondering if you were surprised to win and what was going through your mind as you were waiting for your name to be called.
Chris Blue: I feel like any of the top four had a pretty high chance to win — 25% chance for each person that was standing up there. And when it got down to it being 50-50 all I could think about was man, Lauren is killing it on iTunes and everybody loves her and she’s super nice and she’s super sweet and gosh, man I don’t know, you know? I don’t know if we did enough. Then I began to think about all the hard work we put in and all the hard work, you know, my coach Alicia and we put in each week. And I’m a firm believer that hard work pays off. And if you’re faithful over a few things, God will make you rule over many, so. I just tried to keep my poise and when my name was called I was a bit surprised but all I could think about what the victory that my family received. I wanted the confetti to fall on them and I wanted my coach to experience that. And I really was more happy for them than myself.
Q) I know that several of the contestants professed their faith in Christ. And talk about that atmosphere and what role that your faith played in your time on The Voice.
Chris Blue: I think the atmosphere was really important for me because when you’re on that stage and you have all of the things that – all of the pressure that you’re under, you know, having to perform week in and week out in front of the world, you know, it’s pretty hard. So, having the right atmosphere and the right space and the right energy around you is pretty important. You ask me how important was my faith or is my faith throughout all of this. My faith wasn’t important; my faith was essential. Without it, I guarantee you we would not be on this phone call right now because there were many nights I wanted to quit and I wanted to give up. I wanted to let go and I did not believe in myself. But I believed in the one who created me. And I was also reminded by that through my fiancée, through family, through friends and loved ones. And so, it was essential. It couldn’t have happened without my faith in my lord and savior.
Q) Can you take us to a look to the future and give us some idea on I know you have a strong gospel background? But give some idea of what the Chris Blue album is going to sound like.
Chris Blue: Absolutely. The Chris Blue album is going to sound like an album full of hope, you know? I’m all about dealing that first. I feel like it’s something that the world needs. Needs hope. So, that’s what it’s going to sound like. When people hear the music, that I want them to feel inspired. I want them to obtain hope again — hope in their dreams, you know, hope in whatever it is that they desire, hope in, you know, their faith, or hope in their relationship, hope in their careers, hope in, you know, whatever it is that they lack it. I want them to receive that. So, I want to make sure we present songs that inspire people. Again, because if I don’t feel it, if I’m not inspired, I just believe no one else will be. And that’s pretty important.
Q) Well, the message of hope comes in many different forms. Are we going to go to mission of hope via gospel? Via R&B? Via pop? Like what’s the direction?
Chris Blue: The direction’s going to be wherever the lord leads at the time. You know, we may have a song on there that sounds like an R&B song. There may be a song on there that sounds pop. There may be a song on there that sounds gospel. But the ultimate goal is to make sure every song has the foundation of hope in it. I’m not really pressed on the way it sounds as much as the way it feels, because that’s the most important thing to me.
Q) Chris, could you talk about relationships with the other contestants and who you were closest to?
Chris Blue: Absolutely. Relationships with the other contestants, you know, pretty amazing. Pretty cool. I had a special relationship with each contestant. There were all like brothers and sisters to me. Still to this day, they’re brothers and sisters. They will always be that, you know, no matter what. I was pretty close with a lot of people. TSoul was probably one of the closest I would say. Between TSoul and Hunter and Mark, those guys I really drew close with and Johnny Hayes, like he was my roommate. I really love Johnny. He’s a really special guy as well. Lauren was and is still just I mean, gosh she’s jaw dropping. She’s awesome and super sweet and gentle and kind. And Brennley, I just everyone. I can just continue to name names. So, I don’t know if I’ll answer your question that way, because I have a special relationship with every contestant and I love each and every one of those guys like family. And they mean the world to me, so I’m really grateful to God that I’ve had the opportunity to get to know such talented and amazing people as well as artists.
Q) Could you talk a little bit about a contemporary artist that you admire and would maybe like to pattern your career after?
Chris Blue: Well I think there’s one thing that I think most artists, if not all, have in common. And that’s to be great. So, I would definitely just want to, you know, be one of those and fall in the lanes of some of the greats. If you could take maybe Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Usher, and Bruno Mars and put them into one person, I would, you know, I would love to be that, embody that. And preferably, hopefully, maybe one day be considered one of the greats. Because at the end of the day if you don’t want to be excellent, if you don’t want it to be excellent, then I don’t know why you would do it. And that’s just me. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist and I just want to be excellent at all times in every way possible and on every level.
Q) What artist would you most like to do an original collaboration with and why?
Chris Blue: I would first start with my coach, Alicia Keys. I would want to collab with her because instantly I just see that I mean, we just connect. It feels like when we do something together, I don’t know — there’s something there. I’d love to start there. And outside of her, it’s be really cool to collaborate with Usher again. He’s an incredible human being. In the time that I was able to spend with him, I was really impressed and inspired by his character, so I’d love to, you know, link up with him again. He’s phenomenal. Outside of those guys, the list really does go on. I think – I don’t know, man. Maybe – it’s a tough one. There’s so many, like I don’t really know where to start. Bruno would be fun. A Carrie Underwood duo would be pretty cool. I think that would be kind of special. Maybe a Kelly Clarkson or Jennifer Hudson as well. That would be pretty fun. I don’t think anyone would see that coming. I don’t know. The list goes on and on. It really does.