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What's Up Magazine

The Pursuit of Happiness with Jordan Smith

Mar 16, 2017 04:00PM ● By Nicole Gould

Photo courtesy of Republic Records

With silence surrounding him, Jordan Smith awaited the music to start. While anticipating a chair turn, he began to belt out his rendition of Sia’s “Chandelier.” By the end of the song, Smith had received a four chair turn around, shocking the judges with his unique and powerful vocals.

However, this wasn’t Smith’s first go around on NBC’s hit show, The Voice. This Kentucky native was given a second opportunity to audition for The Voice after being turned down in season seven.

Sometimes all you need is a second chance.

With his powerhouse vocals, Smith captured the season nine title as The Voice champion, behind the guidance of music sensation Adam Levine, and became the best-selling artist in history of the show. During the season, Smith also became the first artist from any season to hit the iTunes Top 10 every single week of the Live Rounds.

“I've definitely grown, both musically and as a person during my time on The Voice. I've learned so much about what to do and what not to do as an artist. I've learned that nothing is more important than the connection you feel to what you're doing.” – Jordan Smith

Smith continues to deliver soulful rhythm throughout his music, which can be witnessed in his original song, “Stand In The Light ” as part of his Something Beautiful debut album, which reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. The video currently has over 3,500,000 views on YouTube.

Catch Jordan Smith at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, presented by Rams Head Promotions, Wednesday, March 29th, 8 p.m. Tickets range from $30–40.

Photo courtesy of Republic Records


At what age did you start becoming interested in music and what made you decide music was something you wanted to pursue as a career?

I have loved music for as long as I can remember. As a kid and teenager I was heavily involved in music at my church and school. However, because of the limited opportunities where I grew up, I decided early on that music would remain a hobby. It wasn't until I was in high school that I decided music was not only something I enjoyed, but something I needed in my life in order to be happy. I then went to college to pursue a degree in music business. 

Back in 2014 you auditioned for The Voice, but was turned down. However, in 2015’s audition, you wowed all the judges with your rendition of Sia’s “Chandelier,” resulting in a four-chair turn around. What did it feel like to audition for a second time in front of judges who were unable to see you, but only listen to your voice? What ultimately led you to choosing team Adam? 

Auditioning for The Voice was one of the scariest and most surreal moments of my life. It’s a complete rush to perform at the backs of four superstars. I actually auditioned for season seven of the show and was turned down.

It wasn’t until an entire year later that I was asked to come and audition again out of the blue. Of course, that was an important lesson in perseverance and patience for me. But ultimately, being on the show and working on Team Adam was its own reward. I learned so much during that time about myself and my music. I was also really happy to see how authentic the show and the coaches really are. What you see is what you get with them and it’s really refreshing. 

While you had multiple performances on the show, which performance would you say was the most memorable or had the most impact? Why?

I think lots of people would agree that “Somebody to Love” was a turning point in the competition for me. I not only surprised everyone else, but I also surprised myself at how much of a performance it turned out to be. I’m definitely proud of that performance and, looking back, I wish I could relive that moment and feel the same excitement and adrenaline that I felt during that song. 

Looking back from the start of the show up till present day, how would you say you’ve developed not only musically, but personally?

I’ve definitely grown, both musically and as a person during my time on The Voice. I’ve learned so much about what to do and what not to do as an artist. I’ve learned that nothing is more important than the connection you feel to what you’re doing. As a person, I’ve learned the importance of relationships and having an amazing support system in place. This entire journey is a process, but we are learning with each step and enjoying the ride! 

Your debut album, Something Beautiful, reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 Chart! What’s the story behind this album and did you ever imagine it would reach the level of success that it has?

When I started working on my first album, I wanted it to tell a story. As I worked through which songs were going to be included in the project, I didn’t want to limit myself to one kind of song or genre. We all feel lots of things at different times in our lives. Just like that, this album is full of material that conveys different emotions. There are sad moments, happy moments, fun moments, and even some angry moments. Just like life. Ultimately, I wanted everyone, no matter where they stand in life, to be able to feel a connection and take something away from what they were hearing. I never imagined, though, that it would be so successful. I think that speaks to the fact that people just love to see artists performing music that they believe in. 

Let’s discuss your first single, “Stand in the light,” which contains some powerful words. What is the message you wanted to portray through this song? Can you tell me a little more about the inspiration behind the video? Did you ever expect to get so many positive reactions from this song/video?

“Stand in the Light” is very special to me. More than anything, I think this song is about unashamedly being yourself. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that there are parts of myself that I don’t like. And while others may say those things are bad, they ultimately make me who I am. Learning to love every part of myself and share it with the world, regardless of what anyone says or thinks, was the most freeing experience and I hope everyone can feel that in their life. Hopefully this song can help with that process.

For the video, we wanted to portray the beauty of the song. To me, the two dancers represent the two sides of oneself. There is a constant internal struggle between who we are and who we wish we could be. It’s a careful dance at times to find common ground and ultimately accept that we can let every part of ourselves be seen by the outside world. I’m very proud of the song and video and am so happy to hear every day about the inspiration that so many have felt when watching and listening. That’s what it's all about! 

Outside of singing, what other activities do you enjoy? Is there anything your fans don’t know about you?

I love to travel. So, I’m pretty lucky that my job requires me to travel a lot. I also love writing, driving, and spending time with my wife and dog! 

Is there anything new that fans should be looking forward to?

We are beginning now to look to the future and decide what’s next. My fans should definitely be excited about new music. I always believe the best is yet to come and, whatever kind of music I make next, I can guarantee that it will be from my heart and will be unlike anything anyone has heard from me yet!