Jordan Smith is the best selling artist in the history of The Voice. His singles from the show topped the iTunes charts, taking over the No. 1 spot from Adele (yes, that Adele) three times. He won Season 9 of the competition under coach Adam Levine. On Saturday, April 1, he’ll bring his talents to the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center.
The show will be a combination of music and storytelling, with Smith equating the experience to inviting the audience into his living room. “I love to share all of myself,” he says. He hopes that the show will, “allow people to escape. To be in the moment and not worry about what’s going on in the outside world.”
This will be Smith’s first headlining tour, where he’ll be playing mostly intimate venues along the East Coast. “It’s really fun to invite people in,” he says. “The show will include a lot of conversation—you’ll get to hear a lot of my stories.”
Smith’s story began in Kentucky, where he grew up singing in his church choir and playing drums and the piano. He went to Lee University in Tennessee, where he studied music business. He tried out for The Voice when the open auditions came near his school. His blind audition aired on September 21, 2015. He received an overwhelmingly positive response. “I just did music because I love it. I didn’t realize that it could impact other people,” he says.
He calls The Voice a journey of self-discovery. After making the show, he started focusing less on winning the overall competition, and more on perfecting his sound and getting through each week. Even during the final show, he was still convinced someone else would win. “It was such a shock, but I told myself, remember this moment.” And also, “this is where the hard work starts.”
He was right. Since winning The Voice, Smith has stayed busy in both his personal and professional life. Last year, he got married and released two albums. His first, Something Beautiful, debuted just over a year ago. His second was a holiday album. “This year has started in a calm way,” he says. In addition to touring, he’s working on new music, which is “just now in the beginning stages.”
Smith is influenced by a number of musical genres, particularly gospel and singer/songwriters like Sara Bareilles, Ed Sheeran and, of course, Adele.
The iTunes charts are an important indicator of how a contestant is doing on The Voice, he says. “After every show, we go back to our hotel rooms and stare at the computer screen. Minutes after the show was over, I noticed that it was on top, and I was screaming at the top of my lungs. It was humbling to see that people loved what I was doing.”
Smith is thankful for The Voice and still has a relationship with Adam Levine, which he says is “very cool.” But he’s learned that he enjoys touring and performing for an audience. “It’s a different vibe than being on The Voice. I get to experience music in a new way, and I love that.” He also enjoys the behind-the-scenes aspect, describing himself as a prankster off stage. “I never like to take any moment too seriously.”
The coolest part of his whole musical experience, he says, has been collaborating with David Foster. “I’ve been a huge fan for a long time.” The two sang “You Are So Beautiful” together at the 2016 People’s Choice Awards.
But Smith remains humbled, both by the support and by the power of his sound. “Music is a way to connect with people beyond language and understanding,” he says.
The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is located at 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach. For tickets and additional information, visit whbpac.org or call 631-288-1500.