Long before The Swon Brothers and Danielle Bradbery brought country music to NBC’s The Voice, country-rocker Jared Blake was representing country music for “Team Blake” on Season 1. During his time on the show, he worked closely with Blake Shelton, was mentored by Reba and won fans over with his own unique spin on songs like “Use Somebody” and “Not Ready to Make Nice.”
Since appearing on The Voice, Jared has been featured in magazines, touring, and releasing music, with his new single “Countryfied” recently hitting radio. We had a chance to chat with Jared and catch up on what he’s been up to and what the future hold.
KIC: For those readers who may be ‘meeting’ you for the first time in this blog, can you give us a little bit of a back story as to how you began performing?
JB: I started in church. Sang my 1st country song in the 8th grade for the school talent show. “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” by Alan Jackson. The girls screamed and I was hooked.
KIC: You appeared on the first season of The Voice and were a member of “Team Blake.” What was the best thing about that experience and what did you learn from the show?
JB: Reba told me I was exactly what she looked for in a artist and not to change a thing “You’re perfect” she said. It doesn’t get much better than that.
KIC: Do you keep in touch with Blake or any of the other Voice contestants?
JB: Absolutely! You don’t go through something like that without becoming life-long friends. I probably talk to Curtis Grimes the most. In fact we wrote his current single “Home to Me” with Trent Willmon and its climbing the Texas chart now. I also talk to Javier, Bev, and Patrick often. As for Blake, every great once in a while. He’s a busy man!
KIC: What is the writing process like for your music? Where do you get your inspiration from?
JB: I’m kinda ADD so most of the time it’s whatever is right in front of me. I hardly ever start with lyrics or music. It all starts emotionally for me. I find a melody and groove that suits my mood and go from there.
KIC: I read that you held odd jobs while also pursuing music – what was the oddest?
JB: Soda Jerk
JB: The intimate shows are always my favorite, I like being up close and personal. It doesn’t get better than seeing the emotion you projected inspire actual tears on someone else.
KIC: Your voice is a little more rock-leaning than some of today’s country acts. How would you describe your music and style?
JB: To me Country is not a style. It’s who you are and what you know. Music is just music. Johnny Cash was on the road with Elvis. On his last album he covered a 9 Inch Nails song. Think about it. My music is nothing more than a product of everything that inspires me. However… I am COUNTRY.
KIC: You just released the single “Countryfied.” What’s the story behind that track?
JB: My girlfriend grew up in LA and Tampa Bay. I grew up in AR. It’s kinda self-explanatory from there :)
KIC: What can we expect from a Jared Blake album? And when can we hear one?
JB: A little bit of everything….From Gospel to Rock to Rap, all from a dirt road perspective. Or what you might hear blasting out a pickup truck at a gravel pit party.
KIC: What’s one thing you’d like our readers to take away from this interview?
JB: Support the artists you love. You’re the only reason anyone ever hears us. And to my fans….. Thank you guys for everything !
All time favorite country song: It changes daily. Today is George Jones – “Blues Man,” tomorrow might be “Swingin’” by John Anderson .. who knows?
Dream Duet Partner: Miranda Lambert
Favorite Junk Food: Little Debbie Brownies
Favorite song to cover: “Soulshine” – Allman Brothers
Shakira or Christina? Shakira
Last song listened to: the Goat version of “Trouble” – Taylor Swift via YouTube
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Flight for no other reason than it’s just cool