Danielle Bradbery proved me wrong.
I figured teenagers should avoid The Voice. Each season is stocked with so much veteran talent, they just didn’t stand a chance.
I mean, the show’s first three winners — Javier Colon, Jermaine Paul and Cassadee Pope — weren’t exactly novices in the music industry.
Then along comes Danielle, all of 16 years old, belting out traditional country music in front of a live TV audience like she’d been doing it her whole life when, in truth, she’d never done it before.
Five iTunes Top 10 hits later, she was crowned the Season 4 winner of The Voice. And now she’s wrapping up work on a debut album likely to be out later this year.
Danielle turned 17 in July and Saturday night, she’ll grace the WGTY Great Country Radio Stage at the York Fair. The 6:30 p.m. show is free with admission to the fair.
For coverage and photos from the show, check back Saturday night. Meanwhile, here’s what Danielle said about her new music and her time on The Voice when I talked to her earlier this week.
Idol Chatter: You don’t even have a new album out, and here you are out performing shows. What type of music and songs should folks expect at the show in York?
Danielle: I might throw in some covers from The Voice, but mostly they’re going to be my new songs. I’ve been working with a lot of great people and writers, and all the songs that came across, I love so much. Of course, they’re country. People should expect a little different sound in them. Some are just fun, cool songs. And some are powerful songs. I guess there’s a little bit of everything.
Idol Chatter: You released the “Heart of Dixie” single back in July and that did very well. Are there any other new songs you’re especially excited about?
Danielle: All my other songs I’m definitely excited about, but there are a couple that have me super excited. I can tell that girls my age can either relate or I can see them jamming out in their car to them with their girlfriends. One of my songs is called “Wild Boy” and (another is) “Dance Hall.” They’re fun songs. I’m so excited for everyone to hear them.
Idol Chatter: And how is work going on that debut album? When might folks be able to expect it?
Danielle: I’ve been in Nashville every week a couple of days. I have one more song to be working on. Everything’s going really fast. I’m almost done. And they’re looking around Nov. 10 that the album will come out.Idol Chatter: What’s the most amazing thing you’ve done since being on the show?
Danielle: Wow, since The Voice, Blake has invited me to come to his concerts to sing “Heart of Dixie,” so I’ve done that twice. He’ll act like he’s going to sing the song. Then he’s like, “Well, wait a minute. It would be really cool if Danielle Bradbery would be here.” And then I walk out and the crowd screams and it’s an amazing feeling because there’s about 20,000 people there. It’s crazy. And not too long ago I sang the national anthem for the Broncos football game. (Editor’s note: To read how Danielle got through that nerve-wracking experience, head here.)
Idol Chatter: Now, let’s go back a little bit. Why did you decide to try out for The Voice instead of one of the other singing shows, especially since the Voice tends to attract some very experienced singers?
Danielle: I’ve always watched The Voice and I always thought it was so interesting how they taught the contestants and there weren’t judges, there were coaches. They actually help you. I always wondered, “Do they do that off camera?”
But since I’m so shy, I really didn’t plan on going and auditioning. My mom actually was like, “Well, I printed you out a ticket, so we’re just going to go see how you do.” As terrified as I was, I went to Dallas and auditioned. Every audition, I kept making it. And, once we got into the blind auditions and battle rounds and from there, we were so amazed how everything actually worked behind the scenes. The coaches actually really do help you as much as they can. And the season I was on, we were all one big family. It was amazing how close we got. You really learn a lot from the coaches and everyone.Idol Chatter: But some of the other contestants were very experienced. Was that intimidating at all?
Danielle: It was, kind of. Like “what am I doing here with no experience at all and there’s so many amazing singers that have so much experience and who know what they’re doing.” I kind of sat back a lot and questioned myself. The good part is, I was learning from their experiences and watching them rehearse and what they did. I would talk to them a lot and they would tell me about things they had experienced.
Idol Chatter: Now how much performing had you done to that point? I know there was video of you performing at something called Cy-Fest.
Danielle: That was actually taped between the blind rounds and the knockout rounds. Between there, we got to go home. My step-dad puts up these festivals called Cy-Fest and Katie-Fest. Between band sets, when the crews were moving around instruments and getting the next performer ready, my step-dad was like, “Let me just throw you up there so you get used to being in front of people on a stage.” I was still really nervous, but I got up there and did it. That was kind of a help for me to get in front of people for the future battle rounds and knockout rounds. But it still took me a while to get out of my shell.
Idol Chatter: So you had never performed live before the blind auditions?
Danielle: No I had not. I was really scared. I never liked singing in front of people. I either had to turn around or it took forever to get just a line out of me.
Idol Chatter: Yet what was so impressive is that you never seemed nervous during your performances on The Voice.
Danielle: I don’t know how I did that. A lot of people tell me, “You look so calm on stage.” I honestly would tell anyone, I don’t know how I did that. I had a couple of panic attacks now and then. But something clicked when I went on stage and started singing. It just feels like where I’m meant to be. Once I start singing, nothing else matters. I’m just focused on the song, focused on the crowd. It’s like a new me happens on stage.
Idol Chatter: And which performance from The Voice was your favorite.
Danielle: Probably my “A Little Bit Stronger” performance. The reason why is that I love singing powerful songs. I just love that challenge. I kind of worked with Blake and everybody to put a little high note in there. And they said, “We’re going to put smoke behind you,” and I always wanted that to happen. It was a really fun performance.