Season 11 of NBC’s The Voice is underway as the third episode featured a familiar name to the reggae-rock community with Washington’s Ethan Tucker giving judges a blind performance of The Police’s “Roxanne.”
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For those who aren’t familiar, The Voice is a “reality” TV show that is more or less a singing competition. Contestants come out to a panel of Four Judges who are in chairs that have their backs to the vocalist, making this a blind audition to the judges. If the judges enjoy “The Voice” they hear, they’ll hit a button to have their seat turned around to view “The Voice”. By doing this, the judges are indicating their support and willingness to work with the vocalist moving forward as their coach. Winners, at seasons end, will receive $100,000 and a “record deal” with Universal Music Group.
While this may have been a blind audition to The Voice judges Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys, Miley Cyrus and Adam Levine, Ethan Tucker is no blind performer to the Reggae-Rock community having toured with the likes of Slightly Stoopid, Michael Franti, Jimmy Cliff, G. Love among many others as well as music festivals, including California Roots.
So what made Ethan want to explore an avenue in The Voice? Ethan tells The Pier: “(It) was the opportunity to expose my music to a massive audience. I want to make a difference in this world by making a positive influence in the industry and I feel if given the right opportunity, I can help to better the world we live in – through music and love.
Ethan chose a familiar song he’s performed for his fan-base before with a cover of The Police’s “Roxanne.” “It’s always been one of my favorite songs to sing and The Police have been a major influence for my music growing up,” Ethan tells The Pier. “Putting my own flavor into songs, making it my own, is something I really enjoy. I just felt ‘Roxanne’ was a good choice for a cover.”
Of the four judges, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine turned their chair around during the performance to express interest, while Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys passed on the opportunity to work with Tucker. In the end, Ethan chose to work with Blake Shelton over Adam Levine. The pairing presents a unique opportunity to evolve his folksy, reggae inspired songwriting to be bolstered with the influence of some country that may bode well for the kind of range Ethan Tucker is capable of with his raspy soulful delivery.
Ethan Tucker isn’t the only one to cover The Police on national television as fellow singer-songwriter, Cas Haley, who is also a friend to Ethan Tucker, covered The Police’s “Walking On The Moon,” back in 2007 on season 2 of NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Haley finished the season as the runner up to the winner.
We caught up with Cas Haley to see if he’s had a chance to speak with Ethan or offer up any advice from his own experience. Haley tells The Pier: “I love Ethan! Yes I did have chance to speak with Ethan about the prospect of him being on The Voice. Besides all the shit I talked about being on TV shows, I told him to be himself and don’t compromise on what he wants to do…”
From his first appearance, Ethan didn’t compromise as he chose a song he’s been known to perform regularly, but that doesn’t mean the nerves weren’t in full effect. “I was so nervous! It was as nerve wracking as the first time I ever hit the stage. It might as well have been my first time performing.”
Not many of us can relate to performing on live television in front of millions of viewers, even if there’s experience with performing in front of thousands of fans at any given show or festival. Curious to know how it might be the same or different, Ethan explains: “Well, I mean it’s the same as far as aiming to bring 100% effort forward. As far as being different, my objective was to win over four amazing artists; Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys, Miley Cyrus and Blake Shelton, on The Voice. On a festival, it’s more about creating a special moment in time with my fans. I love to entertain people and create magic. They are both intense, but this experience was a completely different sort of intensity.”
The Pier wishes Ethan Tucker the best of luck and we hope new fans discover his music and when they do, they’ll be treated to the discovery of a fantastic album he released last May, titled Misunderstood. You can pick up that album by clicking HERE!
Go get’em Ethan!
Watch: Ethan Tucker – This Has All Been A Dream (Live with Jam In The Van)