Local voice Davis lands on national TV
While he’s been a familiar name in the Michigan music scene, Joshua Davis wasn’t a household name all across the country.
That all changed a few weeks ago after the blue-eyed-soul singer appeared on NBC’s vocal competition show, “The Voice.”
Davis auditioned with The Band’s song, “I Shall Be Released,” and chose country singer Blake Shelton as his coach.
While Davis is a seasoned musician, having performed locally with his band Steppin’ In It at the Green Door for 13 years, he hadn’t had a vocal lesson until he was accepted onto the show.
It was a show he had never heard about until “The Voice” called him up asking him to audition.
Davis studied theater at MSU and plays the guitar, mandolin, piano and a host of other instruments. But he admits he never identified himself as a singer or “Voice” material.
“I never really thought of myself as a singer first,” Davis said. “It was always a songwriter and guitar player first.”
The casting department at “The Voice” saw his YouTube videos and offered him an audition for the show.
“I thought they were joking at first. I just didn’t think they’d be interested in an artist like me,” Davis said. “So when they called, I was kind of in denial about it.”
After realizing it was legitimate, Davis was flying on a plane to Los Angeles to audition in front of celebrity judges Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams and Adam Levine.
While thousands of hopeful singers audition for vocal talent competitions, the chances of being picked are slim.
And even rarer than being picked is being able to bypass rounds of auditions; something Davis did.
His one and only audition for the competition was the same audition America saw on their televisions, in front of the celebrity coaches.
“It was a trip,” Davis said. “That doesn’t happen very often so I feel grateful that they gave me a call, and I feel grateful for the opportunity.”
While grateful, Davis admitted “The Voice” was a strange stage for this Michigan musician to take.
“Putting numbers on music and saying who’s better, you know, it’s all taste to me. So the idea of competition in this is strange.”
Davis spoke about the behind-the-scenes stuff that didn’t make it to television.
“There’s a lot of what I remember of that process after I sang that is not being shown,” Davis said. “(It was something that was) really strange to see it all cut up like that.”
While there’s a commonality between Michiganders, Davis said Los Angeles is a different story.
“When I go out to LA, and I’m dropped into this massive framework of this pop world, I feel like they’re really struck by the fact that I’m way different than anything they’ve ever heard,” Davis said. “And to me, I’m doing what we do here in Michigan. This is how we do it.”
Whether it’s performing at The Green Door, or on stage at and NBC studio for “The Voice,” Davis said he is proud and grateful to be doing what he loves.
“I’m excited to be out there and kind of representing Michigan and the scene here.
Follow Davis’ journey on “The Voice,” which airs on NBC Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m.