Thursday, March 26, 2015

Parma's Brian Johnson Advances on "The Voice"

Brian Johnson singing Bob Dylan's
"Knockin' on Heaven's Door." Photo courtesy of NBC
Brian Johnson auditioned for NBC’s singing competition, The Voice, four times before he ever saw the back of any chair. “I actually decided that I was not going to audition anymore after I went to the Philadelphia audition,” Johnson says. “ [But] the fact that they were coming to Cleveland, I felt like… it’s literally in my backyard, I have to go audition.” He did, and now the Parma resident has went from the churches he grew up singing in to national TV. While on Blake Shelton's team the soulful vocalist's rehearsal rendition of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" brought mentor Meghan Trainor to tears. And now, Adam Levine has stolen Johnson and is taking him to the show's final round, live performances. “Adam has always been in my court. He came backstage after the knockout rounds and just said it was a no brainer. … I’m really excited about working with [him].” We chat with Johnson about singing for the biggest names in the music business and dealing with newfound fame.

Cleveland Magazine: How did you feel before you went out for your blind audition?
Brian Johnson: When I saw the doors open and I started walking out and saw the backs of the chairs, I was really overwhelmed with fear and nervousness and all the things that could possibly go wrong. Once I stepped onstage, I almost blacked out and I just don’t remember anything after I saw the first chair turn. I had my wife tell me what happened and fill in the spots that I missed, because all I saw was that Adam turned and then Blake turned and I didn’t forget the words. That’s all I could get from the moment. I didn’t know that Adam turned around so quickly. The first time I watched it back was when I realized that he turned before I even sang a word.

CM: Going forward, what do you feel like you need to work on?
BJ: I’ve always struggled with some of my stage presence and just moving around the stage … Adam was just giving me some advice on how to move around stage, and that’s definitely something that I plan on working on as the competition moves on. Having a background in church music, you stand onstage and you kind of have your spot, and you move around a little bit but not a ton. As I’ve been home in the last couple weeks, I’ve been leading a lot of worship at churches and doing some performances around Cleveland at different churches and just trying to get onstage more and move around and do some fast songs. Experience is the best form of practice.

CM: What’s the weirdest part about adjusting to your newfound fame?
BJ: Being recognized in Starbucks was pretty weird. I was just getting coffee the day after the blind audition aired and it’s cool because I was thinking ‘Oh, it could happen. Someone could recognize me.’ And then the first person who walked into Starbucks said, ‘Hey! You’re the guy on The Voice!’ That was really cool.

1 comment:

Peace in Pieces said...

Great food and great people with awesome styling and interior. Also great event spaces for cheap happy hour drinks. However, the downstairs beer selection is about as standard as it can be while upstairs can be a bit more creative.