Her audition: Sammie Zonana, 24, from Austin, Texas, auditioned with a unique take on Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman.” Surprisingly, Gwen Stefani was the only coach to turn around, but that was enough to put Sammie on the show. Gwen liked the “confidence and truth” in Sammie’s performance.
Her background: She studied screenwriting through high school and film in college. But freshman year of college, she also picked up a guitar and taught herself how to play and wound up “just falling in love with music.” Small, open mic performances followed. Next thing you know, Sammie stopped writing movies and started writing music. She recorded a single and recalls it was the first time she felt “like a real artist, like a musician.” She gigged for a while after graduating college and now performs at weddings with her guitar and ukulele. She’s also planning her own wedding to her fiancee Brooke. They met at an LGBT speed dating event. Sammie says she came out to her parents in high school and has their support.
What the show didn’t show:
* In her website bio, Sammie says her mantra is “positive vibes only,” something she learned from watching her uncle conquer stage 4 cancer and utter that saying “every step of the way.”
* According to her YouTube bio, she picked up that guitar in 2010 while attending the University of Texas at Arlington and eventually began performing at the open mic scene in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
* While a film student, she studied under director Ya’ke Smith and wrote a song called “Youth Goin’ Bad” for his award-winning short film, “One Hit Quitta.” She later collaborated with Ya’ke to create a music video for the song. You can check it out below.
* Oh, and The Voice website says she learned to play guitar by watching YouTube tutorials.
* That Voice bio also says she has a side job as a data entry assistant.
* Sammie released her debut project, a seven-track EP called “Stay” in 2015. My favorite tracks: “Get Outta My Dreams,” “Hold On” and “Cherry Pie.”
* She followed that up later in 2015 by releasing two live tracks in a release titled “Live at Ryman Records.”
* Last year, she released three singles — “That Dream,” “Sweet Vanilla” and “Home.” You can check out “Sweet Vanilla” below.
* You can check out all of those originals and lots of other Sammie Zonana music, including covers, on her Soundcloud page. They include an original called “Secret Thoughts (Our Proposal Song).”
* As for her songwriting, she says on Facebook: “My intention has always been to find and define the emotions surrounding my daily interaction with the world and to share those findings with others. If this emotional transferal can touch the life of just one of my listeners I will count that as a great success.”
“Youth Goin’ Bad” (music video)
“Sweet Vanilla” (2016 single)