His audition: Elyjuh Rene, 18, of Long Beach, Calif., opted to audition with Beyonce’s “XO” and a strong opening earned him early chair turns from Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams. Pharrell called the youngster “one of the most amazing vocalists I’ve heard.” Elyjuh joined Team Pharrell.
His background: Elyjuh tells us he loves singing R&B and soul music and a little bit of pop. He started singing in church with his mom when he was 3 years old. “From then on, she’s been my manager and mom-ager” he says, adding that he doesn’t mind being a momma’s boy. In fact, they show up for The voice audition wearing matching tops. Elyjuh’s parents divorced when he was 4 and he used music as his outlet. And he says he’s been performing in singing competitions for the past four years.
What the show didn’t show: Elyjah describes himself as having an “old heart,” which he says explains his love for the music of Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye and Bobby Caldwell. Among new artists, Usher and Pharrell are among his favorites, which makes earning a spot on Team Pharrell all the more special. Adam Levine turned first for his audition, but it was Pharrell’s message that resonated with the teen. “Pharrell spoke to my heart,” Elyjah says in his Voice video. “He was telling me things no one else could, how he could hear my church (in my voice).” He said he also likes Pharrell’s musical versatility, because while Elyjuh prefers R&B, he says he’s capable of singing other types of music as well.
On iTunes: Just his audition song, “XO.”
“Always in Forever”
“I Need You Now”
“His Eyes on the Sparrow”