After The Voice

Celebrating 20 Seasons of The Voice, Week 4


The Voice is celebrating its 20th season this spring.

And I’ve decided to celebrate too, by shining a spotlight on my all-time favorite post-Voice music.

Please note that I’m not labeling these songs as “the best” post-Voice music. That’s simply too dependent on musical tastes.

These are my favorites, songs that make me smile or move me every time I listen.

I hope you’ll celebrate these artists with me. After all, they’re the ones who have made The Voice worth watching since the show premiered April 26, 2011.

Editor’s Note: There’s also a Spotify playlist I’ll be updating weekly. Just search for Celebrating 20 Seasons of The Voice.

Secret Someones (Lelia Broussard), “Headfirst”

In spite of some superb pre-show music (“Hipster Bitch” / “You’re Not Fooling Anyone”), Lelia was lost in the glut of talent on Season 3 when The Voice placed 64 artists (!) on teams. She released several solo singles after the show, toured with fellow singer-songwriters Bess Rogers and Hannah Winkler, then wound up forming a group with them called Secret Someones, with Zach Jones on percussion. Signed to Cherry Tree Records, they released a self-titled album in 2015 that included this slice of pop-rock heaven. The group’s gone now, but Lelia’s still making music, as Jupiter Winter with Royce Whittaker. In the video below, Lelia’s the first band member encountered by the young girl with force-field eyes.
Lelia’s Instagram. Lelia on Apple Music. Lelia on Spotify. Secret Someones on Apple Music. Secret Someones on Spotify. Jupiter Winter on Apple Music. Jupiter Winter on Spotify.

Jackie Foster and D.R. King from The Voice Season 14D.R. King and Jackie Foster, “Love Is a Drug”

D.R. King and Jackie Foster were paired up during the Season 14 battle round on The Voice and performed “Sign of the Times.” The song wound up being the most successful of that’s year’s battle round, hitting number 22 on the iTunes pop chart. That was back when all Voice performances were recorded for download and streaming. What’s more, both wound up finishing in the Top 12 that season. So when D.R. was preparing to release his post-show debut single, they teamed up again for this wonderful duet. They even performed it together at the Rockwood Music Hall. D.R. took to social media to thank Kelly Clarkson for pairing them in the battles. The lyric video below is the work of Davian Chester, aka Real Toons. D.R. later took part in Kelly’s “Meaning of Life” tour, performing a duet with her each night, and included the collaboration with Jackie on his 2019 “It’s My Life” album. Jackie moved from Boston to Los Angeles and has released a series of impressive singles, most recently “Clearer” earlier this month.
D.R.’s Instagram. D.R. on Apple Music. D.R. on Spotify. Jackie’s Instagram. Jackie on Apple Music. Jackie on Spotify.

Gabriel Wolfchild from The Voice Season 8Wolfchild, “Runaways”

Gabriel Wolfchild auditioned for Season 8 of The Voice at age 26, then joined forces with five fellow Seattle area musicians — dubbed The Northern Light — to release an excellent album called “Mornings Like These” in 2018. This great song also became a music video, featuring a hug train filmed around Seattle. Gabriel said the intent was to show the impact people can have on one another. “It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and feel alone and small and to get lost in this ‘nothing I can do really matters, so why bother’ kind of mindset. We have all felt that way at some point or another. Maybe this video can be a reminder of how important we are to each other.” Gabriel has spent the last year in Maui, waiting out the pandemic with his parents. Wolfchild the band last performed in March 2020. But he’s planning to return to Seattle and says “we have some amazing music (of a very new and different vein) coming your way.”
Gabriel’s Instagram. Wolfchild on Apple Music. Wolfchild on Spotify.

Riley Biederer from The Voice Season 8Riley Biederer, “Love Sucks”

Riley, from Season 8, released this wonderfully addictive song — expressing a sentiment I’m sure we’ve all shared at some point in our lives — last October. She then included it on her December EP “heaven / heartaches.” She says she wrote the song “in quarantine with two of my best friends while going through a breakup.” She also filmed the accompanying music video (watch below) during quarantine. “Had an absolute blast destroying my parents’ garage with confetti & teddy bear casualties,” she wrote on Instagram. Well, I suppose that’s one way to recover from heartbreak. And judging from the ending of the video, here’s betting Riley doesn’t stay heartbroken wrong. Riley, 19 when she auditioned for the show, has since released a pair of EPs, a couple of stand-alone singles and teamed up with Frank Walker on a great EDM track (2018’s “Heartbreak Back”).
Riley’s Instagram. Riley on Apple Music. Riley on Spotify.

Ricky Manning from The Voice Season 7Ricky Manning, LA is Lonely

The first time I heard this song, I thought, “Dang, he nailed it.” My second thought: “I wonder how many other former singing show contestants dealing with high expectations from themselves or others wind up feeling the same way at some point?” American Idol clearly loved the song. When Ricky auditioned for that show, they featured “LA is Lonely” in a March 2018 Season 16 episode. Ricky told me the song is “100 percent autobiographical,” written on an evening when he was feeling “really alone and discouraged.” The song’s now been streamed 3 million times on Spotify. And Ricky signed his first publishing deal, with Third & Verse Music Publishing, last summer.
Ricky Manning on Instagram. Ricky Manning on Apple Music. Ricky Manning on Spotify.

Moses Stone, “Gone”

Back in Season 2, Moses was the first rapper to audition for The Voice and somehow managed to survive a battle round match in which he had to sing The Rolling Stone’s “Satisfaction.” He was back to making music more his style post-show, including this delightful, reggae-flavored, kiss-off song that landed in 2017. Teaming up with hip-hop artist Shwayze and Hero DeLano, Moses called it a “summer break-up anthem” about a girl who takes, takes and takes some more until her man is fed up. “I think it’s good to touch on subjects from a perspective people are not used to hearing — (in this case), how is it from a guy’s perspective being used by a girl,” Moses told Celeb Mix. “The girls definitely let us know their perspectives on guys using them.” Since The Voice, Moses has ventured into the business world, starting an entertainment company (Art Sky), working with McDonald’s on a “We Golden” ad campaign and offering financial advice through his YouTube channel. Oh, he’s still making music two, with two singles out so far in 2021, “Die for You” and “She.”
Moses’ Instagram. Moses on Apple Music. Moses on Spotify.

Wé McDonald from The Voice Season 14Wé McDonald, “Head Up High”

Wé, a Season 14 finalist, wrote this anthem of self-acceptance and perseverance with fellow contestant Kylie Rothfield while they were on the show. “We were fed up with all these expectations and societal standards,” including perceptions about how females should look like Barbie dolls, Wé told a crowd at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan before performing the song live for the first time. “Head Up High,” released in May 2019, became her post-show debut single. The lyrics also grace the back cover of a children’s book Wé wrote called “The Little Girl with a Big Voice.” It’s basically the story of Wé, a young girl who is bullied in school but who winds up performing on stage in front of a crowd that has come to accept her. Seventeen when she appeared on The Voice, Wé turned 22 in January and told her social media fans she can’t wait to show off the music she’s been working on.
Wé’s Instagram. Wé McDonald on Apple Music. Wé McDonald on Spotify.

See also …
Week 1: Christina Grimmie, Sawyer Fredericks, Mia Z, Kensington Moore, Taylor John Williams, Koryn Hawthorne, Zaxai, Brynn Cartelli

Week 2: Kat Robichaud, Chevonne and The Fuzz, Melanie Martinez, Archis (Dia Frampton), Rebecca Loebe, Jamar Rogers, Brian Nhira

Week 3: Brennley Brown, Craig Wayne Boyd, Adam Wakefield, Kyndal Inskeep, Austin Jenckes, Jared Blake, Cassadee Pope

Week 5: Tony Lucca, Juliet Simms, Chris Mann, Duncan Kamakana, Jordy Searcy, Adanna Duru, Stephen Marcellus

Week 6: Chloe Kohanski, Meghan Linsey, Christiana Danielle, Charlotte Sometimes (now LACES), Chance Pena, Matt McAndrew, Angie K (Angie Keilhauer)

Week 7: Ricky Duran, Luke Wade (as LAWS), Billy Gilman, Emily Keener, Kylie Rothfield, Johnny Gates, Amanda Brown

Week 8: Dustin Christensen, Jonny Gray, Kat Robichaud, Dia Frampton, Lelia Broussard

Week 9: RaeLynn, Natalie Stovall, Gracee Shriver, The Swon Brothers, Ashland Craft, Kristi Hoopes, Texas Hill (Adam Wakefield and Craig Wayne Boyd)

Week 10: Angela Wolff, Brooke Stephenson, Fousheé, Paxton Ingram, Ashley DuBose, Javier Colon, Gigi Rich

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