The Voice

Jacob Miller talks about his blind audition on The Voice


Jacob Miller, 29, of Eden, Wisc., during his blind audition on The Voice Season 18. (NBC Photo)

Jacob Miller, 29, of Eden, Wisc., during his blind audition on The Voice Season 18. (NBC Photo)

Jacob Miller said he really didn’t notice what the coaches were doing during his blind audition on The Voice.

But when he finished his cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a Changin’,” he had clearly earned a spot on the show.

Three coaches — Nick Jonas, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton — were facing in his direction and began praising his performance.

The 29-year-old from of Eden, Wisc., opted to join Team Nick. Here’s what he told Voice Views about his blind audition experience.

Voice Views: How did you wind up auditioning for The Voice Season 18 and what prompted you to do it? Had you ever tried a show like this in the past?

Jacob: Well, I got an email last year asking if I was interested in auditioning for the show. Thinking it was spam or something of the like, I said no thanks and didn’t think much of it. A week later I received a second email informing me the show was actually interested in having me try out for this season, so I set up the audition. I am a full-time songwriter and touring musician, and have never done anything like this before. Initially I was quite hesitant, but my good friend and longtime collaborator, Charlie Porter (Grammy winning badass), told me to just give it a shot. And here we are!

Voice Views: Why did you choose “The Times They Are a Changin’” for your audition song? What’s your performance history with that song (for instance, is it one you’ve played often)?

Jacob: I am a big fan of ’60s-70s folk and singer/songwriter music. Swing, ragtime and jazz are great — but I love all sorts of music. Anyways, Dylan is often categorized as one of the greatest writers of the songwriter genre, and this song felt like a good choice for me. It is not a flashy song, but the message is sound. With today’s social climate, it seemed like a meaningful song to perform and introduce myself with. I had never performed this song before the blind auditions.

Voice Views: And what was that blind audition experience like? You had two coaches facing you in a heartbeat. Did that take some of the pressure off (if you were feeling any pressure because you came off as very calm and in control during the performance)?

Jacob: Performing wasn’t really the nerve-wracking part, it was waiting during the day to get on stage. I’ve been performing professionally for 8+ years, so I don’t get nervous very often. Obviously, this particular performance is unlike an average gig though.

When the doors opened I felt surprisingly calm; just walked up the steps to the stage and sang it out. It wasn’t until after I had finished the song that I really realized who and how many of the coaches had turned. If no one had turned, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world for me, but it was a relieving and affirming thing to see as I played that last chord!

Voice Views: What are you most hoping to gain from your Voice experience?

Jacob: I love to write, perform and arrange music. I think my greatest hope with my time on the show is to connect with the audience and share my authentic self/voice with them. My original music is important to me and my full-time pursuit, but I enjoy writing and arranging for others as well. It would be nice to use this experience as a stepping stone to continue to work with artists I respect and admire.

To learn more about Jacob and the music he’s already released — both as a solo artist and with his former group Jacob Miller and the Bridge City Crooners, head here.

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