The Voice

Meet and hear more from Kawan DeBose


Kawan Debose of The Voice Season 12 (NBC Photo)His audition: Kawan DeBose, 30, of Miami, Fla., auditioned with Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” Adam Levine turned around even before Kawan hit the chorus. He was soon joined by Blake Shelton. Eventually, Gwen Stefani turned as well. Adam said Kawan’s voice “rendered him speechless” and compared his falsetto to Prince. He also said he’d make Kawan the top priority on his team. Kawn joined Team Adam.

His background: As a child, Kawan says he lived in this “big house of love” with his mother and grandparents. His grandfather was a pastor and Kawan says he was about 5 when he started singing in church choir. By 10 he was playing piano and he says “that’s where it all started.” His mother enrolled him in a performing arts school with dance, singing and acting classes. After high school, he started gigging. At one point, he opened for Mary J. Blige and Ludicrous. In 2015, he moved to L.A. to pursue his dream. He plays at the Four Seasons. “I’ve met some incredible people,” he says, “but more often than not, no one is paying attention to what I’m doing.” He also performs at a church in San Diego.

What the show didn’t show:

* According to his bio on The Voice website, Kawan taught himself to play piano.

* In 2012, he became music director of a church in San Diego.

* In 2013, he released a single called “California.” At the time, he described is as “country meets pop meets R&B meets soul.” He typically describes his sound as R&B / soul. You can check out “California” below.

* In a 2014 interview about the single, he said his inspirations include Earth, Wind and Fire, Chaka Khan and Donny Hathaway.

* At the time, he also said he was working on a debut album, but that hasn’t been released yet.

* He’s also opened for Robin Thicke and John Legend. And the Ludicrous gig turned out to be pretty special because the star arrived about two hours late, meaning Kawan got to perform longer, he said in a conference call with the media.

* He’s announced plans to release an EP called “Church in a Jook Joint” and has promised updates on a still-under-construction website.

* Kawan said he was flattered, but also “very, very nervous” about the fact that Adam compared his voice to that of Prince. “They edited it out but, I told them, ‘Maybe you shouldn’t air that because I know how revered Prince is. And, you know, there’s certain artists like Whitney (Houston) and Prince and Michael (Jackson) you kind of just don’t touch.”

Keeping up with Kawan:
Twitter: @kawandebose

“California” (his 2013 single)

Snippet of “Hello” cover

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