Jaeden Luke experienced a roller coaster of emotions in the ninth episode of “The Voice”.
The Bothell-born and raised singer-songwriter had just lost his singing battle to fellow competitor Bodie and was dropped from her “Voice” team by coach Blake Shelton. But rather than being eliminated from the show altogether, judges Camila Cabello and Gwen Stefani used their steals to keep Luke on the show. After much deliberation, Luke finally chose Cabello as his new coach.
Luke was understandably delighted to be rescued by Cabello. It’s all the more remarkable that prior to this season, the highly talented 22-year-old wasn’t initially interested in appearing on NBC’s The Voice or any other televised singing competition.
“To be completely honest, I never thought that singing shows were my thing. I wasn’t very interested in them,” Luke told the Seattle Times over the phone.
Luke’s journey to competing on The Voice began when he received an email from one of the show’s casting staff who saw him perform on YouTube. After submitting a video of him singing Jeremy Passion’s “Lemonade,” Luke pretty much forgot.
A few months later, Luke was immediately reminded of his efforts when he received a call inviting him to an on-camera audition in Los Angeles. There he sang Bread’s “Make It With You,” prompting judges Shelton and John Legend to turn their chairs for him.
“When I walked in I just wanted to flip a chair. Because I’ve been working super hard as a singer for a long time. I’ve waited and prayed for a platform and opportunity like this so America could hear me sing,” Luke said. “It turned out I could do more than just make a chair spin. So it was really, really cool to keep going and beating my dreams.”
Luke was 9 years old when he started playing the guitar. Heavily inspired by the music of The Beatles, John Mayer, Ed Sheehan, Sam Cooke and Ray Charles, Luke soon decided to write and sing his own songs.
“I have always loved to write and had something to tell. So I just put everything together and made it happen.”
Luke even remembers the name of the first song he wrote, called “Where Am I,” which he wrote after the death of a friend from his church. “I sang this song at his funeral. That was a big moment for me because it was the first time I saw that something I had created could make a difference. It inspired me to continue developing as a songwriter.”
Luke was soon appearing east of Seattle in artists like Bothell, Kirkland, Woodinville and Bellevue.
“As soon as I finished high school, I just started playing wherever I could,” Luke said. “I knew I didn’t want to do anything else. The entire Eastside area of Seattle is such a conducive place for singer-songwriters and the acoustic scene. I am so grateful that I got the chance to work there and that I can now support myself full time. It’s so cool.”
Luke’s appearances on The Voice have already had a dramatic impact on his career. Not only have sales of his earlier work, including his Anywhere EP, which he recorded at Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville, increased exponentially, but people have been sending him messages detailing how impressive his music is for her.
“I’m just really honored to be in this position,” said Luke, who, while he initially had concerns about singing competitions, is now aware of the power they hold. “It just gives you such a platform that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. I only sang in my bedroom and at local shows. Now all of America can suddenly hear what’s in my heart. That’s the coolest thing.”
Win or lose, Luke just hopes his experience on The Voice gives him the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream and ambition.
“I just want a career in music. I want to become a songwriter so people can hear my songs and tour and play in concerts around the world. What level will that be at? I do not know. I’ll just keep going and hopefully use this as a stepping stone. I’m just striving to be my best self and hopefully have a lasting career.